England's Birmingham Rep will host the world premiere of Sinatra The Musical September 23-October 28. The debut will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's 1953 U.K. tour, which included a stop in Birmingham.
Olivier winner and three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (Wonderful Town, The Pajama Game, Anything Goes), as previously reported, will direct and choreograph the new musical about the life and career of late veteran crooner and actor Sinatra. The script is being written by two-time Tony winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Diana).
Casting and additional creative team members will be announced at a later date.
The musical is set on New Year's Eve 1942 as a 27-year-old Italian-American singer is about to step onto the stage of New York's Paramount Theatre. As Sinatra's career skyrockets, he struggles with balancing the love of his wife, Nancy, against the demands and temptations of his career. When he begins an affair with Ava Gardner, his records stop selling and the press turns against him, but one of the greatest comebacks in showbiz will follow.
Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff, and Scott Landis serve as producers for Universal Music Group Theatrical, with Tina Sinatra and Charles Pignone serving as producers on behalf of Frank Sinatra Enterprises.
Olivier winner Sean Foley, artistic director of The Rep, says, "The Rep is thrilled to be co-producing this world premiere production about the legendary artist Frank Sinatra. His was an extraordinary life, and this promises to be an unmissable show about that life. We look forward to welcoming Kathleen Marshall and the rest of the world class cast and creative team to create the show about his life with us right here in Birmingham. In particular, we welcome back Joe Pietro to The Rep, where his Tom Jones musical, What’s New Pussycat? so thrilled audiences last year."
An American icon, both as a singer and, later, as a movie actor, Sinatra never performed on Broadway, but starred in Hollywood film adaptations of four classic musicals: Guys and Dolls, On the Town, Pal Joey, and Can-Can. He appeared in many non-Broadway musicals as well, including Ankles Aweigh, Reveille With Beverly, and Robin and the Seven Hoods. Among non-musicals, Sinatra starred in the film of Neil Simon's first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn. His late-career hit "New York, New York" was written for a film of the same name (receiving a stage adaptation on Broadway later this season) by the Chicago and Cabaret team of John Kander and Fred Ebb.
During the time in the 1940s-1960s when show tunes and Top 40 were virtually identical, Sinatra recorded dozens of them, some several times. Cole Porter songs were a favorite, but he returned again and again to the works of Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and Cy Coleman, among many others.
Even after rock pushed showtunes out of the Top 40, Sinatra continued to record them, laying down tracks of Jerry Herman's "I Won't Send Roses" and Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," "Good Thing Going," and "Old Friend" in the 1970s and '80s.
Tickets are on sale now at Birmingham-rep.co.uk.