Producers of Musical Vanities Drop February 2009 Broadway Plan, Aim for Future

News   Producers of Musical Vanities Drop February 2009 Broadway Plan, Aim for Future The three cheerleaders of Vanities, who lived through inflation and recession of the 1970s, are now victims of the 21st century economy. The musical by librettist Jack Heifner and composer-lyricist David Kirshenbaum will not arrive on Broadway this winter, after all.
Anneliese van der Pol in Vanities
Anneliese van der Pol in Vanities Photo by Craig Schwartz

The producers announced Dec. 5 that the Broadway production will be postponed, due to the economic climate.

Producer Sue Frost told Playbill.com, "The show is too important and too valuable to risk in this volatile economic climate. We believe is has an enormous future life, and we want to give it every chance it has to succeed."

The show's commercial life will be rescheduled to "later this season" and a new plan is expected to be announced soon.

"We're a victim of history, and the show will go on, and we are regrouping," Frost said.

Vanities, A New Musical, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey, was previously announced to play Broadway's Lyceum Theatre starting Feb. 2, 2009, toward a Feb. 26 opening. The musical version of Heifner's wildly popular '70s play about Texas cheerleaders who come of age between the 1960s and 1980s was to feature Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Side Show) as Mary, Sarah Stiles (Avenue Q, …Spelling Bee) as Joanne and Anneliese van der Pol (Beauty and the Beast, TV's "That's So Raven") as Kathy. Dan Knechtges (…Spelling Bee, Xanadu, 110 in the Shade) was to be responsible for musical staging.

Here's how the three-actress show is billed: "Vanities, a New Musical, spans the turbulent '60s through the late '80s and explores how important friends are as one faces life's defining moments: growing up, getting older and getting over it. Vanities is a funny and poignant look at women who discover that, even in 30 years of rapidly changing times, the one thing they can rely on is each other."

Vanities' Broadway producers are Junkyard Dog Productions and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, in association with Demos Bizar Entertainment.

Vanities, A New Musical was originally produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, in the summer of 2006. The critically acclaimed production was awarded two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical Production and Best Original Score, and was also showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals. The musical was recently produced by Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, CA) Aug. 22-Sept. 28, 2008, with the Broadway cast trio.

Composer-lyricist Kirshenbaum is known for the Off-Broadway musicals Summer of '42 and Party Come Here.

The creative team includes set designer Anna Louizos (In the Heights, Irving Berlin's White Christmas), costume designer Joe Aulisi, lighting designer Paul Miller (Legally Blonde), sound designer Tony Meola (Wicked), music director Carmel Dean (…Spelling Bee) and orchestrator Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby).

For more information visit the show's website at www.VanitiesTheMusical.com.

Sarah Stiles, Anneliese van der Pol and Lauren Kennedy in <i>Vanities</i>
Sarah Stiles, Anneliese van der Pol and Lauren Kennedy in Vanities Photo by Craig Schwartz