Rumor Round-up: Pretty Woman, Tootsie & More
We've been so pre-occupied with the current Broadway Awards Season - one of the most competitive and unpredictable in recent memory - that we haven't even had much time to look ahead and get excited about the Broadway projects in development for a (potential) future opening on the Great White Way. We thought it was about time we had a quick round-up of some of those productions-in-the-works to whet your theatrical appetities! Fasten your seatbelts...
Let's start off with a "Pretty Woman... Walkin' down the street..." or across the stage before long, if rumors are true! According to Entertainment Weekly, two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, currently represented on Broadway by both Kinky Boots and On Your Feet!, has signed on to direct the musical adaptation of the 1990 Garry Marshall blockbuster and is eyeing a Broadway bow during the 2018-2019 season. The musical features a book by the late Garry Marshall himself, with a score by Bryan Adams, J.F. Lawton. and Jim Vallance. The movie was loosely based on the play Pygmalion and musical My Fair Lady and so the cycle continues with this future musical adaptation of the much-loved modern classic, which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
We're sticking with Jerry Mitchell now, as the popular director-choreographer seems to be as in-demand as ever! According to Forbes, Mitchell has also been in negotiations with eight-time Grammy Award winner Britney Spears' manager Larry Rudolph to bring a jukebox musical based on the back catelogue of Ms Spears to the Broadway stage. Unlike Mitchell's current Broadway musical On Your Feet!, which tells the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, the director has stated that this jukebox musical "would NOT be autobiographical." We'll keep you posted, Britney Fans!
The 1982 movie Tootsie, which starred Dustin Hoffman and earned an impressive ten Academy Award nominations, is getting a Broadway makeover, with an industry reading scheduled for June 8. The musical adaptation reportedly has Tony nominee Scott Ellis at the helm and features a book by Robert Horn and a score by David Yazbek, who will also be represented on the Great White Way next season by the transfer of hit off-Broadway musical The Band's Visit. In addition, Tony nominee Santino Fontana is rumored to be in the running to take on the lead role of Michael Dorsey (aka Dorothy Michaels), so famously portrayed on film by Hoffman.
It has also been reported that Dian Fossey’s 1983 novel Gorillas in the Mist, which was adapted into a Sigourney Weaver-led movie in 1988, is also currently undergoing a stage adaptation. Tony-winning producer Ryan Hugh Mackey is attached to the project, which has also enlisted the help of Jim Henson's Creature Shop to design the puppets which will be used to represent the gorillas on stage. During an interview with our affiliate partner Broadway.com, Mr Mackey stated that the stage adaptation would be based on the novel - rather than the film - but would have more emphasis on Dian herself, who was tragically murdered in 1985: “The play is completely reconceptualized. I think there’s a really beautiful story surrounding who Dian was. Her childhood adds a really unique backstory, and after her death, there is a whole other element.”
According to the New York Post, one of the hottest tickets in London town may be crossing the pond in the not-too-distant future. We're of course referring to the National Theatre's current smash hit revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The two-parter opened to rave reviews in London - check out our London Theatre Guide review HERE - and is directed by Marianne Elliot, who also helmed previous National Theatre Broadway transfers War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The London production stars Andrew Garfield (as Prior Walter), two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane (as Roy Cohn), Denise Gough (as Harper Pitt), James McArdle (as Louis Ironson) and Russell Tovey (as Joe Pitt). If you can't wait long enough to see whether the stars align for this possible transfer, then check out the NT Live cinema screenings in the US on July 20 (Part 1: Millennium Approaches) and July 27 (Part 2: Perestroika)!
We still "Believe" in the upcoming Cher: The Musical, as new details have emerged from a recent Equity casting notice. Choreographer Christopher Gattelli - currently represented on the Great White Way by War Paint - has been added to the creative team, which already includes Tony nominee Jason Moore as director and Rick Elice, who provides the book. The casting notice refers to the three leading roles as Babe, Lady and Star - which all represent the popular singer/actress at three different points in her career. As previously reported, a recent industry reading featured Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita and Jillian Mueller in those roles.
Last week, two industry readings were held at MTC Studios on May 23 and 24 for a musical adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Based on the 1955 novel by Patricia Highsmith and 1999 film adaptation by Anthony Minghella (which starred Jude Law, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman), the musical features music by Aaron Kenny and book and lyrics by Gregory Bonsignore. Drew Moerlein, Alex Wyse, Saycon Sengbloh, Lindsay Mendez, Lesli Margherita, Nate Miller, Andy Arena, Gillian Bell Weeks, Dallyn Brunch, Monte Howell, Joseph Redman and Natalie Weiss were all scheduled to participate in the readings. We will keep you posted with further developments on this intriguing psychological thriller!
And finally, just a little word on the previously reported Mean Girls musical! According to an Equity casting notice, it is looking likely that the Broadway production will begin previews around March 10 to 12, with rehearsals beginning on February 12. We can't wait to see the Queen Bee take Broadway!
I hope that has you all up to speed on all of the juicy rumors floating around the Great White Way at the moment! Until next time...