An early release for the upcoming movie states it will be an "inside account of the celebrated, complex, passionate and tumultuous relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz... [who] enthralled American audiences who couldn’t get enough of the fiery redhead or her sexy Cuban husband. But off camera, the situation couldn’t have been less comedic. Backstage battles, oversized egos and the demands of phenomenal success undermined what was once a storybook romance." In "Redhead" — not to be confused with the musical of the same name — LaChanze will star as Ball's housekeeper who was a former dancer. The creative team behind the movie wanted someone with musical ability to fill the role (LaChanze is a veteran of such musicals as Once on This Island and Ragtime). The film — under executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Martin & Lewis," "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," "Annie," "Cinderella") — will focus on the domestic life of the legendary couple of the "I Love Lucy" television series.
LaChanze was involved with the recent workshop of the new Michael John LaChiusa musical Little Fish, set to debut at the Second Stage Theatre. The actress was expected to stay with the production until she was offered the major role in "Redhead." Her Broadway credits include Ragtime, Company and Once On This Island. Off-Broadway credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin and The Vagina Monologues. She's expected to be one of the leads in an upcoming workshop of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's new musical, based on a novel called "Dessa Rose."
No official airdates have been confirmed for "Redhead," but it is expected for 2003. Other casting is still to be completed; the film is in pre-production.