Beane, who was in London this past week (where the musical plays the Palladium), confirmed to Playbill.com that he is in negotiations with producers of the Alan Menken-Glenn Slater musical. He would replace original book writers Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, whose work is represented in the current London production.
A Tony Award nominee for his play The Little Dog Laughed and the book to the camp musical Xanadu, Beane would be another fresh addition to the Sister Act creative team, which has also enlisted Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks to stage the musical on Broadway. A Broadway opening has been set for April 20, 2011.
Sister Act opened in London in 2009 and is scheduled to conclude its Palladium run Oct. 30. Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment produce the musical based on the 1992 film of the same title (Goldberg famously starred).
The musical has music by Academy Award winner Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors) and lyrics by Slater (Love Never Dies, The Little Mermaid).
Members of the original London creative team who have been confirmed to repeat their work on Broadway include choreographer Anthony Van Laast, scenic designer Klara Zieglerova, costume designer Lez Brotherston, lighting designer Natasha Katz and sound designer Mick Potter. Michael Kosarin will serve as musical supervisor, with dance music arrangements by Mark Hummel, orchestrations by Doug Besterman and electronic music by Andy Barrett.
In addition to the Broadway run, a German production of Sister Act will bow in December, with productions also planned in Australia, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain in the coming months.
American actress Patina Renea Miller, who appeared in Hair at the Delacorte Theater in 2008, originated the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the musical adaptation of Sister Act in London. Whoopi Goldberg created the role in the film and also serves as a producer of the stage production. Goldberg also played a limited engagement as Mother Superior in the London run last summer.
According to producers, "When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but in doing so blows her cover. Soon the gang are giving chase, only to find themselves up against Deloris and the power of her new found Sister Hood."