Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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"Don't Get Mad, Get MUSICAL!"

Ah, the musical! Nothing like it in the world, is there? And count me as a fan of the new musical from movie tradition. I don't understand the hate, truly. Look, My Fair Lady is the play Pygmalion with songs, Wicked is based off a novel, Rent is a modernization of La Boheme. Why is staging a film any different (or worse) than musicalizing a stage play? It's bizarre.

Anyway, after first hearing about in the summer of 2006, a musical I've long awaited is finally in existence! From the novel by Olivia Goldsmith, from the film starring Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn: THE FIRST WIVES CLUB: THE MUSICAL!!!

So happy am I. True, I was hoping I would be the one to bring one my favorite films to Broadway, but that's all right. I have plenty of other choices (Nixon, To Wong Foo..., Death on the Nile, etc.). But my God, the caliber of people participating in this is staggering! There's director Francesca Zambello, who directed the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid. The producers have had a hand in bringing Big River and The Full Monty to the stage. And holy crap, the ORIGINAL songs are written by Lamont Dozier and Brian and Edward Holland. You may know a few of the songs they've written. Like, oh, "Stop in the Name of Love" or "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" or "It's the Same Old Song" or my own personal favorite, "Come See About Me."

And this cast looks promising! Details are a little vague, but it looks as though Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler will be replaced by:

Tony Award Winner for Featured Actress in a Musical (Contact): Karen Ziemba (Curtains, Never Gonna Dance, Steel Pier) as Annie
Tony Award Nominee for Lead Actress in a Musical (Dreamgirls): Sheryl Lee Ralph (Thoroughly Modern Millie, TV's Moesha) as Elise
Tony Award Nominee for Featured Actress in a Musical (Falsettos): Barbara Walsh (Big, Company revival) as Brenda

I repeat: Moesha's stepmother is taking on the role originated by Goldie Hawn. How amazing is that?

The only downside I see so far is this: if it's all original, does that mean we won't be getting any Lesley Gore songs? Because if so, damn will I miss this:

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