‘Gigi’ plans a return to Broadway


Gigi could return to Broadway as soon as next season. The musical will be a new adaptation of the 1973 musical, directed by Eric D. Schaeffer and adapted by Heidi Thomas.

According to the announcement, producer Jenna Segal said “Gigi lets us escape to an idyllic place where the girl gets the guy and love does conquer all.”

This is completely true. Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, the musical is a romantic comedy about a young woman who is set up to be a companion to a wealthy playboy, only for the pair to actually fall in love with one another.  According to writer and co-producer Heidi Thomas, the message of the musical is simple: “Know your own worth. Write your own rules. And when you find love, never let it go.”

Though the musical is described in the announcement by producer Jenna Segal as “‘chic lit’ musical theatre,” Heidi Thomas has brought Gigi back to the center of the story, surrounded by warm women that teach the men in their world a thing or two about life.

The Tony award winning score, includes such songs as “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore,” “The Night They Invented Champagne,” “Say a Prayer for Me Tonight,” “It’s a Bore” and “I Remember It Well” from the 1958 MGM film, which won 9 Academy Awards before winning the Tony Award for best score in 1974.

Reinvented classics are always welcomed back on the Great White Way and although many new theatergoers might not be familiar with the classic musical, the story’s whimsy is likely to bode well with audiences. While rock operas and new musicals are wonderful for getting new fans to come to the city and see a show, sometimes we need a classic musical to teach about theatre’s roots.

At the same time, the phrase “reinvention” often scares long time lovers of shows.  Despite this, reinvention can be the best thing that can happen to an older show such as Gigi, and I would venture to say that the story sells itself.

A developmental reading will be held later this month in New York. No casting has been announced.

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