Broadway-Bound Gotta Dance, Starring Lillias White, André De Shields and Georgia Engel, Bows in Chicago

News   Broadway-Bound Gotta Dance, Starring Lillias White, André De Shields and Georgia Engel, Bows in Chicago Gotta Dance, a new musical based on the acclaimed 2008 documentary of the same name about professional basketball’s first-ever aged 60-and-older dance team, premieres Dec. 13 at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.

The cast of <i>Gotta Dance</i>
The cast of Gotta Dance Photo by Matthew Murphy

Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke produce the musical that is directed and choreographed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell. The production is scheduled to open Dec. 28 and will continue through Jan. 10, 2016, before heading to Broadway in spring 2016.

New York dates and a theatre have not been announced.

Gotta Dance features a book by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), original music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf), lyrics by Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and additional music by late Tony and Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line). Composer Sklar completed the score after Mr. Hamlisch died in 2012.

The cast features Tony Award winner Lillias White, Tony Award nominee André De Shields, five-time Emmy Award nominee Georgia Engel, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn and stage and screen star Stefanie Powers are Joanna Jones (NBC’s “Sing Off”), Jonalyn Saxer (Honeymoon in Vegas), Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty (Gigi), Tracy Jai Edwards (Legally Blonde), Diane Findlay (Fish in the Dark), Lenora Nemetz (Gypsy), Kay Walbye (Urinetown), along with Alexander Aguilar, Adinah Alexander, Sydni Beaudoin, Holly Ann Butler, Paula Caselton, Ari Groover, Colby Lewis, Lance Roberts, Elise Santora, Austin Scott III and Virginia Ann Woodruff. Gotta Dance features a book by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), original music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf), lyrics by Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and additional music by late Tony and Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line).

According to press notes, "From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major NBA team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. It isn’t until they make the cut that they find out they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing — they are going to bring down the house with a style that’s entirely new to them: hip hop. Don’t miss this original Broadway-bound musical about a group of ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams as they battle pain, prejudice, self-doubt and each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20 thousand screaming fans."

The creative team reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including five-time Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (scenic design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (costume design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (lighting design), along with Nick Kenkel (co-choreography), four-time Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (sound design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (orchestrations), Charlie Alterman (musical director) and Telsey + Company (casting).

"The real-life senior dancers at the core of Gotta Dance simply blew me away," said producer Berinstein, who also produced and directed the 2008 documentary, in an earlier statement. "With heart, soul, gusto, guts and some hot dance moves…they refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer and, instead, overcame endless obstacles and misperceptions to realize their dreams. Aside from being so very cool...they are endlessly inspiring."

"Gotta Dance celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together,” added producer Bill Damaschke. "It gives me so much joy that the dream team of creative minds behind this musical adaptation crosses generations, mirroring the spirit and soul of the characters of the show. We are particularly excited to bring the show to Chicago – not only one of the nation’s preeminent breeding grounds for new theater works, but also home to some of the world’s most fervent basketball fans. Go Bulls!"

For tickets visit BroadwayInChicago.com.

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