Richard Jay-Alexander Will Direct New O'Donnell-Lauper Project

News   Richard Jay-Alexander Will Direct New O'Donnell-Lauper Project Richard Jay-Alexander will direct Find Me, the new musical collaboration between Rosie O'Donnell and Cyndi Lauper, the director confirmed.

Find Me is based on O'Donnell's best-selling book of the same name. Playbill On-Line reported in April 2003 that the two-character play with music will star O'Donnell and another actress yet-to-be named. Foxnews.com reported at the time that "Lauper is putting together a bunch of her lesser known songs and new works as well to underscore O'Donnell's vision."

"It's quite emotional and an amazing story," Jay-Alexander told Playbill On Line. "Many people are under the misconception that this is a 'coming out' piece.  It's not.  It's a true story that just seems unbelievable and one of those 'truth is stranger than fiction' tales.  Rosie as an actress in this piece, and Cyndi's music and presence on stage with her, really excites me."

John McDaniel will serve as musical director for the production.

Jay-Alexander has served in various capacities over his long career. He was a performer in 1979's Zoot Suit and an actor and assistant stage manager in 1980's Amadeus. He was executive producer of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Five Guys Named Moe, and was also associate director on the first and third. He's also active in the concert world, having helmed Bernadette Peters' Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall concerts.

Lauper will be the second 1980s New Wave icon with whom O'Donnell has worked on a theatre project (after Boy George, the composer and star of Taboo). The willfully quirky, cartoon-voiced, Queens-born Lauper hit the big time in 1983 with her debut album, "She's So Unusual." The LP spawned the hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "She-Bop" and "All Through the Night," and transformed Lauper into a sensation of the New Wave-MTV era. Her star faded with the decade, although she has continued to record, recently releasing "At Last," an album of standards. In the summer of 2001, Lauper starred in a brief run of David Henry Hwang's new musical Largo as part of New York Stage and Film's summer season at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre in Poughkeepsie, NY. Inspired by Dvorak's "New World Symphony," the theatrical venture mixed "blues, rock and the voices of our musical ancestors" to meditate on our nation's heritage.