Gwyneth Paltrow is making news. First her engagement to Brad Falchuk, then Michael Riedel and New York Post’s page 6 announced that a new musical featuring songs by the ’80s girl band The Go-Gos, will open this summer at the Hudson Theatre. The show is called Head Over Heels and Gwyneth Paltrow is producing the $15 million musical along with her ex-boyfriend Donovan Leitch and Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth. Also producing are Rick Ferrari, Donovan Leitch, Christine Russell, Louise Gund, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy (Anastasia), Scott Sigman, Robert Kravis, Vikram Chatwal, Carrie Clifford, The John Gore Organization, Mara Sandler, with Julie Boardman serving as associate producer and 101 Production on board as exec producer and general manager.
According to the Post Roth wanted “Head Over Heels” for his Walter Kerr Theatre, but Bruce Springsteen, refuses to leave. Springsteen show has been extended until June 30, but may longer since he is grossing nearly $2.5 million a week.
Familiar tunes in the score include “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” as well as solo hits by the band’s frontwoman, Belinda Carlyle (“Mad About You,” “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”).
Head Over Heels is based on “The Arcadia,” a 16th-century romantic poem by Sir Philip Sidney. The poem combines pastoral elements with a mood derived from the Hellenistic model of Heliodorus. The shepherd’s life has stories of jousts, Gods and Goddesses, political treachery, kidnappings, battles, and rapes. William Shakespeare borrowed from it for the Gloucester subplot of King Lear; traces of the work’s influence may also be found in Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale. Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) did a modern adaptation of Head Over Heels tried out at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015, had a developmental workshop at New York Stage and Film the following year and a has had a couple of backers’ auditions at Paltrow’s Greenwich Village townhouse. Since then Whitty has been let go to be replaced by James Magruder (Triumph of Love), though Whitty is credited.
Michael Mayer, who is directing brought on Magruder. Musical arrangement are by Pulitzer Prize and Tony® winner Tom Kitt (Next To Normal, SpongeBob SquarePants), choreography will be by Spencer Liff (Hedwig, “So You Think You Can Dance”). Set designer Julian Crouch, lighting design Kevin Adams and costume designer Arianne Phillips.
Head Over Heels runs April 24-May 20 at the Curran Theater in San Francisco, with the exact dates for the Broadway run still to be announced. Casting also has yet to be set.