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James Graham Reveals Progress Has Been Made on Tammy Faye Bakker Musical, With Music From Elton John

The production is currently aiming for a 2021 bow at the West End's Almeida Theatre.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, James Graham is collaborating with music legend Elton John and Jake Shears of The Scissor Sisters on a musical take on the life of infamous TV evangelist, Tammy Faye Bakker.

Tammy Faye - The Musical held a workshop earlier this year, directed by Rupert Goold. The production is currently aiming for a 2021 bow at the West End's Almeida Theatre.

Graham revealed to The Guardian that the health crisis allowed for a lot of work to get done on the piece, accelerating the process.

"We've made real progress and we got a workshop together in November," said Graham. "We hope we might get it in to a theatre second half of next year."

Graham said that he was inspired to work on the piece by the intersection of evangelicalism and Reaganism and how that happened again with Trump.

"That sounds really boring and dry doesn't it," said Graham. "But it's with some kick-ass tunes by Elton John!"

Read more on The Guardian.

Tamara Faye was an American Christian singer, evangelist, author, talk show hostess, and television personality. She initially gained notice for her work with The PTL Club, a televangelist program that she co-founded with her husband Jim Bakker in 1974. They had hosted their own puppet show series for local programming in Minnesota in the early 1970s; Messner also had a career as a recording artist. In 1978, she and Bakker built Heritage USA, a Christian theme park.

Messner garnered significant publicity when Jim Bakker was indicted, convicted, and imprisoned on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy in 1989, resulting in the dissolution of The PTL Club.

During her career Messner was noted for her eccentric and glamorous persona, as well as for her moral views that diverged from those of many mainstream Evangelists, particularly her acceptance of LGBT views and reaching out to HIV/AIDS patients at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

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