It was announced today (9 March 2023) that Birmingham Rep will co-produce Sinatra The Musical, a brand new musical based on the life and career of the legendary artist and cultural icon Frank Sinatra, with Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff and Scott Landis for Universal Music Group Theatrical, and Tina Sinatra and Charles Pignone on behalf of Frank Sinatra Enterprises.
Sinatra The Musical will premiere at Birmingham Rep on Saturday 23 September and run until Saturday 28 October 2023. The show’s debut in Birmingham, coincides with the 70thAnniversary of Sinatra’s 1953 UK tour, which saw him perform in the city. Tickets are on sale now at birmingham-rep.co.uk.
Sinatra The Musical is bought to the stage by a world class creative team including two-time Tony Award-winning writer Joe DiPietro (What’s New Pussycat? and Memphis) and Olivier Award-winning and three-time Tony Award-winning director & choreographer, Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes and The Pajama Game).
It is New Year’s Eve, 1942, and a skinny 27-year-old Italian American singer is about to step onto the stage of New York’s Paramount Theatre and give a performance that will change music history. As Frank Sinatra’s career suddenly skyrockets, he struggles with balancing the love of his wife, Nancy, against the demands and temptations of being the most popular singer in America. But when he begins a torrid affair with movie goddess Ava Gardner, his records stop selling and the press turns against him, sending his career into a tailspin. Driven by his devotion to his family, Sinatra employs his peerless artistry and dogged determination to stage the greatest comeback in showbiz history.
Joe DiPietro, who has written the book said: ‘Growing up, there were two pictures hanging in my grandmother’s kitchen — The Pope and Frank Sinatra. So to sit down with Tina Sinatra and hear stories of her father which no one else knows, and then to be able to put those stories on stage – well I think it’ll make for an unexpected and thrilling new musical. We’ll be showing you how the man became the legend and how the legend was — at the end of the day — just a man. And I couldn’t be more excited that our world premiere is at Birmingham Rep, where I had such a phenomenal time working on What’s New, Pussycat?’
Director and Choreographer Kathleen Marshall said: ‘I am beyond thrilled to return to the UK, which feels like my second home, to bring the story of the legendary Frank Sinatra to the stage at such a prestigious theatre as the Birmingham Rep. We hope to create an evening of theatre that is as stylish, sophisticated and elegant as Mr. Sinatra, with glorious music from the American Songbook.’
Tina Sinatra said: “I am very proud of our new musical production and I’m especially delighted that, for the first time, we’re going to give you a perspective on my father that you’ve never seen before.”
Sean Foley, double Olivier Award-winner, Tony nominee and Artistic Director of The Rep, Birmingham said: ‘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.’
Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President, Universal Music Group and Bruce Resnikoff President & CEO, Universal Music Enterprises, producing on behalf of Universal Music Group Theatrical said: ‘We’re delighted to premiere this inaugural production of Sinatra The Musical at Birmingham Rep later this year, and to bring a new dimension to one of the most dynamic and creative periods in Frank Sinatra’s iconic life and career. Through the legacy of his music and legendary performances, Frank Sinatra continues to capture the attention of both life-long fans and a new generation of audiences around the world.’
Joe DiPietro is the winner of two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. His musicals and plays have received thousands of productions across the country and around the world. His new comedy, Babbitt, starring Matthew Broderick, will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse this autumn. His most recent musical, What’s New Pussycat? played to critical and popular acclaim when it premiered at The Rep last year. His other shows include Memphis (2010 Tony Award for Best Musical); Diana (currently streaming on Netflix) Nice Work If You Can Get It (10 Tony Award nominations including Best Book of a Musical for DiPietro); The Toxic Avenger (Outer Critics Circle Award – Best Off-Broadway Musical); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (longest-running musical revue in Off-Broadway history); as well as the much-produced comedies Clever Little Lies and Over the River and Through the Woods, amongst others.
Kathleen Marshall is a nine-time Tony Award nominee, winning three times for Best Choreography for the Broadway revivals of Wonderful Town, The Pajama Game and Anything Goes. She recently received an Olivier Award for her choreography of the West End production of Anything Goes. She has worked on more than twenty Broadway shows and she is the first woman who has directed a play, directed a musical and choreographed a musical on Broadway. Off-Broadway and regional credits include for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Second Stage, Transport Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Old Globe, Long Wharf, Paper Mill, Hollywood Bowl, Boston Pops, Signature Theatre and St. Louis MUNY. Kathleen served as the Artistic Director for City Center Encores! for four seasons, during which time Encores! received a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre. Her film and television credits include My Week with Marilyn (choreographer), Once Upon a Mattress, The Music Man (choreographer) and 2 Broke Girls. She has received three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Emmy nomination, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Smith College Medal (her alma mater), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts and she has been named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
Sinatra The Musical is the first of a series of new projects and initiatives developed by FSE in partnership with Universal Music Group that will help introduce new audiences and fans to the timeless singer’s rich catalogue and superstar legacy.