First Wives Club Musical Eyes Broadway Run

By Adam Hetrick
04 Jun 2014

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The once Broadway-aimed musical First Wives Club is making another go at a Main Stem premiere according to an Equity casting notice. The production will play a pre-Broadway Chicago run next spring prior to a fall 2015 New York arrival.

The First Wives Club features a score by Motown hit-makers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, the threesome who created hits for Martha and The Vandellas, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and The Supremes.

The musical had its first pre-Broadway premiere in 2009 at The Old Globe in San Diego with director Francesca Zambello (The Little Mermaid) at the helm. A Broadway run was never announced, and Zambello withdrew from the production team shortly after the conclusion of the musical's Old Globe premiere.

At the time, producers stated that they remained committed to bringing The First Wives Club to Broadway and would announce future plans for the musical at a later date.



According to the Equity casting notice, Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) is now attached to direct the musical that is produced by Elizabeth Williams, John Frost, Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert.

The First Wives Club will have a book by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, Say Goodnight Gracie), who penned the Old Globe premiere, as well as Emmy nominee Linda Bloodworth Thomason ("Designing Women"), who has been newly added to the creative team. David Connolly will choreograph.

The First Wives Club will premiere at Chicago's Oriental Theatre beginning Feb. 16, 2015.

An official announcement of the new production has not been made.

The Old Globe cast featured Tony nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph (Dreamgirls, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Elyse, Tony nominee Barbara Walsh (Company, Hairspray) as Brenda and Tony winner Karen Ziemba (Bullets Over Broadway, Contact, Curtains!) as Annie.

The popular 1996 Paramount film "The First Wives Club" was based on Olivia Goldsmith's novel and featured a screenplay by Robert Harling. The motion picture grossed over $130 million and starred Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.