Following NBC’s Hairspray Live!, Lopez was cast in the lead role of Rose “Rosie” Alvarez, the secretary and patient girlfriend-hoping-to-be-fiancée of a frazzled songwriter and music agent, Albert Peterson. Her schedule, however, proved too jam-packed to fit the musical in this year alongside her role on Shades of Blue, her hosting and producing duties on World of Dance and performing in Las Vegas.
A source assures EW that NBC is “still very excited about the production.”
Harvey Fierstein, who starred in Hairspray and adapted the book for television, was announced to adapt Bye Bye Birdie for the NBC telecast.
“The role of Rosie onstage … is such a great role, and it got watered down a little bit in the movie version,” Lopez said during the Television Critics Association press tour in January. “She was Puerto Rican, and Albert, who she was with, was not marrying her [because] his mother did not like that she was Puerto Rican. There’s all these dynamics that were in the original play that didn’t make it into the movie.”
The superstar promised the adaptation would “push the envelope of how great these live television musicals can be.”
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A production team had previously been assembled for Bye Bye Birdie Live! with Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron executive producing. NBC then announced in mid-May that they were tackling Jesus Christ Superstar! as the network’s next live musical with creators Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Ric, and fellow producers Marc Platt, Zadan, and Meron.
“Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score,” Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, said.