According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC made the announcement during the Paley Center panel on Thursday (Oct. 27, 2016), saying they were going with the classic Broadway show as their holiday 2017 live musical primarily because Lopez really wanted to do it.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said, “She came to us and said, ‘I love this movie and I’d love to do it.’” Greenblatt pointed out that in Lopez’s Las Vegas show, she performs the song “Lot of Livin'” from the musical and would “absolutely” love to do it live.
Lopez said in a statement, “Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood and Bye Bye Birdie was one of my favorites. I’m proud to be a part of the NBC family with Shades of Blue and I thought it would be a blast to take on one of their big live musicals.”
The singer-actress-producer will star as Rosie, who, along with her sweetheart, songwriter-agent Albert Peterson, has to contend with screaming teens and their shocked parents when they come up with a plan. Send hip-thrusting rock ‘n’ roll star Conrad Birdie to the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, to give a lucky Sweet Apple lady “One Last Kiss” before being drafted into the Army. The story was inspired by Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957.
The original 1960 Broadway musical starred Dick van Dyke as Peterson and Chita Rivera as Rosie, and then turned into a big-screen hit in 1963 with van Dyke reprising his role, Janet Leigh as Rosie, and a young Ann-Margaret as the lucky girl Kim McAfee who gets kissed, launching the actress’ career.
Watch the trailer below!
Bye Bye Birdie will mark NBC’s fifth holiday live musical event. Hairspray, starring Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein, will air Dec. 7.