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Who Should Play Motormouth Maybelle for Hairspray Live

Dear NBC,

We see you NBC. You have a taste for that live theater again don’t you. We’re not mad.

And now that you have kinda announced yet another spectacular live broadcast, this time, “Hairspray,” we are all abuzz. We feel we need to make a suggestion.

First off! Good choice! This musical,set in 1962 Baltimore, is light with enough emotional and political weight to get people’s attention. And the productions dealing with racial injustice will be interesting to see on the small screen.

Having said all that, we feel we need to make a suggestion.

Please, Please, Please Put Jenifer Lewis in as “Motormouth Maybelle.” Here are our top 5 reasons why.

1. She already played the role on Broadway in 2008.

2. Who is Jackie Washington? If you have to ask this question you have not watched the absolutely laugh out loud hilarious comedy “Jackie’s Back“. This move was like a comedic primer for actresses. Her over the top delivery is so well placed here. You are laughing from beginning to end, and proving that Ms. Lewis has the gravitas to take any role and make it her own.

3. If you watch Black-ish then you have yet another reason for why she is a comic genius. Her one-liners are sometimes better than an entire episode.

4. Jenifer is a wonderful singer in her own right.

5. Finally, Ms. Lewis is unpredictable live. I saw her at an event in New York, and she had people laughing even as she won an award for her career. Her sole goal seems to be to make us laugh, and she would be perfect on that stage in front of a live audience.

So go on NBC. Keep churning out the musicals, but don’t forget the right talent can make or break it. And we are betting that Jennifer Lewis would be a home run on any stage especially as Motormouth Maybelle.


A Few Concerned Theater Geeks

Written By


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