Whoopi Goldberg Joins Producing Team of Bricktop Musical

News   Whoopi Goldberg Joins Producing Team of Bricktop Musical
Whoopi Goldberg has joined forces with producers Paul Lambert and Jonas Neilson to bring a new musical about Ada "Bricktop" Smith to Broadway.
Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg

As previously reported, composer Ron Abel and Chuck Steffan have penned the score for the new musical, which follows the life of the 1920s performer and Paris nightclub owner.

Lambert and Nielsen, who also serve as producers for the Broadway-bound musical First Wives Club, as well as Goldberg, were on hand at the March 24 Musical Mondays Actors Fund Benefit Concert at Los Angeles' Pantages Theater, where Goldberg's involvement in the project was announced.

At the benefit, original Dreamgirls star Loretta Devine performed two new songs from the musical — the full title is Bricktop – Queen of the Night — including "A Place Of My Own" and "Queen Of The Night." Abel, an established arranger, will incorporate standards and original songs into the score of Bricktop.

The Daily News previously reported that producers hope to present the musical on Broadway in 2009 after an intended out-of town-engagement in Chicago. Earlier reports stated that the show's producers had approached "American Idol" winner and Broadway's The Color Purple star Fantasia Barrino about starring as the late Bricktop.

American expatriate Ada "Bricktop" Smith was a 1920s Paris nightlife sensation, operating numerous clubs and opening her own — Chez Bricktop. She was noted for her red hair, freckles and signature cigars. Cole Porter was so taken with her talent, he wrote "Miss Otis Regrets" for her to perform. In addition to Porter, Smith counted among her friends F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Jazz legends such as Josephine Baker, Mabel Mercer and Duke Ellington were among her protégés. An Academy Award-winning actress, Whoopi Goldberg has appeared on Broadway in Whoopi, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (which she co-produced). She was also a producer of Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie. She currently serves as a co-host of the daytime talk show "The View."

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