Jennifer Lopez to star in and executive produce 'Bye Bye Birdie Live!' holiday musical for NBC
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/28/2016
Jennifer Lopez will be starring in and executive producing a live 2017 holiday production of the celebrated Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie on NBC next year.
NBC has announced Bye Bye Birdie Live! will feature Lopez in the iconic role of "Rosie," the savvy sweetheart of songwriter and agent Albert Peterson.
"Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood and Bye Bye Birdie was one of my favorites," Lopez said in a statement. "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 musical is set in the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio at the height of rock and roll when music heartthrob and rule-breaker Conrad Birdie looks to give one lucky lady a kiss before being drafted into the Army.
Lopez will be executive producing the live musical for NBC along with her producing partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina as well as Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who executive produced each of NBC's prior live productions: The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live!.
Zadan and Meron are also behind the network's upcoming December 7, 2016 production of Hairspray Live!, which will feature Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough.
Tony-Award winner Harvey Fierstein will be writing the television adaptation for Bye Bye Birdie Live!. He wrote the teleplay for Hairspray Live! and will also be co-starring in that production.
"To have a superstar like Jennifer Lopez starring in this classic show, which every high school in America has done, will ensure that our holiday musicals continue to be must-see events for the whole family," NBC executive Robert Greenblatt said in a statement.
"It was her idea to take on this classic singing and dancing role made famous by the legendary Chita Rivera, and we are so happy to oblige! This show has delighted audiences for generations with classic songs that include 'Put on a Happy Face' and 'A Lot of Livin' to Do,' and this will be an extravagant production built around this big star."
NBC's Bye Bye Birdie Live! will be based on the 1960 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that starred Dick Van Dyke as Albert Peterson. Bye Bye Birdie was also a 1963 Golden Globe-nominated film. The story was inspired by the popularity of Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957.
Lopez served as a judge on American Idol from Seasons 10-11 and 13-15, when the show wrapped.
The singer and actress is currently performing in a Las Vegas, 40-show residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino titled "Jennifer Lopez: All I Have," which launched in January. In addition to starring on Shades of Blue, which was renewed for a second season, she will also be a judge and executive producer on NBC's new upcoming World of Dance reality competition.