jakub | May 19, 2024

Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard Star in Death Becomes Her Musical, Opening May 19 in Chicago


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Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard Star in Death Becomes Her Musical, Opening May 19 in Chicago

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


Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard

Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of Death Becomes Her officially opens its world premiere engagement May 19 following previews that began April 30 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. Performances continue through 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.

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.

The 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.

It was announced this past week that the production will arrive on Broadway this fall at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

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.

Click here for ticket information.

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Photos: Production Photos from Death Becomes Her In Chicago





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