‘To Wong Foo’… and Streisand

Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo as three drag queens who travel cross-country in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. The cult 1995 film is now being turned into a stage musical.

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BY BILLY SUTER

WE HAVE seen both La Cage Aux Folles and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert make the successful transition from screen to stage, and more recently also Kinky Boots. Now another drag movie hit is being turned into a stage musical.

The show is the cult classic To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, the 1995 film, clearly inspired by the Aussie hit, Priscilla; Queen of the Desert, that was directed by Beeban Kidron.

The movie teamed Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo as a trio of drag queens who travel cross-country until their car breaks down, leaving them stranded in a small town.

Also in the movie were drag icon RuPaul, Stockard Channing (who played Rizzo, leader of the Pink Ladies gang in Grease), supermodel Naomi Campbell and Blythe Danner (mother of Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow).

A musical stage version is being planned by Tony-nominated playwright and book writer, Douglas Carter Beane, for whom To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, marked his screenwriting debut. He will collaborate with composer Lewis Flinn on the theatre project, reports Playbill.

. Barbra Streisand as she appeared in Funny Girl, her first film, for which she won an Oscar.

The two previously worked on the musical Lysistrata Jones, and Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, which premiered earlier this year in Dallas, Texas, and is reportedly being considered for a Broadway season, a Playbill report adds.

Word is the musical will be simply titled To Wong Foo and will have what is being labelled as “ a developmental presentation” early in November.

In other musical news, it has been reported that Netflix will be highlighting Barbra Streisand’s 2016 concert tour as a TV special late in November.

Titled Barbra: The Music … The Mem’ries … The Magic!, it reportedly was shot in Miami, the last stop on  the Oscar-winner’s 13-city tour last year to coincide with the release of her hit Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway album.

This collection featured duets with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Melissa McCarthy, Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine and others, although it is not yet clear if the Netflix special will feature all of them.

The album featured popular songs from the musicals Company, Into the Woods, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Funny Girl, Follies, Yentl and A Star is Born, among others


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