PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 28-July 4: Kelli O'Hara Will "Whistle A Happy Tune" in The King and I

By Robert Simonson
04 Jul 2014

Richard Fleeshman

This show has been Broadway-bound in the past. It had its first pre-Broadway premiere in 2009 at The Old Globe in San Diego with director Francesca Zambello at the helm. A Broadway run was never announced, and Zambello withdrew from the production team shortly after the conclusion of the premiere.

Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will now direct the musical that is produced by Elizabeth Williams, Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert. Thomason has replaced Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, Say Goodnight Gracie) as the book writer.

The First Wives Club features a score by Motown hit-makers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, the threesome who created hits for Martha and The Vandellas, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and The Supremes.


Urinetown, a hit on Broadway a decade ago, is a success all over again, overseas.

The musical satire about a dystopian world short on water, received its U.K. premiere at the St. James Theatre earlier this year. It will transfer to the West End's Apollo Theatre, where it will begin performances there Sept. 29.

Jamie Lloyd directs the piece with music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis. Casting is still to be announced. At the St. James, the company was led by Richard Fleeshman and Jenna Russell as Bobby Strong and Penelope Pennywise, respectively, with Jonathan Slinger as Officer Lockstock.