VIDEO: On This Day, April 8- Vanessa Hudgens Makes Her Broadway Debut In GIGI
On this day in 2015, Vanessa Hudgens made her Broadway debut in the title role of Gigi!
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 Freedand 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).
Gigi starred Vanessa Hudgens, 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-nominee Dee 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.