Pop Diva Bio-Musicals are Bound for the Theatre Stage by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
Theatre producers are turning to some of pop music’s top divas for their latest musical projects. This month brought news of an upcoming Tina Turner bio-musical adding to reports of shows featuring the music of Whitney Houston, Cher, and Donna Summer.
Adrienne Warren, Tony Awards, New York, 2016. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.
Actress Adrienne Warren recently led a workshop in London of the Tina Turner show, now being called Tina. Playwright Katori Hall and Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Mamma Mia!, are working with Turner on the musical to open in London in 2018.
Actors’ Equity’s casting notice for a Cher bio-musical states the musical will represent Cher at different moments of her life. Staged readings start January 2017 in New York (please see our Cher article for more information – link below).
A workshop also in New York this year, with direction by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), featured three actresses playing the late Donna Summer, who died at age 63, at different stages of her life. Donna Summer’s husband Bruce Sudano will launch the show at La Jolla Playhouse November 2017. The show, based on the life of his late wife, will feature all of the disco queen’s greatest hits, with hopes taking the show the Broadway in 2018. Casting has yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, the stage adaptation of The Bodyguard, the 1992 film in which the late Whitney Houston, who passed away at age 48, made her movie debut, is on tour starring Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox in the United States. It debuted in 2012 on West End in London (please see our The Bodyguard article for more information – link below).
CHER Bio-Musical Headed for the Great White Way by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
The Bodyguard starring Deborah Cox U.S. premiere 2016-17 Season by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
Deborah Cox and Cher. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.
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Sources: The New York Times, BroadwayWorld, Actors’ Equity Association