Derek Hough will step into the dancing shoes of Gene Kelly.
At his annual pre-Oscar dinner in Beverly Hills on Saturday, producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed that Hough will star as Don Lockwood, the silent screen idol transitioning to talkies, in the upcoming Broadway production of Singin‘ in the Rain. Hough performed two numbers from the show as part of the evening’s entertainment.
Weinstein announced last fall that he would follow Finding Neverland, his first Broadway venture as lead producer, with a new stage adaptation of the beloved 1952 MGM screen musical, scheduled for the 2016-17 season. The show reportedly is eyeing a January opening date.
Hough unofficially auditioned for the role early last year when he sang the musical’s title song, accompanied by a troupe of tap-dancing Rockettes in yellow raincoats and galoshes, in the Weinstein-produced New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The Dancing With the Stars regular previously appeared on Broadway in 2010 as a guest star in the ballroom compilation Burn the Floor. He also played the lead in the musical stage version of Footloose in London’s West End in 2006.
Weinstein Live Entertainment is teaming with Theatre du Chatelet of Paris, where the hit production originated in 2014, to bring Singin‘ in the Rain to Broadway. Further casting and venue are to be announced.
Previous stage versions of the musical have included a Twyla Tharp-directed, dance-based adaptation that ran on Broadway for just under a year in the 1985-86 season, and a 2011 staging at Britain’s Chichester Festival Theater, which transferred to London the following year.
The new production will be directed by Robert Carsen and choreographed by Stephen Mear.
Another classic Kelly MGM movie musical, An American in Paris, arrived on Broadway in March last year after a Chatelet tryout. That production won four Tony Awards and has grossed an impressive $59 million to date. Finding Neverland, which began performances the same month, has also been a solid entry, with cumulative box office of $47.5 million.