A private industry reading of a new stage musical adaptation of Death Becomes Her will be held in NYC this week, produced by Universal Theatrical Group. 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.
Megan Hilty and Jennifer Simard are leading the cast as Madeline Ashton and Helen Sharp, respectively, fierce rivals who take a magic potion to obtain eternal youth only to find it has some gnarly side effects. The original film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Martin Donovan and David Koepp, starred Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, and was an early pioneer in using CGI to achieve those effects, which include Streep's head turned completely backwards and a gaping hole in Hawn's stomach.
Joining Hilty and Simard in the reading's cast will be Christopher Sieber as Ernest Menville, Nicole Scherzinger as Viola Van Horn, and Kevin Smith Kirkwood as Zander Medly, along with Marissa Rosen, Nikki Kimbrough, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Abigail Stephenson, Evan Harrington, Josh Lamon, Austin Ku, and Mike Millan.
The project has been in the works since at least 2017, when Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth was attached to star. Chenoweth's involvement pre-dates this current creative team.