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Second Try for 'First Wives Club': Musical Adaptation on Tap for Chicago Pre-Broadway Tryout

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Jun 30, 2014 03:43 PM EDT

For the second time, a musical adaptation of the hit 1996 film The First Wives Club based on Olivia Goldsmith's book is aiming for Broadway.

The show features a score by legendary Motown hitmakers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, and a new book by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, creator of the long-running TV sitcom Designing Women.

Simon Phillips, who helmed the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Broadway musical and the original Melbourne production of Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera sequel, will direct.

An earlier version of The First Wives Club, with a book by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains), premiered in 2009 at San Diego's Old Globe, but did not transfer to Broadway. Bloodworth-Thomason has based her new script on Holmes's earlier one, the original novel and the Paramount movie.

The film's all-star cast centered on Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton as three divorced women seeking revenge on ex-husbands who had left them for younger brides. Directed by Hugh Wilson, it received one Academy Award nomination, for Marc Shaiman's original score, and spawned a soundtrack album featuring Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and Martha Wash--and a recording of "Love is on the Way" by none other than Billy Porter, today the Tony-winning star of Kinky Boots.

Casting is underway for a spring 2015 Chicago tryout. Producers hope to open on Broadway in the 2015-16 season.

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Tagsbroadway, First Wives Club, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Chicago, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Designing Women, Lamont-Dozier-Holland, Billy Porter, Broadway Musical