Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, Play On!, Haarlem Nocturne, Impressionism, The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’), Tony winner Lillias White (The Life, Fela!, Chicago, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Dreamgirls), Lori Tan Chinn (M. Butterfly, “Orange is the new Black“), five-time Emmy Award nominee Georgia Engel (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Boys from Syracuse, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”), two-time Emmy nominee Stefanie Powers making her Broadway debut (“Hart to Hart,”), Haven Burton (Kinky Boots), and Nancy Ticotin (Damn Yankees) are set for the upcoming Broadway-bound musical GOTTA DANCE, premiering in Chicago later this year.
Filmmaker Dori Berinstein and former DreamWorks Animation executive Bill Damaschke are producing GOTTA DANCE, with Tony winner Jerry Mitchell directing and choreographing the production, “based on the critically acclaimed 2008 documentary about professional basketball’s first ever aged 60-and-older dance team,” which will begin performances on Dec. 13, 2015 at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre, and run through Jan. 10, 2016.
Additional casting will be revealed at a later date.
Mitchell has assembled an all-star creative team that includes original music by the legendary Marvin Hamlisch (an Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Oscar winner) and Tony Award-nominee Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and lyrics by Tony Award-nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), a book by Tony Award-nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) & Tony Award-winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).
In 2007, a group of expert dancers was tasked with getting professional basketball’s first ever senior citizen dance team performance-ready. The venue? Center court. The genre? Hip-hop. Over the coming months, bonds would be formed, generation gaps would be crossed, and, eventually, some pretty hot moves would be busted. GOTTA DANCE, tells the remarkable true story of these wildly diverse seniors with a common goal, the young coaches who help them achieve it, and the unlikely art form that brings them all together.
“The real-life senior dancers at the core of GOTTA DANCE, simply blew me away,” said producer Dori Berinstein (who also produced and directed the 2008 documentary). “With heart, soul, gusto, guts and some hot dance moves…they refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer and, instead, overcame endless obstacles and misperceptions to realize their dreams. Aside from being so very cool…they are endlessly inspiring.”
“GOTTA DANCE, celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together,” added producer Bill Damaschke. “It gives me so much joy that the dream team of creative minds behind this musical adaptation crosses generations, mirroring the spirit and soul of the characters of the show. We are particularly excited to bring the show to Chicago – not only one of the nation’s preeminent breeding grounds for new theater works, but also home to some of the world’s most fervent basketball fans. Go Bulls!”
For tickets and more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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