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Broadway-bound musical Gotta Dance becomes Half Time

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Producers Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke have announced that their Broadway-bound new musical comedy, formerly known as Gotta Dance, has a new title - Half Time.

They commented:

"We are thrilled with our new title Half Time and feel it far better captures the story and spirit of the show that came together during our premiere in Chicago. We are so excited for theatergoers on Broadway to experience the heart, humor and joy of Half Time, as can only be found in a Jerry Mitchell production!"
After its successful pre-Broadway tryout at Broadway in Chicago's Bank of America Theater in December 2015 and January 2016, the production will now open with its new title at a yet-to-be-confirmed theatre in Spring 2017.

In other news, it was announced that singer, songwriter and music producer Ester Dean has joined the creative team and collaborated on a new finale number with composer Matthew Sklar and lyricist Nell Benjamin. Ms Dean is perhaps best known for her work on the "Pitch Perfect" movie franchise, as well as co-writing songs for the likes of Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, and Kelly Clarkson.

Director/Choreographer Jerry Mitchell released the following statement:

"It is such a pleasure to have Ester Dean join our team. She has produced some of the biggest and best contemporary pop tunes that always keep us moving. Now, together with Matt Sklar and Nell Benjamin, this team will have you dancing up the aisle, into Times Square and all the way home!"
Half Time features a book by Tony nominee Chad Beguelin and Tony winner Bob Martin, music by Tony and Emmy nominee Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Tony nominee Nell Benjamin, with additional music by Marvin Hamlisch.

Synopsis: "One remarkable dance team. One big chance. One small twist...you've got to be over 60. The musical comedy is based on a true story of ten ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. Only after making the cut do they learn they won't be dancing tap, salsa or swing - instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip hop.
Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers - and the young coaches who inspire them along the way - as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes, and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it's not the end of the game—it's Half Time."

The creative team behind Half Time features Nick Kenkel (as co-choreographer), musical direction by Charlie Alterman, orchestrations by Tony winner Larry Hochman, scenic design by five-time Tony nominee David Rockwell, costume design by Tony winner Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Tony winner Kenneth Posner, and sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski.

Although the Broadway cast has yet to be confirmed, the original Chicago cast included Tony nominee André De Shields, five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel, Stefanie Powers, Tony winner Lillias White, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Joanna Jones, Nancy Ticotin, Alexander Aguilar, Adinah Alexander, Sydni Beaudoin, Holly Ann Butler, Paula Caselton, Murphy Cross, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Ari Groover, Colby Lewis, Lenora Nemetz, Lance Roberts, Elise Santora, Jonalyn Saxer, Austin Scott III, Kay Walbye, and Virginia Ann Woodruff.

Exact dates, venue and casting information for the Broaadway engagement will be announced at a later date.

- by Tom Millward

Ester Dean

Originally published on

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