EXCLUSIVE: 'Hairspray Live!' Cast Dishes on the Most Ambitious Aspects of the Show

Raphael Chestang
Entertainment Tonight

The stars of Hairspray Live! are counting down the days until their highly anticipated live broadcast, and ET got a few of them to open about the experience.

"We've cried ten hundred times today," Ariana Grande told ET, standing next to co-star Kristin Chenoweth. "The two of us are basket cases. It's such an emotional journey for everybody."

ET caught up with the cast at a promotional event at Universal Studios earlier this month.

"We're excited, man," Derek Hough gushed. "And now we're finally on set. The costumes are incredible -- the hair, the wigs. It's amazing. The cast is incredible too. I love them."

Featuring Grande, Chenoweth, Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Harvey Fierstein and newcomer Maddie Baillio in the starring role of Tracy Turnblad, the 1988 movie-turned-Broadway musical is getting updated for a new generation, almost a decade after the 2007 film remake.

WATCH: Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Maddie Baillio Talk Playing Tracy Turnblad in 'Hairspray'

The production follows NBC's former live productions of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz, but this time it's even more ambitious. This year's live show incorporates 18 different sets and they're shooting nearly half of the show outdoors.

"A lot of the show is outside," Baillio revealed. "I start 'Good Morning, Baltimore' outside, which is so cool, because it's supposed to happen outside. It's not really supposed to happen on a stage, so I feel like I'm really in Baltimore."

Aside from Baillio's performance in the lead role, viewers should also keep their eyes (and ears) peeled for a duet between the diva voices of Grande and Hudson.

"Everybody has great chemistry, so we're all here having fun," Hudson said. "I'm excited to sing with her. I'm a fan."

RELATED: 'Hairspray Live!' Finds Tracy Turnblad -- Meet the New Star!

Chenoweth, who Grande compared to a mom on set, explained how such powerful singers can play well on the same song.

"I think we just think about doing the part," she said. "We're all used to doing our separate kind of things, but now we're coming together and playing the show."

See how it all comes together when Hairspray Live! airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Related Articles