Kathleen Marshall To Direct And Choreograph SIDEWAYS: THE MUSICAL
Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall will join novelist/librettist Rex Pickett and composer Anthony Leigh Adams in collaborating on the development of Sideways: The Musical.
Marshall will both direct and choreograph the musical based on Rex Pickett's novel of the same title, which was made into the 2004 hit feature film directed by Alexander Payne that grossed over $500 million worldwide and garnered over 350 awards, including the Academy Award for 'Best Adapted Screenplay', two Golden Globes for 'Best Picture' and 'Best Screenplay', and a record six Independent Spirit Awards.
Marshall, who has won three 'Best Choreography' Tony Awards to-date for Wonderful Town (2004), The Pajama Game (2006), and Anything Goes (2011), has also garnered an impressive six additional nominations, four of which in the 'Best Director of a Musical' category for Wonderful Town, The Pajama Game, Anything Goes, and the 2012 production of Nice Work If You Can Get It.
Sideways has already been staged as a successful non-musical, most notably at the La Jolla Playhouse where it was helmed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys). With a completed book for the musical and over half the songs now recorded, Pickett and his producing partners Solomon J. Leflore and Susan Gee of EFG-Renascence launched their search for a director by setting their sights on a woman with a deep background in musical theater. Sideways: The Musical explores more expansively the simmering romance between the characters in the movie played by Paul Giamatti (Miles) and Virginia Madsen (Maya).
"As grateful as I am for the movie and the various non-musical stagings, I'm eager to move away from men over-emphasizing the journey of my male characters," opined the famously candid Pickett. "I had an instinct that a woman director would focus more intently on, and highlight, the trajectory of the Miles/Maya love story and alchemize all the elements of my novel into a production with overall greater character nuance. In Kathleen we found the perfect marriage of musical theater experience and someone who instinctually understands that Sideways is not just a fun, bawdy, picaresque buddy-buddy romp, but an emotional journey of the heart. That's what I wrote. The book for the musical is a pure distillation of my novel."
Marshall added, "In the Sideways libretto I discovered a fully-realized narrative of four characters with strong storylines who are three-dimensionally real and relatable, something not seen so much in musical theater today. The most successful comedies seem to always spring from desperation and characters with rich inner lives... and Sideways has it all."
Leflore said, "With Sideways as an iconic brand, and a story that seems ageless, the addition of Kathleen Marshall to our creative team has made this long journey to Broadway -- from novel to movie to play to musical -- an imminent reality for all the fans who have hungered in vain for a sequel.
"The movie is as beloved today as it was when it came out 15 years ago, and the brand recognition of Rex's characters is as fresh and timeless as ever," added Ms. Gee. "The musical version, in Kathleen's hands, will hoist the iconic story to new heights".
With three-quarters of the music composed and recorded, and a fully realized book completed, Sideways: The Musical is being fast-tracked for a Spring/Summer 2020 regional staging before moving on to Broadway.
"They're waiting for it in the wine country," Pickett quipped. "If nothing else, it's a musical love letter to their industry, and their collective passion."
Pickett is repped by APA, and John Campbell at Jcintime Management. Marshall is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
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