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Vanessa Hudgens is moving from high school musicals to the big leagues.
Producers announced on Wednesday that the High School Musical star will take on the title role in the new production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Gigi, which will play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 16 to Feb. 12 ahead of a planned 2015 Broadway run.
“I started performing in musicals from a young age, and it has always been my dream to be on Broadway,” Hudgens said in a statement. “I cannot wait to get back on stage, singing and dancing these songs and living in Gigi’s glamorous world.”
Hudgens played the role in a private industry workshop of the musical, which took place over the summer in New York. The workshop also featured Newsies star Corey Cott and Tony-winner Victoria Clark, though additional casting for the Kennedy Center and Broadway runs of the musical has not been announced.
“We absolutely fell in love with Vanessa, and we know that audiences will, too,” producer Jenna Segal said in a statement. “She has a huge worldwide following, and it’s easy to understand why, once you see her on stage. She just has that special something, and we’re thrilled to have her with us to bring our new Gigi to life.”
Audrey Hepburn played the role in Anita Loos’ play adaptation of the novel by Colette in 1951 on Broadway, and Lerner and Loewe, known for My Fair Lady, adapted the material into a movie musical for MGM in 1958, which won nine Academy Awards including best picture. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1973, winning the Tony Award for best score.
This revival includes a new adaptation by British playwright Heidi Thomas, and the production will feature songs from the movie that were not included in its initial Broadway production.
“I have been living with Colette’s feisty, elegant, feline Gigi in my imagination for a long time now — and in Vanessa Hudgens, she is finally made flesh,” said Thomas.
The production will be choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, known for his work on Smash, and directed by Eric Schaeffer.
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