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Rupert Holmes Joins Zambello for First Wives Club Musical

The Broadway-bound musical based on The First Wives Club is gradually coming together, with Francesca Zambello confirmed as director and Rupert Holmes set to pen the book.

Zambello--who will also be directing Disney's The Little Mermaid musical--was previously announced as a strong candidate to direct the musical, which is based on the Olivia Goldsmith novel and the hit 1996 film comedy it inspired. Holmes, who won two Tony Awards for writing the book and score of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, has joined the production as librettist, according to the LA Daily News.

The show will likely have "all songs completed by December, then put it up the beginning of next year to work out the kinks before we get to Broadway," stated Eddie Holland, who with Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland was previously announced to pen the score. The First Wives Club will mark the first time in over a decade that the legendary Motown songwriting team have worked together. Holland also stated that the show would not feature recycled song hits, but all new material.

Zambello is renowned for her work staging both theatre and opera. Past productions include Lady in the Dark on the West End, West Side Story at the Bregenz Festival, Les Tryoens at the Metropolitan Opera and a Disney Theme Park staging of Aladdin.

Holmes has also penned the book for the Broadway-bound Kander and Ebb musical Curtains. His many song hits include "The Pina Colada Song," and he has also penned novels such as Where the Truth Lies and Swing. He also created the TV series "Remember WENN."

Between 1963 and the end of 1967, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote many of Motown's hit singles, with Brian writing the music, Eddie writing the lyrics, and Lamont doing both. Their hits included "Heat Wave," "Quicksand," and "Nowhere To Run" for Martha and The Vandellas, "Mickey's Monkey" for The Miracles, and "Can I Get a Witness," "Your a Wonderful One," and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" for Marvin Gaye. For The Four Tops, they penned such songs as "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself," and "Bernadette," while they wrote many of the Supremes' biggest hits including "Baby Love," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "I Hear A Symphony," and "You Can't Hurry Love."

Marketing maven Paul Lambert and his producing partner Jonas Neilson will produce the musical. The hit film starred Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, and grossed more than $130 million. They starred as Brenda, Elise and Annie, respectively, three women who aim to get their ex-husbands where it hurts most--the wallet.

A theater for the The First Wives Club: The Musical has not yet been booked.

To learn more about the upcoming show, visit

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