Hope Mill Theatre announces premiere of To Wong Foo The Musical
Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre will stage the world premiere of To Wong Foo The Musical, based on the 1995 film, later this year.
The show is based on To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, written by multiple Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane. The film, which has become a cult-classic, features a cast including Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, Stockard Channing, Robin Williams and Ru Paul.
Set in 90s New York, it tells the story of three drag queens – Vida, Noxeema and Chichi – who embark on a trip across America to attend the Drag Queen of the Year Finals in Hollywood. When their car breaks down in Middle America, their lives, as well as those in the town, are turned upside down.
The production will open at Hope Mill Theatre on 21 October for a limited nine-week run, with a press night on 26 October.
The new musical has a book and direction by Douglas Carter Beane, with music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn and casting by Sarah Leung CDG. Casting and full creative team is to be announced.
Beane said: “When I wrote this story back in the 90’s, it was always a theatre show in my mind, and fortunately for me, Steven Spielberg and Beeban Kidron thought it would make a great movie. But, for me it was always the ambition to bring it to the stage and I’m so happy its finally happening.
“Although the musical continues to be an homage to Drag, 90s New York and the amazing individuals who made it such a vibrant place to be, it is even more politically relevant today than ever before as censorship and condemnation of drag is unfortunately on the rise in the United States.”
Artistic director of Hope Mill Theatre, Joseph Houston added: “To be working so closely with Doug and having him direct is also a huge honour. To Wong Foo as a piece of work has always been destined to be told on stage and as a musical. Those that know and love the film can expect all of those brilliant one liners, supported by a score that is a little bit club, a little bit country, a little bit musical theatre, but a whole lot of attitude.”
Set in 90s New York To Wong Foo The Musical tells the story of 3 Drag Queens, Vida, Noxeema and Chichi, who embark on a trip across America to attend the Drag Queen of the Year Finals in Hollywood. When their car breaks down in Middle America, their lives, as well as those in the town, are turned upside down, in this joyous, heartfelt and high camp musical extravaganza! 3 drags have come to save America, one show tune at a time!
To Wong Foo The Musical is produced by Hope Mill Theatre.