Death Becomes Her Musical Concludes Chicago Run June 2; Broadway Is Next | Playbill

Regional News Death Becomes Her Musical Concludes Chicago Run June 2; Broadway Is Next

Christopher Gattelli directs the world premiere of the new musical based on the 1992 film.

Jennifer Simard, Megan Hilty, and Christopher Sieber in Death Becomes Her Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of Death Becomes Her, which officially opened its world premiere engagement May 19 following previews that began April 30, ends its run at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre June 2.

Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard, who starred in an April 2023 reading of Death Becomes Her, again lead the cast as Madeline Ashton and Helen Sharp, respectively. They play fierce rivals who take a magic potion to obtain eternal youth only to find it has some gnarly side effects. Read the reviews here.

The two are joined by Tony nominee Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical, Spamalot) as Ernest Menville and Grammy winner Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child, Aida) as Viola Van Horn.

It was recently announced that the production will arrive on Broadway this fall at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with its four leading players: Simard, Hilty, Sieber, and Williams. Check out video of the production by clicking here.

The Chicago ensemble includes Marija Abney, Sarita Colon, Kaleigh Cronin, Natalie Charle Ellis, Gabriella Enriquez, Taurean Everett, Michael Graceffa, Neil Haskell, Kolton Krouse, Josh Lamon, Sarah Meahl, Diana Vaden, Sir Brock Warren, Bud Weber, Ryan Worsing, and Warren Yang. Beau Harmon, Johanna Moise, Amy Quanbeck, and Zach Williams are the swings.

Based on the 1992 film, the work features a book by TV writer-producer Marco Pennette and music and lyrics by Julia Mattison and Noel Carey. Tony winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) is directing and choreographing with associate direction by Bethany Pettigrew and staging supervision by Mark Myars.

Death Becomes Her also has music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, dance and incidental music arrangements by Sam Davis, music direction by Ben Cohn, set design by Derek McLane, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Justin Townsend, sound design by Peter Hylenski, illusions by Rob Lake, hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe, makeup by Joe Dulude II, fights by Thomas Schall, and casting by Tara Rubin Casting.

"Madeline Ashton is the most beautiful actress (just ask her) ever to grace the stage and screen," state the press notes. "Helen Sharp is the long-suffering author (just ask her) who lives in her shadow. They have always been the best of frenemies… until Madeline steals Helen’s fiancé away. As Helen plots revenge and Madeline clings to her rapidly fading star, their world is suddenly turned upside down by Viola Van Horn, a mysterious woman with a secret that’s to die for. After one sip of Viola’s magical potion, Madeline and Helen begin a new era of life (and death) with their youth and beauty restored… and a grudge to last eternity."

The original film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Martin Donovan and David Koepp, starred Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. It was an early pioneer in using CGI to achieve its special effects, which include Streep's head turned completely backwards and a gaping hole in Hawn's stomach. The film also featured a Playbill in its first scene. The musical adaptation has been in the works since at least 2017, when Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth was attached to star. Chenoweth's involvement pre-dates the current creative team.

General management is by 321 Theatrical Management, and the production stage manager is Rachel Sterner. Universal Theatrical Group produces. UTG Vice President of Creative Development and Production Lowe Cunningham oversees on behalf of UTG.

Photos: Megan Hilty, Jennifer Simard, Michelle Williams, and Christopher Sieber in Death Becomes Her in Chicago

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!