Massachusetts' American Repertory Theater has revealed its 2023-2024 season, which will include the world premieres of Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine)'s Gatsby and a stage musical adaptation of Real Women Have Curves.
Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, Gatsby features a score by Welch and Thomas Bartlett, and a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok. In development since at least 2021, the world premiere staging at A.R.T.'s Loeb Drama Center will close out A.R.T.'s season, with dates to be announced. Tony-winning Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin will helm the premiere, replacing previously attached director Rebecca Frecknall (West End Cabaret), who appears to have departed the project. Sonya Tayeh (Moulin Rouge!) will choreograph. The Massachusetts run is being produced by special arrangement with Amanda Ghost and Len Blavatnik for Unigram/Access Entertainment, and Jordan Roth, in association with Robert Fox. Hannah Giannoulis is co-producer.
The musical is one of at least two dueling The Great Gatsby musical adaptations, both in development since the 1925 novel passed into public domain (freeing producers from paying royalties to Fitzgerald's estate) in 2021. The competing musical, titled The Great Gatsby and featuring a book by Kait Kerrigan, music by Jason Howland, and lyrics by Nathan Tysen, is set to make its own world premiere later this year at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse.
Tony winner Sergio Trujillo will direct and choreograph the world premiere of Real Women Have Curves, with music and lyrics by Joy Huerta and Benjamin Velez and a book by Lisa Loomer. The new musical is based on the Josefina López play that inspired the 2002 film, following a first-generation child of Mexican immigrants torn between joining the family garment business or embarking on her own dream of attending college in NYC. The work will play the theatre's Loeb Drama Center December 8–January 14, 2024.
The season will open with the North American premiere of Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles)' The Half-God of Rainfall, running September 8–24 at Loeb Drama Center. Taibi Magar will direct the story of a demigod basketball player propelled from his home village in South West Nigeria to the NBA playoffs and the London Olympics, to the ire of Zeus. A.R.T.'s run is being produced in partnership with New York Theatre Workshop.
Additionally, P. Carl will co-direct (with A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus) his world premiere play, Becoming a Man, February 16–March 10, 2024, at the Loeb Drama Center. Based on Carl's 2020 memoir of the same name, the piece tracks his journey from life presenting as a girl to a queer woman, and ultimately an out trans man.
For more details on the upcoming season, visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.