“First Wives Club” Musical Getting A Second Life, Heading To Broadway

first_wives_club_xl_02--film-A[1]The First Wives Club, the camptastic 1996 comedy starring Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn, is making its way to Broadway as a musical with a book by Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and music by Motown songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland.

Olivia Goldsmith’s 1992 novel about a trio of divorcées who seek revenge on their philandering ex-husbands was already made into a musical in 2009,  with a book by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood),but that version fizzled before hitting the Great White Way.

“One of the reasons I agreed to do it was the feisty feminist, ’Designing Women’ side that Olivier created with her book,” said Bloodworth Thomason, who reveals she was given the freedom to tear up the old script and start over.  “They said, ’Write whatever you want.’ So I’ve just had a ball. You’re going to hear a lot of different dialogue, and there will be some new characters in it. It’s a whole new ballgame.”

The new First Wives Club musical is expected to debut at Chicago’s Oriental Theater next spring, before heading to New York in time for the 2015-2016 Broadway season.

While no casting decisions have been announced, Audra McDonald, Sherie Rene Scott and Lili Taylor are set to play the leads in a benefit reading of the First Wives Club screenplay next week.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
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