‘To Wong Foo The Musical,’ Theater Adaptation of 1995 Drag Film, to World Premiere at Manchester, U.K.

“To Wong Foo The Musical,” based on 1995 film “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,” will have its world premiere at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, U.K.

The film, which is now considered a cult classic, starred Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, Stockard Channing, Robin Williams and Ru Paul.

The musical has a book and direction by original film screenplay writer Douglas Carter Beane, with music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn, casting by Sarah Leung and artwork by Feast Creative.

Beginning in 1990s New York, the musical tells the story of three drag queens, Vida, Noxeema and Chichi, who embark on a trip across America to attend the drag queen of the year finals in Hollywood. When their car breaks down in Middle America, their lives, as well as those in the town, are turned upside down.

The casting and full creative team will be revealed in due course.

Beane said, “When I wrote this story back in the 1990’s, it was always a theater show in my mind, and fortunately for me, Steven Spielberg and Beeban Kidron thought it would make a great movie. But, for me it was always the ambition to bring it to the stage and I’m so happy its finally happening. Although the musical continues to be an homage to drag, ’90s New York and the amazing individuals who made it such a vibrant place to be, it is even more politically relevant today than ever before as censorship and condemnation of drag is unfortunately on the rise in the United States. I hope this show connects with new audiences as it did way back then… come along for the ride.”

“To Wong Foo The Musical” is produced by Hope Mill Theatre.

Artistic director of Hope Mill Theatre, Joseph Houston, said, “’To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’ really brought drag to a mainstream audience in a massive way and as a queer piece of movie history, was truly ground-breaking. To be working so closely with Doug and having him direct is also a huge honor. ‘To Wong Foo’ as a piece of work has always been destined to be told on stage and as a musical. Those that know and love the film can expect all of those brilliant one liners, supported by a score that is a little bit club, a little bit country, a little bit musical theatre, but a whole lot of attitude. And for those experiencing the show for the first time, welcome to the drag-fantasy-musical-extravaganza, that is ‘To Wong Foo’”

The production will open at Hope Mill Theatre on Oct. 21 for a limited nine-week run.

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