Ephraim Sykes and Shahadi Wright Joseph join 'Hairspray Live!' ensemble

By Karen Butler  |  Sept. 10, 2016 at 7:59 AM
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BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Broadway stars Ephraim Sykes and Shahadi Wright Joseph have joined the ensemble of NBC's upcoming production Hairspray Live!

Hamilton cast member Sykes will play Seaweed J. Stubbs, and The Lion King and School of Rock alum Wright Joseph will play Little Inez.

Set in 1960s Baltimore, Hairspray Live! is to air Dec. 7. It will feature a stellar lineup that includes Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, newcomer Maddie Baillio, and special guest stars Sean Hayes, Andrea Martin and Rosie O'Donnell.

"In Hairspray Live!, teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV program," the network explained in press notes. "When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy's mother is the indomitable Edna, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white Corny Collins Show."

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