In the biggest news for theatrical-makeup producers since the closing of the last revival of Cats, it was announced today that Tammy Faye—a musical biography of the star televangelist and hardcore mascara enthusiast Tammy Faye Bakker—will arrive Broadway in the 2024–25 season. The show, which premiered in London last year, features music by Elton John, lyrics by the Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and a book by the prolific British playwright James Graham (Ink), who specializes in dramatic retellings of modern cultural and political history.
Bakker has long been a popular subject for dramatic biographers, thanks to her emotional appeal, outlandish personal style and complicated legacy as a compassionate public face of the emerging Evangelical movement of the 1970s and 1980s, at the side of her scandal-plagued husband Jim Bakker. Bernadette Peters played her in the 1990 TV movie Fall From Grace (opposite Kevin Spacey), and Jessica Chastain won an Oscar for the 2021 biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye (opposite Andrew Garfield). Not surprisingly, given her own propensity for musical performance—and her ongoing popularity in the LGBTQ community—she has already inspired several musicals about her life, including 2006's The Gospel According to Tammy Faye, 2007's Big Tent and a 2011 show developed for Kristen Chenoweth.
None of those musicals got full productions in New York City, but Tammy Faye, directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III), is riding to Broadway on a wave of good buzz. In his four-star review of the London production, Time Out's Andrzej Lukowski called the show "a massive amount of fun" and "a terrific piece of entertainment," noting that its "colossally camp shades" could make it a cult classic: "What Anchorman is to ’70s and ’80s news anchors, Tammy Faye often is to ’70s and ’80s evangelicals."
The London production starred Katie Brayben and Andrew Rannells, but casting and dates for the New York production have not yet been announced. For now, you can follow Tammy Faye's journey to Broadway at its website.