Despite the fact that the actual live part of Hairspray Live! won’t happen until next week, the recorded soundtrack has been released and is currently streaming. And if the soundtrack is any indication, the new production is not messing with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s hit musical based on the John Waters movie of the same name. If you like this score, you’ll probably enjoy listening to this.
Hairspray Live! casts newcomer Maddie Baillio as the status quo-busting hero, Tracy Turnblad, and Baillio has a bright sweetness to her vocals. Harvey Fierstein—as her mother Edna—sounds exactly as you expect him to, all gravel and wink. The album also further proves that one should never discount Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson when it comes to song-selling ability. And, for that matter, Ariana Grande does indeed have some formidable pipes, even if her Penny Pingleton never exactly comes off like a wallflower here. The show debuts December 7 on NBC.