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Musical adaptation of But I'm A Cheerleader in development with Jerry Mitchell

Theatre news

BUT I’M a Cheerleader: The Musical, with book and lyrics by Bill Augustin and music by Andrew Abrams, based on the 1999 Lionsgate cult motion picture, will receive its first London presentation in the form of an exploratory reading on Friday, December 6, 2013, directed by Jerry Mitchell.

But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical is the story of Megan, an all-American high school cheerleader who seems to have it all – she’s popular, pretty, intelligent, has a football player boyfriend and lives the perfect high school life. But that’s all about to change!

Her friends and family suspect Megan is a lesbian, and after staging an intervention, send her packing to the ‘True Directions’ rehabilitation camp to put her on the straight and narrow. Here, under the strict tutelage of headmistress Mary Brown, Megan meets Graham, a sexy tomboy who shows her exactly what her ‘true direction’ is.

Described as hilarious, cheeky and one of a kind, But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical is a quirky coming-of-age comedy about sexual awakening and staying true to who you are.

The London reading will be led by Tony Award® Nominated Director and Winning Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, whose recent work includes the Broadway productions of Kinky Boots (Tony Award Winner for Best Choreography), La Cage aux Folles (Tony Award Winner for Best Choreography), Legally Blonde and Hairspray. He will also direct and choreograph the forthcoming West End production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Speaking about the project, Jerry Mitchell said: “But I’m a Cheerleader is an important, fun and infectious new musical about being who you are and never being afraid of that truth. I can’t wait to tell this story.”

The London reading cast features three-time Olivier Award-nominee Hannah Waddingham (A Little Night Music, The Wizard of Oz, Spamalot, West End), Bronté Barbé (Hairspray, Kuala Lumpur), Maria Coyne (The Rocky Horror Show, UK Tour), Andy Conaghan (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, West End), Emma Bateman (Legally Blonde, West End), Adrian Hansel (Hairspray, West End), Shaun Rennie (Cats, International Tour)…

…Philip Labey (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Kensington Gardens), Carly Mercedes Dyer (Rock of Ages, Dirty Dancing, Chicago, West End), Ian Knauer (Mamma Mia!, Broadway), Nicolas Colicos (The Bodyguard, Sister Act, West End), Michael O’Connor (Once, West End), Helen Walsh (Candide, The Menier Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, Regent’s Park), Jamie Ward (Les Misérables, West End)…

…Gary Wood (A Chorus Line, Wicked, West End), Ricky Schroeder (Naked Boys Singing, Off-Broadway), Belinda Wollaston (Jekyll and Hyde, International Tour, Dr Zhivago, Australia), Charlotte Harwood (Loserville, Legally Blonde, Flashdance, West End), Michelle Francis (Wicked, Shrek, West End), Jamie Muscato (The Light Princess, National Theatre, Rock of Ages, West End) and Caroline Rodgers (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Broadway Theatre, London).

The 1999 Lionsgate motion picture had a story by Jamie Babbit, a screenplay by Brian Wayne Peterson and was directed by Jamie Babbit. The cast featured RuPaul Charles, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Cathy Moriarty, and Michele Williams.

But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical has a book and lyrics by Bill Augustin, music by Andrew Abrams and is produced, by special arrangement with Lionsgate®, by Crow and Elk Productions and Adam Bialow, producer and Lionsgate’s Consultant for Theatrical Stage Productions. The London reading will feature musical direction by Richard John.

A developmental workshop of the musical had a sold-out run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, receiving rave reviews from critics and the Audience Award for Best New Musical.

Speaking of their involvement in the project, Crow and Elk Productions said: “Bill Augustin’s book and Andrew Abrams’s score have captured an energetic, and hilariously beautiful story that needs to be shared, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to produce this musical.”