♦ This spring, Chicago’s Oriental Theatre will host the world premiere of Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on the 1990 Garry Marshall film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. The new musical features an original score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, with a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton. With direction and choreography by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, the show will star Samantha Barks as escort-for-hire Vivian Ward and Tony winner Steve Kazee as millionaire businessman Edward Lewis. Performances in Chicago begin Mar. 13, 2018 for a 5-week run prior to the show’s arrival on Broadway in the fall of 2018 at a Nederlander Theater to be announced.
♦ Paul Alexander Nolan will reprise his role as island bartender Tully in Escape to Margaritaville when the show arrives in New York following its pre-Broadway engagement at La Jolla Playhouse earlier this year. Joining Alexander will be La Jolla cast members Alison Luff, Lisa Howard, Rema Webb, Don Sparks and Andre Ward. Directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley, the new musical combines original and classic Jimmy Buffett songs, along with a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, to tell the story of a part-time bartender and singer who questions his breezy lifestyle after meeting a beautiful, career-minded tourist. Following additional dates this fall in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago, the show will begin performances at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre on Feb. 16, 2018, with an official opening set for Mar. 15.
♦ Two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser stars in All For One Theater’s upcoming production of Aaron Mark‘s new psychological horror play, Squeamish. According to the theater’s website, the solo play tells the story of “an Upper West Side psychoanalyst, a long-time recovering alcoholic, whose bloody quest for personal balance begins when she finds herself off her meds in the South Plains of Texas following her nephew’s suicide.” Mark’s other monologue plays include Empanada Loca and Another Medea. Directed by the author, the show begins performances Oct. 6 at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, with an official opening set for Oct. 16 and a run scheduled through Nov. 11.
♦ An Off-Broadway revival of Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, the 1996 musical created by late costume designer-playwright Crabtree and Mark Waldrop, begins previews on Oct. 6 at Stage 42, with Hollywood fashion designer Bob Mackie creating all-new costume designs for the show. With direction by Waldrop and choreography by Denis Jones, the show’s cast features Jordan Ahnquist, Taylor Crousure, Jacob Hoffman, Brian Charles Rooney and Frank Viveros. The original production of the show won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and OBIE awards and ran for almost two years at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. Official opening for the revival is Oct. 30.
♦ Grateful Dead alum Robert Hunter has contributed to a new musical called Red Roses, Green Gold, set to play Greenwich Village’s Minetta Lane Theatre beginning Oct. 11 – and featuring Hunter’s collaborations with the late Jerry Garcia. Directed and choreographed by Rachel Klein, the show features a book by Michael Norman Mann, with additional music by Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Greg Anton. Set in 1920’s Maryland, Red Roses, Green Gold tells the semi-fantastical, comedic tale of Jackson Jones and his family as they try to con and swindle their way from rags to riches. Official opening is Oct. 29 with a run scheduled through Dec. 17.
♦ Tony winner B.D. Wong and Drama Desk Award winner Wayne Barker are developing a stage musical adaptation of the 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus, which starred Richard Dreyfuss as an aspiring composer turned longtime high school music teacher who dreams of one day writing his own symphony. Wong will write the book and lyrics while Barker will write the music. With Wong directing, the piece will be developed with students from the musical-theater program at San Diego State University, with a full workshop production scheduled to take place there in December.
♦ IN BRIEF: War Paint, the Broadway musical about the rivalry between cosmetic divas Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, will close on Dec. 30 after 300 performances; The Playwrights Realm has announced the recipients of its 2017-18 writing fellowships: Isabelle D’Esposito, Christina Quintana, Sarah B. Mantell and Celine Song; Atlantic Theater Company has announced that Amy Staats will be their 2017–2018 playwright-in-residence; the live television adaptation of Rent will air on FOX Jan. 27, 2019 at 7 PM (with a West Coast taped delay); speaking of Rent, Tony winner Idina Menzel and Aaron Lohr, who shared the screen in the film version of the musical, were married on Sept. 22; The Drama Book Shop, currently located at 250 West 40th Street, will commemorate its 100th birthday with an all-day celebration Oct. 2; the 31st Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction raised $1,023,309 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, setting a new record for the event and passing the million-dollar mark for the first time.
Written by Richard Hart