Broadway superstar, Kristin Chenoweth, joined Executive Producer Craig Zadan and Chairman of NBC Entertainment Bob Greenblatt, in welcoming guests for a special press preview in Beverly Hills on April 21. The celebration was in honor of the brand-new “You Can’t Stop the Beat: the Art & Artistry of Hairspray Live!” exhibit, running through May, at The Paley Center for Media.
AXS was there to get a sneak peek at the display, which showcases set pieces, props, on-set photography and of course the fabulous fashion designed by Emmy Award-nominated costume designer Mary E. Vogt; all featured in the musical event, “Hairspray Live!,” which aired on NBC last year.
The all-star cast included some of the best musical and comedic talents in the world. Along with Kristin, who dominates as the snarky and sultry Velma Von Tussle, the live televised event brought together showstoppers such as Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Jennifer Hudson, Derek Hough, Ariana Grande, Garrett Clayton and Maddie Baillio.
Executive produced by Craig Zadan, who has done everything from “Footloose” to “Chicago” to “Empire” to the Academy Awards, “Hairspray Live!” marks yet another notch in this musical visionary’s belt. “’Hairspray’ has a special place in my heart,” Zadan told AXS. “I love things that have a duality and the duality of ‘Hairspray’ is that the entertainment value is enormous, but it’s also about something.”
Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth, spoke to AXS about how it feels to be bringing this exhibit to life. “I’m lucky I get to be paid for what I love to do and to know what my purpose is in this life,” she explained. “It’s not just about live theater it’s about getting to work with these great artists. Tonight, I’m standing here looking at the costumes but I’m thinking of the people.”
Chenoweth, who is no stranger to performing live, credits Zadan’s efforts in creating a platform like this in television. Since 2013, the super producer has made this an annual tradition with “The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!,” “The Wiz Live!,” and of course with “Hairspray Live!” Up next, is “Bye Bye Birdie Live!,” starring Jennifer Lopez. “We’re designing the sets, the costumes and working on the script now, so we’re just getting started,” Zadan shared with AXS. “There’s not really a whole lot to report yet. But there will be in the next couple of months.”
In the meantime, you can check out the free exhibit at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, which opens today and runs through May 21. You can also catch video segments as well as see “Hairspray Live!” on the big screen in the John H. Mitchell Theater every Sunday at 2 p.m. throughout the exhibit’s run.
If you can’t stop the beat and want more of the dulcet-toned Kristin Chenoweth, you can head to her website for upcoming tour dates.