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Jennifer Lopez will put on a happy face in Bye Bye Birdie Live! on NBC

Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images

What’s the story, morning glory? What’s the word, hummingbird? Why, it’s that Jennifer Lopez is going to give the old NBC live musical thing a whirl, starring in Bye Bye Birdie in 2017. She’ll play Rosie Alvarez, a role occupied in the original Broadway production by Chita Rivera and on screen by Janet Leigh. According to Variety, the network’s Bob Greenblatt announced the plan Thursday night. Should you have somehow gone through life never knowing the plot of Bye Bye Birdie, it concerns an Ed Sullivan-worshipping family thrown into chaos when an Elvis-type figure, Conrad Birdie, comes to town as part of a plan orchestrated by a songwriter, Albert, and his secretary/girlfriend, Rosie.

Aesthetically, it isn’t a big change from this year’s show, Hairspray, considering they both take place in the ’60s. Lopez is a big name draw and an inspired bit of casting that keeps things under the corporate umbrella given that she stars in the cop drama Shades Of Blue. Now all we need to do is resurrect Paul Lynde and this thing will be perfect.


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