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The First Wives Club musical to premiere at Oriental Theatre

Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason will adapt, with songs by Holland-Dozier-Holland


A new musical adaptation of The First Wives Club, with a book by Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and music by Motown songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, will premiere at Chicago's Oriental Theatre next spring with designs on a Broadway run.

Olivia Goldsmith's 1992 novel about a trio of divorcées who seek revenge on their ex-husbands was made into a 1996 film starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton. A previous musical adaptation, with a book by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), was staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in 2009. All three are credited as sources for Bloodworth-Thomason's new version, with Holland-Dozier-Holland providing new songs and classics. (The trio are not the authors of "You Don't Own Me," the Lesley Gore tune that became an iconic musical setpiece in the film; it was penned by John Madara and David White.)

Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will direct; exact dates and casting remain to be announced. Coincidentally—or not?!—Audra McDonald, Sherie Rene Scott and Lili Taylor are set to play the leads in a benefit reading of Robert Harling's First Wives Club screenplay next week in New York.

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