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Newcomer Lands Lead Role In NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live!’ – Watch Her Reaction! (VIDEO)

NBC is taking a page out of their own playbook for this year’s live musical. In much the same way an unknown was cast to play the lead role of Dorothy in The Wiz Live!, a newcomer has been cast in the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray Live! on NBC.

Maddie Baillio, a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, has been selected for the lead role after an extended casting call that featured close to 1,000 women auditioning for the highly-coveted part. While she doesn’t have any professional experience in theater, she’s not exactly untrained. As part of York Theatre Company’s training program, Baillio performed in productions of Dracula: The Musical and Once Upon a Mattress, which included performances at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. So it looks like the role of Tracy Turnblad is in good hands. Watch her reaction to learning she won the role in the emotional video below:

Newcomer Lands Lead Role In NBC's 'Hairspray Live!' - Watch Her Reaction! (VIDEO)

I love this! She’s so adorable! And she’s got a wonderful voice, to say nothing of how perfect she looks with the wig on. She just IS Tracy. I can’t wait to see how this all turns out.

Baillio joins a cast that includes Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, and Emmy winners Martin Short and Derek Hough.

Hairspray Live! debuts Dec. 7 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

For more musical fun, watch Lin-Manuel Miranda lead a Broadway-themed addition of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and surprise guests!

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