Pop star Paula Abdul will find her next job not on the concert stage, but on the Broadway stage. As first announced by the singer Sept. 30 on the TV talk show "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," Abdul has signed on to star in the title role of a new Broadway-bound revival of the Cy Coleman-Neil Simon-Dorothy Fields musical Sweet Charity. The show will begin as a tour and make its way to Broadway sometime during the 1999-2000 season, according to a spokesman in Coleman's office (Oct. 1). Abdul will also choreograph the entire show, while Wayne Cilento will direct, spokesperson Susan Weaving told Playbill On-Line. No other stars have been named for the production, and the tour schedule is not yet available. Bob Young, who is producing, was not available for comment.
Abdul, who got her start as an L.A. Lakers cheerleader, had a string of hits in the late '80s and early '90s, including "Forever Your Girl," "Cold Hearted Snake," "Straight Up," and "Rush." Apart from music videos and commercials, she possesses few acting credits, though she has choreographed several films, including "The Doors," "Big," and "Coming to America."
Cilento is known for his choreography of the Broadway shows The Who's Tommy , How to Succeed... and Dream.
Sweet Charity contains such well-known songs as "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," and "Rhythm of Life." It premiered in 1966 at the Palace Theatre with Gwen Verdon in the title role under the direction of Bob Fosse. Charity was later made into a movie starring Shirley MacLaine with Fosse again directing.
-- By Robert Simonson