Prolific Broadway composer Alan Menken has reached deep into his trunk for his next project—Kicks: The Showgirl Musical, a show he began working on three decades ago.
According to The New York Post, the show, about an Oklahoma girl who comes to New York with dreams of making the corps of the Roxyettes (a precision dance team modeled on Radio City Music Hall's The Rockettes) has had a workshop and may be on track for a full production with the producer of Tony-winner Once.
With lyrics by Tom Eyen (Dreamgirls), Kicks had an industry reading in 1985, between Menken's Off-Broadway hit Little Shop of Horrors and his first Disney film The Little Mermaid. The show had a problematic book by the late Eyen, who also directed the reading. Kicks went no further despite having what the Post called, “one of the best scores you’ve never heard.”
One of the songs from the score, “These Are the Good Times” has been covered by cabaret singers, notably Laurie Beechman.
Menken told the paper that the show “had elements of A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls and 42nd Street.”
Producer John Hart (Once) is guiding the new incarnation. After financing a workshop and seeing problems with Act II, he is in negotiations downtown performance artist Salty Brine to rewrite the libretto.
Menken told the Post he is happy about the show's prospects. “It’s the theatrical equivalent of a Robert Altman film.... It’s got so much wonderful stuff in it — shifting rhythms, movement, backstage stories, the energy of New York and show business of a certain era, and some wonderful songs. It’s so indicative of the ’70s and ’80s. The challenge will be to sew all those threads into something coherent.”
The Rockettes are currently featured in Radio City's New York Spectacular: