Vanessa Hudgens to Star as Gigi in Broadway-Bound Musical Revamp

News   Vanessa Hudgens to Star as Gigi in Broadway-Bound Musical Revamp
 
"High School Musical" star Vanssa Hudgens will star in the title role of the Broadway-bound production of Gigi, featuring a fresh book by British playwright and Emmy-nominated screenwriter Heidi Thomas ("Upstairs Downstairs," "Call the Midwife").
Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens

Hudgens, who was part of a July New York City reading of Gigi, will star in the pre-Broadway premiere of the stage production that will play The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in early 2015 with Eric Schaeffer (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet) directing.

The Kennedy Center production runs Jan. 16-Feb. 12, 2015. Opening night is Jan. 29. Dates of a Broadway production to follow have not been announced. Josh Bergasse (On the Town, "Smash") will choreograph.

"From the moment we met Vanessa, we knew we found our Gigi," Schaeffer said in a statement. "She is smart, gorgeous, a wonderful singer and is so luminous on stage. You cannot take your eyes off of her."

Hudgens added, "I started performing in musicals from a young age, and it has always been my dream to be on Broadway. I cannot wait to get back on stage, singing and dancing these songs and living in Gigi's glamorous world."

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. Thomas has penned the new adaptation of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Oscar-winning film musical that was later adapted for the Broadway stage. The new production will feature "The Parisians" and "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight," which were dropped from the previous stage version, as well as four songs written and added to the 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."

Additional casting has not been announced. The recent summer reading included Tony winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) and Corey Cott (Newsies) that will also include Tony nominee Kate Burton (Hedda Gabler), Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) and Tony nominee Howard McGillin (The Phantom of the Opera) alongside Hudgens.

The score includes "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore," "The Night They Invented Champagne," "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight," "It's a Bore," "I Remember It Well," the Oscar-winning Best Song "Gigi" and more. Lerner penned lyrics, Loewe wrote the music. The 1958 M-G-M film was based on the 1951 Broadway play by Anita Loos, who drew from the work of novelist and short story writer Colette.

The new production is produced by Jenna Segal.

Tickets for the Kennedy Center run go on sale Sept. 22. Visit kennedy-center.org.

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