GIGI will be directed by Eric Schaeffer (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet), in a re-envisioned adaptation by British playwright and BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated screenwriter Heidi Thomas (“Call the Midwife,” “Cranford,” “Upstairs, Downstairs”). Joshua Bergasse (On the Town, “Smash”) will choreograph the production.
GIGI will play a pre-Broadway engagement in the Eisenhower Theater at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (David M. Rubenstein, chairman, Deborah F. Rutter, president) in Washington, D.C. from January 16-February 12, 2015. Opening night is January 29, 2015. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, September 22 at 10:00 AM to Kennedy Center Members and on Wednesday, October 1 at 10:00 AM to the general public. Visit www.kennedy-center.org for further details. GIGI will open on Broadway in 2015 following the Kennedy Center engagement.
Hudgens played the role of Gigi in recent readings in New York City. “From the moment we met Vanessa, we knew we found our Gigi,” director Schaeffer commented. “She is smart, gorgeous, a wonderful singer and is so luminous on stage. You cannot take your eyes off of her.”
“I started performing in musicals from a young age, and it has always been my dream to be on Broadway,” Hudgens said. “I cannot wait to get back on stage, singing and dancing these songs and living in GIGI’s glamorous world.”
“I have been living with Colette’s feisty, elegant, feline Gigi in my imagination for a long time now - and in Vanessa Hudgens, she is finally made flesh,” said Heidi Thomas, who has written the book adaptation.
“We absolutely fell in love with Vanessa and we know that audiences will too,” said producer Jenna Segal. “She has a huge worldwide following, and it’s easy to understand why, once you see her on stage. She just has that special something, and we’re thrilled to have her with us to bring our new GIGI to life.”
A California native, Vanessa Hudgens began her career in musical theatre at the age of eight, performing in productions of Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King & I, The Music Man, Cinderella and Damn Yankees. She made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwick’s Thirteen, starring Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood, and co-starred in the action film, Thunderbirds. She is best known for her role as Gabriella Montez in Disney Channel’s breakaway hit, “High School Musical” and its follow up films, “High School Musical 2” and the theatrical release, High School Musical 3: Senior Year. She followed her “High School Musical” success with the critically acclaimed Bandslam, as well as Beastly and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Recent credits include Frozen Ground, directed by Scott Walker, Spring Breakers, opposite James Franco and Selena Gomez and directed by Harmony Korine, and Gimme Shelter, directed by Ron Krauss. In 2010, she won the ShoWest Award for “Female Star of Tomorrow” and the Trendsetter Award at the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards.
Additional casting and creative team will be announced in coming weeks.
Based on the 1944 novel by Colette, GIGI was first adapted for the Broadway stage in 1951 by Anita Loos, with an unknown Audrey Hepburn in the title role; then, following their success with My Fair Lady, the team of Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) adapted the material for the 1958 movie musical, winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film, directed byVincente Minnelli, is widely considered the last great MGM movie musical, and is beloved for its wit, charm and sumptuous costume and production design. GIGI includes such numbers as “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” “I Remember It Well” “The Night They Invented Champagne” and the Oscar-winning title song, “Gigi”. GIGI also won the Tony Award for Best Score in 1974.
This new adaptation of GIGI will feature the songs from the movie, including “The Parisians” and “Say a Prayer for Me Tonight,” which were dropped from the previous stage version, as well as four songs written and added to the score by Lerner and Loewe in 1973, “Paris is Paris Again,” “I Never Want to Go Home Again,” “The Contract,” and “In This Wide, Wide World.”
GIGI is produced by Jenna Segal. General management is by Foresight Theatrical.
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