Jasmine Amy Rogers, recently seen as Gretchen Wieners in the national tour of Mean Girls, will star in the title role of BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical. The work will make its pre-Broadway world premiere later this fall, playing a five-week engagement November 19–December 24 at the CIBC Theatre in Chicago.
As previously reported, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, La Cages aux Folles, Hairspray) will direct and choreograph the new musical based on the classic cartoon character. Additional casting will be announced.
Director Mitchell says, "From the moment Jasmine walks into a room and shares that magnificent smile and her contagious laugh, you know you are in the presence of Betty Boop. And, like the cartoon Betty, Jasmine can do everything brilliantly—acting, singing, dancing—I know her performance will capture the hearts of audiences of all ages.”
Rogers, a Jimmy Awards finalist, also played Melody Green in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of The Wanderer and Francis Bassey in the world premiere of Becoming Nancy, directed by Mitchell at the Alliance Theatre.
Watch Mitchell and composer David Foster discuss the new musical below:
The creative team includes set designer
David Rockwell, costume designer Gregg Barnes, lighting designer Philip
S. Rosenberg, sound designer Gareth Owen, projection designer Finn Ross,
and musical supervisor and arranger Daryl Waters.
Based on the characters created by Max Fleischer, BOOP! features music by Grammy winner David Foster (“I Have Nothing,” “After The Love Is Gone,” “The Prayer”), lyrics by Tony nominee Susan Birkenhead (Working, Jelly’s Last Jam), and a book by Tony winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Prom).
In The Betty Boop Musical, Betty's dream of an ordinary day off from the super-celebrity in her black-and-white world leads to an adventure of color, music, and love in New York City—one that reminds her and the world, “You are capable of amazing things.”
Introduced in 1930, Betty Boop initially appeared as a dog-like stage performer who sang and danced with another dog-like character, Bimbo. Inspired by the Jazz Age flappers and entertainers of the 1920s, Betty evolved into a full-fledged human character, and by 1932 she was the only female animated screen star in the world. Voiced by Mae Questel, Betty starred in more than 100 cartoons, 90 of which are included in the official Betty Boop series, which ended in 1939.
A musical based on the cartoon character has been in the works for several years. In 2004 Andrew Lippa said he was collaborating with David Lindsay-Abaire; Jason Robert Brown had previously been attached as the composer. And, in 2008 it was announced that a Betty Boop musical was aiming for a Broadway premiere during the 2010-2011 season; that production was set to feature music by Foster and a book by Oscar Williams and Sally Robinson.
Tickets for the Chicago premiere are now on sale by visiting BroadwayInChicago.com.