The theatre kid from Salinas, CA, only had time for one major stage appearance in between screen gigs, but she finally opens on the Great White Way April 8. We look at the range of roles that have kept the versatile actress busy over the years.
Photo Special: See the Stage and Screen Roles That Have Readied "Theatre Kid" Vanessa Hudgens For Her Broadway Debut
Best-known for her break-out role as Gabriella Montez in Disney's "High School Musical," Hudgens also appeared in the Hollywood Bowl staging of Rent in 2010. The actress began her career in musical theatre, appearing in productions of Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King & I, The Music Man, Cinderella and Damn Yankees. Her screen work includes "Thirteen," "Thunderbirds," "Bandslam," "Spring Breakers" and "Gimme Shelter" among others.
The pre-Broadway engagement of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Oscar and Tony Award-winning film and stage musical began Jan. 16, prior to an official opening Jan. 29, in D.C. Read the reviews here.
Read the full story on why Hudgens has the "It Factor" for Gigi here. She is joined by Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza, Sister Act, Cinderella) as Mamita, Corey Cott (Newsies) as Gaston Lachaille, three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty (The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Footloose) as Aunt Alicia, two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes) as Honoré Lachaille and Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) as Liane d'Exelmans.
Rounding out the cast are Cameron Adams, Kathryn Boswell, Max Clayton, Madeleine Doherty, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Hannah Florence, Alison Jantzie, Brian Ogilvie, James Patterson, Justin Prescott, Jeffrey C. Sousa, Manny Stark, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Richard White, Amos Wolff and Ashley Yeater.
Gigi, with book and lyrics by Lerner and music by Loewe, features a new book adaptation by Emmy-nominated screenwriter Heidi Thomas ("Upstairs Downstairs," "Call the Midwife") and is choreographed by Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse (On the Town, "Smash") and directed by Eric Schaeffer (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet).
Scenic design is by Tony Award winner Derek McLane with costume design by five-time Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design by four-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, hair design by David Brian Brown and make-up design by Jon Carter.
James Moore is the musical director, John Miller is the music coordinator, and orchestrations are by August Eriksmoen. Vocal and incidental music arrangement is by Matt Aument with dance music arrangements by Sam Davis. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting, CSA. Production management is by Juniper Street Productions, and the production stage manager is Bonnie Panson.
Based on the 1944 novella by Colette, Gigi was first adapted for the Broadway stage by Anita Loos in 1951, with an unknown Audrey Hepburn in the title role; then, following their success with My Fair Lady, Lerner (screenplay and lyrics) and Loewe (music) adapted the material for the 1958 movie musical (directed by Vincente Minnelli), winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
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." This new adaptation of Gigi will feature all of the songs from the movie, including two songs, "The Parisians" and "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight," that were dropped from the previous stage version. The production also includes four songs written and added to the stage 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 will be produced on Broadway by Jenna Segal, Segal NYC Productions, Ilya Mikhailovic, Eion and Mia Hu, Darren P. Deverna/Jeremiah J. Harris and Merrie L. Davis. General management is by Foresight Theatrical.