Composer and arranger Ron Abel, according to the New York daily, is set to compile the jazz-era score with a few originals of his own in the mix. Chuck Seffan will write lyrics. Producers hope to present the musical on Broadway in 2009 after an out-of town-engagement in Chicago. The Daily News also reports that the show's producers have approached "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino, now making her Broadway debut in The Color Purple, about starring in the show.
American expatriate Ada "Bricktop" Smith was a 1920's Paris nightlife sensation, operating numerous clubs and opening her own, entitled Chez Bricktop. Noted for her red hair, freckles and signature cigars, Cole Porter was so taken with her talent, he wrote "Miss Otis Regrets" for her to perform. In addition to Porter, Smith counted among her friends F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Jazz legends such as Josephine Baker, Mabel Mercer and Duke Ellington were among her protégés.
Further details about the Bricktop project will be announced when composer Ron Abel is joined by Broadway performers Sally Mayes, Michele Lee, Lucie Arnaz, Valerie Pettiford and Billy Stritch at Birdland on July 15 and 16. Those in attendance can expect to hear music from the upcoming Bricktop-based musical.