Deborah Gibson is more known for belting on Broadway than composing for the stage, but the former pop singer-songwriter hopes to change that with her new musical, Skirts. The 1960s-set tuner, with an original book by screenwriters Hilary Carlip and Kate Ford, and music and lyrics by Gibson, is aiming for a reading in May.
Skirts is the story of a group of girls growing up in the Bronx in 1964. "It [combines] all the elements of the great Neil Simon plays with pop musicals like Grease! or the 'Dirty Dancing' film. It's very dynamic and very soulful," Gibson said.
Skirts was originally a screenplay, which was set to have starred Gibson if Columbia had greenlighted the film. But when Sony took over the motion picture studio, "Skirts" disappeared from its list of future projects. Gibson, however, couldn't forget the film and decided to turn it into a musical. The plot of the stage musical is apparently different from the motion picture project.
Gibson's musical theatre work includes Broadway's Beauty and the Beast and Les Misérables, national tours of Grease!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cinderella as well as the Paper Mill Playhouse's Gypsy. Children of the 1980s remember her for her bubble-gum pop records, "Out of the Blue" and "Electric Youth," which included her self-penned hits "Only in My Dreams" and "Lost in Your Eyes."
Keeping with her '80s icon role, Gibson will soon make an appearance on "That 80's Show." —By Christine Ehren