Jerry Mitchell to Direct London Reading of BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER: THE MUSICAL
But I'm a Cheerleader: The Musical, with book and lyrics by Bill Augustin and music by Andrew Abrams, based on the 1999 Lionsgate cult motion picture, will receive its first London presentation in the form of an exploratory reading on Friday 6 December 2013 directed by Jerry Mitchell, it was announced today.
But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical is the story of Megan, an all-American high school cheerleader who seems to have it all; she's popular, pretty, intelligent, has a football player boyfriend and lives the perfect high school life. But that's all about to change! Her friends and family suspect Megan is a lesbian, and after staging an intervention, send her packing to the 'True Directions' rehabilitation camp to put her on the straight and narrow. Here, under the strict tutelage of headmistress Mary Brown, Megan meets Graham, a sexy tomboy who shows her exactly what her 'true direction' is. Hilarious, cheeky and one of a kind, But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musicalis a quirky coming-of-age comedy about sexual awakening and staying true to who you are.
The London reading will be led by Tony Award® Nominated Director and Winning Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, whose recent work includes the Broadway productions of Kinky Boots (Tony Award Winner for Best Choreography), La Cage aux Folles (Tony Award Winner for Best Choreography), Legally Blonde and Hairspray. Jerry will also direct and choreograph the forthcoming West End production ofDirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Jerry Mitchell said today: "But I'm a Cheerleader is an important, fun and infectious new musical about being who you are and never being afraid of that truth. I can't wait to tell this story."
The London reading cast features 3-time Olivier Award-nominee Hannah Waddingham (A Little Night Music, The Wizard of Oz andSpamalot, West End), Bronté Barbé(Hairspray, Kuala Lumpur), Maria Coyne (The Rocky Horror Show, UK Tour), Andy Conaghan (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, West End), Emma Bateman (Legally Blonde, West End), Adrian Hansel (Hairspray, West End),Shaun Rennie (Cats, International Tour), Philip Labey (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Kensington Gardens), Carly Mercedes Dyer (Rock of Ages, Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage and Chicago, West End), Ian Knauer (Mamma Mia!, Broadway),Nicolas Colicos (The Bodyguard and Sister Act, West End), Michael O'Connor (Once, West End), Helen Walsh (Candide, The Menier Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, Regents Park), Jamie Ward (LES MISERABLES, West End), Gary Wood (A Chorus Line andWicked, West End), Ricky Schroeder (Naked Boys Singing, Off-Broadway), Belinda Wollaston (Jekyll and Hyde, International Tour, Dr Zhivago, Australia), Charlotte Harwood (Loserville, Legally Blonde and Flashdance, West End), Michelle Francis (Wicked and Shrek, West End), Jamie Muscato (The Light Princess, National Theatre and Rock of Ages, West End) and Caroline Rodgers (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Broadway Theatre, London).
The 1999 Lionsgate motion picture had a story by Jamie Babbit, a screenplay by Brian Wayne Peterson and was directed by Jamie Babbit. The cast featured RuPaul Charles, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Cathy Moriarty, and Michele Williams.
But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical has a book and lyrics by Bill Augustin, music by Andrew Abrams and is produced, by special arrangement with Lionsgate®, by Crow and Elk Productions and Adam Bialow, producer and Lionsgate's Consultant for Theatrical Stage Productions. The London reading will feature musical direction by Richard John.
A developmental workshop of the musical had a sold-out run at New York Musical Theatre Festival,receiving rave reviews from critics and the Audience Award for Best New Musical.
Crow and Elk Productions said today: "Bill Augustin's book and Andrew Abrams's score have captured an energetic, and hilariously beautiful story that needs to be shared, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to produce this musical."
Additionally Crow and Elk Productions said "Adam Bialow has and continues to champion Bill Augustin and Andy Abrams' musical reworking of the cult film But I'm A Cheerleader. Bialow has been involved in the musical's development since its birth at New York Musical Theatre Festival and has been integral to the process of bringing But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical to London."
"I have been a tremendous fan of this property for many years, because it has always defined the quirky, provocative and highly original sensibility that lies at the heart of the Lionsgate brand," said Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns.
Crow and Elk Productions is a theatrical Production Company that provides a commercial platform for new works with a focus on musical theatre. Run by female producing duo Skye Crawford and Hillary Elk, Crow and Elk's producing credits include an open reading of Craig Christie's Villainy, A New Musical, The Craig Christie Songbook and John Bucchino and Friends, all at the St. James Theatre Studio. Work currently in development includes the UK premiere of the musical Only Heaven Knows by Alex Harding (Blood and Honour, Double Exposure) and the world premiere of Mister Lowry by Graham Warrener (Cissie and Ada: A Hysterical Rectomy). Skye Crawford and Hillary Elk jointly have over 20 years experience in the theatre industry prior to forming Crow and Elk Productions.www.crowandelk.com
Adam Bialow, Producer and Lionsgate's Consultant for Theatrical Stage Productions, is a consultant for United Kingdom and United States entertainment companies and previously held executive positions with Lionsgate and Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of Shine Group (a 21st Century Fox company), in the areas of theatrical stage productions and business and legal affairs. His consulting for Lionsgate in the area of theatrical stage productions also includes Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage (West End, U.S. and U.K. Tours and other productions worldwide).
Bill Augustin (Book and Lyrics) graduated from NYU with a BFA in Drama, and it was here he wrote his first musical Prime Time. He is also a graduate of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop where he met composer Andrew Abrams and together they developed But I'm a Cheerleader: The Musical. 'Cheerleader' was a finalist for the Jerry Bock Award and won the Audience Award for "Best Musical" at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival. He has also written for Raw Impressions and various cabarets, and has a number of theatre and film projects in development. Bill is a member of the Dramatist Guild.
Andrew Abrams (Music) wrote the music for But I'm a Cheerleader, the Musical, with lyricist Bill Augustin, which was a finalist for the Jerry Bock Award and won the Audience Award for "Best Musical" at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other work includes 10-minute musical Delilah at the Raw Impressions workshop, Some Snap at the Metropolitan Playhouse, New York and numerous cabaret pieces including songs for Ziegfield's Folly in NYC, one-act parody Come Dine With a Top Chef in Hell's Kitchen and a commissioned song for the Red, Hot, Mamas. Work in development includes The Death... and Life... of Mary Shelley and a new musical version of a classic film, known to audiences worldwide, which will be announced and premiere in 2014.
Jerry Mitchell received the Tony Award for Best Choreography for the 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots, for which his direction was also recognized with a Tony nomination. In the 33 preceding years Jerry has been involved with over 50 Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End and touring productions. His Broadway debut as a choreographer You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown was followed by The Full Monty (Tony Award nomination), The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray (Tony Award nomination), Gypsy, Never Gonna Dance(Tony Award nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony Award nomination), La Cage Aux Folles (Tony Award for Best Choreography),Imaginary Friends, Legally Blonde (Tony Award nomination), and Catch Me If You Can. 23 years ago Jerry conceived and createdBroadway Bares, a comedy burlesque show performed annually for the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He continues to serve as Executive Producer of Broadway Bares with a book, website and satellite productions in Fire Island Pines, and London (West End Bares).