GIGI's Vanessa Hudgens Calls Musical Role 'Empowering'; Watch Her Visit on 'Today'
Singer-actress Vanessa Hudgens, who came to fame in the "High School Musical" series has graduated to Broadway where she makes her debut in the musical Gigi. The 26-year-old stopped by TODAY to explain how she balances her social life with her rigorous eight performances a week."I think it's the ultimate test for an actor," says Hudgens. "I'm so used to film or television where you have multiple takes to get it right, and with this, figuring out that I only had one time was like the hardest thing to accept." Watch the appearance in full below!
The new Broadway production of Gigi, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's beloved Oscar and Tony Award-winning musical comedy, began performances on March 19 and officially opened on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd Street).
Gigi stars Vanessa Hudgens, who makes her Broadway debut in the title role, Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza, Sister Act, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella) as Mamita, Corey Cott (Newsies) as Gaston Lachaille, three-time Tony Award-nomineeDee Hoty (The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Footloose) as Aunt Alicia, two-time Tony Award-nominee Howard McGillin (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes) as Honoré Lachaille and Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) as Liane d'Exelmans.
Gigi, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, features a new book adaptation by Heidi Thomas (BBC/PBS's "Call the Midwife") and is choreographed by Emmy Award-winner Joshua Bergasse (On the Town, "Smash") and directed by Eric Schaeffer (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet).
Gigi began life as a 1944 novella by Colette, and soon became the author's most famous and enduring creation. The material was first adapted for the Broadway stage in 1951 as a straight play by author ANITA Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and starring an Unknown Audrey Hepburn in the title role. In 1956, fresh from the blockbuster Broadway success of My Fair Lady, the writing team of Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics, screenplay) and Frederick Loewe (music) turned next to Gigi, as their first musical written for the screen. The MGM film, produced by the legendary Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente Minnelli, opened to rapturous reviews and went on to become the most successful of all of MGM's Freed Unit musicals. The movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1958, including Best Picture, and won in every category, a record at the time, besting the totals won by such films as GONE with the Wind (1939), From Here to Eternity (1953) and On the Waterfront (1954). Gigi also played a reserved-seat engagement for more than seven months at Broadway's Royale Theatre (now the Jacobs).