Help cast 'The First Wives Club' musical

Firstwives_lPopWatchers, I’m excited. The Queen herself — Latifah (pictured, left), that is, although had I been talking abut Elizabeth of the Britons, that’d make this next bit kinda funny — reportedly wants to do Broadway. And not just a run-of-the-mill revival or a revue of songs by [insert aging pop star’s name here]. I’m talking The First Wives Club, people, which is being reimagined as a lavish musical.

If you’ll remember, the 1996 chick flick starred Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn (right), and Bette Midler as neurotic middle-aged New York divorcees out for revenge on their spouses, who’ve dumped them for younger women. The legendary Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Brian Holland, and Lamont Dozier will compose the score, and the Hawn part — a vain, aging movie star — will be transformed into an African-American singer.

addCredit(“Queen Latifah: Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Goldie Hawn: George Pimentel/”)

No one’s been cast yet, but reports of Latifah’s desire to beinvolved make me ponder who else I’d love to see (and hear) belting outthese tunes. How about Angela Bassett in the Keaton role? LorettaDevine in Midler’s role of the stressed out, overeating mom? And if theQueen doesn’t end up signing on to the project, why not give Hawn’srole to frequent EW Hot Mess Whitney Houston?)

Thinking caps on, theater geeks. Who would you like to see in these roles? And will you see the musical when it reaches the Great White Way?

Comments (36 total) Add your comment
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  • Sally

    This sounds like a bomb coming out the gate. Holland-Dozier have never done Broadway and I wish them well, but this is an all-white female actresses’ story and why oh why black women want to rewrite these movies to fit their needs is beyond me. (Could it be because nothing original is being written for black actresses) If I recall the original movie, none of those marriage scenarios fit black women’s experiences. The Goldie Hawn character was a plastic surgery freak, I don’t know of any black actresses/singers who are addicted to cosmetic surgery.

  • matthew

    I think that Christine Ebersole should take on the Diane Keaton role and Beth Leavel [from “The Drowsy Chaperone”] should take on the Bette Midler role. If things don’t work out with Latifah [Although I hope they will] maybe Sheryl Lee Ralph [from “Dreamgirls”]?

  • NineDaves

    Really, you don’t know any black actresses who are addicted to cosmetic surgery? How about Diahann Carroll? She’s had some work done. So has Whitney. So has Mariah. So has Angela Bassett, I’d bet. But with this Broadway offering, I’d rather not cast this movie as an all black cast. Because Bette Midler should just come back and play her character again!

  • Houstonian Jen in Baltimore

    From Sally: “(Could it be because nothing original is being written for black actresses)”

  • aa

    wow sally you have a very narrow view. the actors may have been white but that doesn’t make the story white. contrary to what you may think there are in fact pampered wealthy black women who get too much plastic surgery. besides, the more broad point of the book and movie is that women should lean on other women to help them through painful life experiences such as divorce. the queen can do anything and it would be great to see whitney put her acting career back on track. i think kerry washington would be great as one of the second wives.

  • Sally

    To AA: This is a singing musical, not a drama. Can Kerry sing? And I don’t see Whitney Houston doing Broadway, it’s beneath her (lol).

  • lois whitman

    I am an insider. I just read what Sally said. Sally, I am buying you a ticket to opening night. I heard the music that has been written so far and you are going to dance and sing like you never have done before. This is not about plastic surgery, not about color, it is about women feeling good about themselves. HDH has written words and music for this musical that is going to give all women, married and unmarried, a new energetic attitude many of us need to go forward under many circumstances

  • Justin

    Why don’t they just make a “Waiting to Exhale” musical instead? That’s the direction this looks to be going in….

  • Juan

    Sally: There are many african-american women that are first wives. And guess what, black people get plastic surgery too. all you have to do is look at the Jackson family.

  • brandonk

    Bette should totally reprise her role! I think it sounds fun. I saw that movie in the theater like 4 times!

  • Millie

    This sounds a little silly. As far as plastic surgery goes, black women have bought into the routine of plastic surgery for beautification.And I agree with the poster who wrote that the Jackson family is a prime example of the surgery. Sorry Queen Latifah, you should not do this role.

  • Ep Sato

    Black celebs and plastic surgery? Two words: Diana Ross.
    Queen Latifa’s proven to be multi faceted. She can play fun roles as well as dramatic ones. She was able to bring down the house and also set it off, both roles demonstrating a decent breadth of character. While it’s usually hard for women to break into hip hop without playing up to the stereotype of women as sex objects, she had hits while staying large and in charge. She’s just that good. So IMHO, it’d be worth seeing.
    As for the other two, why not cast Rene Russo as the aging ceo who’s husband has taken over her company and who leaves her for the shrink. Role 3 could be played by Parker Posey, who’s husband leaves her for the underage bimbo. They’d just need to gray Posey’s hair.
    I’d update their college to the UW Madison in the 1980’s (Middlebury in the 60’s sounds very, as Jessica Shaw would say, five minutes ago), and would base the story in Chicago instead of NYC.
    And I totally want Ivana to cameo.

  • Dancing Diva

    Well I think it’s time to broaden the horizons of Broadway and stop looking at what we have in front of us or the “formula” that seems to the “norm”. In my opinion this is a fantastic project and a great step for the Great White Way. Reuniting Holland-Dozier-Holland to do the score to this show is an amazing idea. Hurray for whom ever managed to pull them back together. I myself can’t wait to see what they have done. When does it open and where can I get my tickets? As for some of the comments from Sally. My dear if you feel there are no black actresses/singer that have not been under the knife, I think you need to take a closer look at your television screen, which you may be spending way too much time in front of to begin with. And who’s to say “black women” are wanting to re-write the movie to fit them, how are we to know this didn’t come directly from the creative team of the show…we all thought Legally Blonde may be a bomb out the gate, but look what it’s become.

  • kevin

    This is a totally different topic (kind of) but why aren’t they making a musical based on “Sister Act.” Doesn’t that seem like an obvious movie to Broadway musical choice???

  • Miss USA

    Let them cast an all black cast so what? Black women get dumped too. White women do not have the monopoly on the loney hearts club. And many blacks have plastic surgery. Even Oprah had her nose slighty done. I have noticed it.

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