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“Hello, everybody. This is Mrs. Norman Maine.”
Those famous words of loyal devotion, spoken to the world by Judy Garland in the 1954 screen classic A Star Is Born, will be heard in a new stage musical in the pipeline from Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.
Bill Condon has signed on to direct the stage project, which is in early development, with a production timeline to be announced soon. Condon’s live-action update for Disney of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, hits movie theaters March 17 in what is expected to be a monster opening north of $100 million.
The developing stage show will include standards from the movie by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin, including “The Man That Got Away” and “Gotta Have Me Go With You.”
Directed by George Cukor, the film was written by Moss Hart, adapted from the original screenplay and story of an earlier version, released in 1937. Garland starred as a young showgirl taken under the wing of a faded matinee idol, played by James Mason. They marry, but as she finds soaring fame as a singer and actress, his career continues to spiral downward due to age and alcoholism.
The property was remade a second time in 1976, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and another version is currently in preproduction, scheduled to star Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. However, the Warner stage project will be based specifically on the 1954 version and is unrelated to the forthcoming film.
An adapted screenplay Oscar winner in 1999 for Gods and Monsters, Condon has a significant history with musicals. In addition to Beauty and the Beast, he penned the screenplay for 2003 best picture Oscar winner Chicago and directed the 2006 film version of Dreamgirls.
Condon made his Broadway directing debut in 2014 with a bold reworking of the cult musical Side Show, about the lives of Depression-era conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. Despite strong reviews, the show closed swiftly, echoing the path of its 1997 premiere.
A Star Is Born joins other Warner Bros. properties being developed for the stage, including Beetlejuice, Dave, Dog Day Afternoon, Night Shift and 17 Again. The studio theatrical division will be represented on Broadway this spring with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, opening April 23 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
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