The First Wives Club Musical Confirms 2015 Chicago Pre-Broadway Premiere

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30 Jun 2014

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A Broadway-aimed musical adaptation of the 1996 comedy "The First Wives Club" will premiere in Chicago next spring, prior to an anticipated Broadway arrival during the 2015-16 season, producers announced June 30. The musical will have a new book by Emmy nominee Linda Bloodworth Thomason ("Designing Women").

Playbill.com previously reported news of a return for the once Broadway-aimed musical, which 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.

Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will now direct the musical that is produced by Elizabeth Williams, Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert.

Thomason has replaced Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, Say Goodnight Gracie) as the book writer of the new adaptation of First Wives Club. The new script is based on the Olivia Goldsmith novel as well as the hit film and Holmes' earlier version.

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 blend of Holland-Dozier-Holland's magic with Simon Phillips and Linda Bloodworth Thomason's imaginations is a made-in-heaven marriage - that just so happens to be about divorce!" said originating producers Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert in a statement. "The First Wives Club remains one of the iconic commentaries on female empowerment," added producer Elizabeth Williams. "I'm so excited that such strong female characters will be presented on Broadway."

Casting is currently underway.

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.