Vanessa Hudgens has graduated from high school musicals to real musicals: Hudgens will play the title role in the upcoming Broadway revival of Gigi, the classic Lerner and Loewe musical which bowed on Broadway in 1973. The actress had been playing the role in recent readings in New York.
Hudgens will hone her Gigi chops in a pre-Broadway engagement at the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in January. Following the engagement, the production will transfer to Broadway in 2015.
Eric Schaeffer directs and Joshua Bergasse choreographs Heidi Thomas’ re-envisioned adaptation of the story, which is based on the 1944 novel by Colette. The story was adapted for Broadway as a play in 1951—starring Audrey Hepburn—and was transformed into a musical for the 1958 film, which then moved to Broadway and won the 1974 Tony for Best Original Score.
The show—a romantic comedy about a young girl coming of age and finding love—is set in glamorous Paris during the Belle Époque. The new mounting of Gigi will include the songs from the film (which did not appear in the first stage version) and songs added to the 1973 score.
Hudgens’ musical credits include the High School Musical franchise and a buzzy role as Mimi in a 2010 production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl.