Theatre News

Complete cast announced for Death Becomes Her musical ahead of North American world premiere

The cult classic heads for the stage

dbc1
Jennifer Simard, Megan Hilty and Michelle Williams (photo by Cyndi Brown). All images supplied and distributed by the production

Broadway In Chicago and Universal Theatrical Group announced complete casting for the world-premiere Chicago production of the new musical comedy Death Becomes Her. The pre-Broadway engagement will run from 30 April to 2 June at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Starring alongside the previously announced Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty (Smash) as Madeline Ashton and Tony Award nominee Jennifer Simard (Company) as Helen Sharp are Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber (Shrek) as Ernest Menville and Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) as Viola Van Horn.

Joining them in the ensemble are Marija Abney (Black Panther), Sarita Colon, Kaleigh Cronin (Cabaret), Natalie Charle Ellis (Beetlejuice), Taurean Everett (Moulin Rouge!), Michael Graceffa (Fire Island), Kolton Krouse (Bob Fosse’s Dancin’), Josh Lamon (The Prom), Sarah Meahl, Diana Vaden, Sir Brock Warren, Bud Weber, Ryan Worsing, Ericka Hunter Yang, and Warren Yang (Schmigadoon!). Beau Harmon, Johanna Moise, Amy Quanbeck, and Zach Williams are the swings.

Based on the 1992 film written by David Koepp and Martin Donovan and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the musical is about Madeline Ashton, the most beautiful actress (just ask her) ever to grace the stage and screen, and Helen Sharp, 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. Their world is suddenly turned upside down by a mysterious woman named Viola Van Horn. 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.

Death Becomes Her is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) and features an original score by Julia Mattison and Noel Carey, a book by Marco Pennette, music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, dance and incidental music arrangements by Sam Davis, and music direction by Ben Cohn.

The creative team also includes set designer Derek McLane, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Justin Townsend, sound designer Peter Hylenski, illusions designer Rob Lake, hair and wigs designer Charles LaPointe, make-up designer Joe Dulude II, and fight director Thomas Schall.