Sweet Potato Queens Musical, by Melissa Manchester, Sharon Vaughn and Rupert Holmes, Will Premiere in Houston

News   Sweet Potato Queens Musical, by Melissa Manchester, Sharon Vaughn and Rupert Holmes, Will Premiere in Houston
TUTS Underground, Theatre Under The Stars' alternative and contemporary series, has announced its 2015-16 season, which will run in Zilkha Hall at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes

TUTS' artistic director Bruce Lumpkin said in a statement, "This year, we continue to uphold and expand our original mission — to bring revolutionary, edgy, and affordable musicals to Houston. We want to enrich the local artistic community by continuing to produce relevant musical theatre, incubating new works and staging unique, pioneering shows which will set the scene for musical theatre of the future. I invite Houston to join the revolution."

The season will kick off with Bonnie & Clyde Oct. 1-4. Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll And Hyde, Civil War, Dracula), who was Tony-nominated for the show's score, will be actively engaged during the rehearsal period of this TUTS Underground production.

Striking 12, GrooveLily's holiday musical — based in part on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" — will follow, with performances running Dec. 17-20.

The world premiere of Sweet Potato Queens will run
 March 17-20, 2016. Sweet Potato Queens (SPQ) is loosely based on the life story of New York Times best-selling author and SPQ founder, Jill Conner Browne, and the organization's philosophy, which was born out of her need for some excitement and a new direction.

The Sweet Potato Queens is a women's organization based in Jackson, MS, that has 6,200 chapters in 37 countries. It involves a belief in "a sisterhood that promotes self-esteem and positive thinking, appealing to mostly middle-aged middle-class women. Each local chapter assumes its own theme and designs its own costumes." After its recent staged reading at TUTS Underground, Sweet Potato Queens will be fully staged and produced for the world premiere in March.

The musical is being developed in partnership with Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester (music), Oscar nominee and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Sharon Vaughn (lyrics) and Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (book).

Heathers The Musical, which was seen Off-Broadway last summer, will run
 April 28-May 1, 2016. It features music, lyrics and a book by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy and is based on the 1988 cult film "Heathers."

For more information, visit TUTS.com.

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