Actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens’ Broadway dreams have been realised – she has been cast as the lead in a new production of beloved musical Gigi.
The High School Musical star will play the title role in the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe production, which will be directed by Eric Schaeffer, the man behind Follies and Million Dollar Quartet.
Gigi has previously been played onstage by Audrey Hepburn, and French actress Leslie Caron portrayed the character in Vincente Minnelli’s Oscar-winning 1958 film.
British playwright and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Heidi Thomas will revamp the story for the new production, which will open at the Eisenhower Theater at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from 16 January to February 12 before its big New York debut.
Hudgens, who played the role of Gigi in recent readings in New York, says, “I started performing in musicals from a young age, and it has always been my dream to be on Broadway. I cannot wait to get back on stage, singing and dancing these songs and living in Gigi’s glamorous world.”
She adds, “I think it’s (musical theater) the true test. There are no second takes. You’ve got to bring everything you’ve got for the most critical of audiences. It’s an honor, if anything. I’m over the moon.”
Gigi was originally brought to life on the Broadway stage by Days of Our Lives actress Karin Wolfe in 1973, but that production only ran for 103 performances.
The original novel was turned into a 1951 play, starring Hepburn.