The television program will last eight episodes and run in the last quarter of 2003, producer Ben Sprecher told Playbill On-Line Jan. 23. The winner will then go on to play the titular role in Miss Spectacular. The whole enterprise will have something of a meta quality, since Herman's show is actually about a woman who enters a talent contest in Las Vegas.
The production will take place at an as-yet-unnamed hotel. Tommy Tune will direct and the show will have three choreographers. The remaining actors will be found through traditional casting methods.
Herman told Playbill On-Line that he's excited about the search for a leading lady, and admits reality TV is a hot idea at the moment and will bring a spotlight to musical theatre.
"This is exactly what 'Star Search' and 'American Idol' are doing," Herman said. "We need to find two Miss Spectaculars. She should be a brand new face because it's a young girl, and somewhere in this great pool of talent that this country has, there are girls who would be perfect to do this. It's a very, very demanding role: She has to sing like an angel, she has to have a show voice and she has to be a comedienne — and she has to dance. She has to have a charisma and be attractive. It's a tall order. We're going to have a real search, and TV covering it."
The show was once slated for a lavish hotel production by Steve Wynn, but when his properties changed hands, Herman's work got lost in the shuffle. Miss Spectacular — which Herman told Playbill On-Line he owns outright — is about a star-struck Kansas girl named Sarah Jane Hotchkiss who has fantasies about being a glamorous Vegas showgirl, and hoofs it to Nevada to compete in a contest. Her dismayed boyfriend pursues her. It all ends very nicely, and very spectacularly, in a desert wedding chapel. The score, released on a studio-recording CD recently, is full of bouncy show tunes from the man who gave us Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles.