Jill Paice to Star in Industry Reading of Frances Farmer Biomusical Brilliance | Playbill

Readings and Workshops Jill Paice to Star in Industry Reading of Frances Farmer Biomusical Brilliance

Farmer's life became tabloid fodder following her diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

Jill Paice and Frances Farmer

Frances Farmer's troubled life is coming to the stage.

Jill Paice (An American in Paris, The 39 Steps) will star in private industry readings of Brilliance, a new musical based on Farmer's life. Initially advertised as “the next Greta Garbo,” Farmer was a Hollywood starlet throughout the 1930s whos career was sidelined by paranoid schizophrenia after being involuntarily committed to an asylum by her mother.

Farmer soon became (often spurious) tabloid fodder, as did her volatile relationship with her mother after Farmer successfully regained her freedom in 1953. In recent years, many parallels between Farmer's situation and that of Britney Spears and her conservatorship have been drawn.

The musical features a book by Lance Lewman, music and lyrics by Lance Lewman and Kristan King, and additional music by Gabriel Kane.

Directed by Lance Lewman with choreography by Pierce Cassedy, Paice will be joined by John Hillner (La Cage Aux Folles, Mamma Mia), Liz McCartney (Funny Girl, Sunday in the Park with George), and Jeri Sager (Fiddler on the Roof, Cats) with Jordan Alexander, Erica Dorfler, Cailen Fu, Megan Masako Haley, Ben Livingstone, Harris Milgrim, Alaina Mills, Regan Ogle, Noah Plomgren, and Lawrence Street filling out the cast for the reading.

Evan Swanson will serve as music director. The stage manager will be Kayleigh Laymon. General Management will be by Martin Platt of Perry Street Theatricals.

Said Lewman, "This musical has been a brainchild of mine and Kristan King's since 1983, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to showcase what we have to the leaders of the theatre industry."

Brilliance has been previously presented via a Zoom production in 2021, and made an Off-Broadway debut at The Players' Theatre in 2022.

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