Elton John’s long-gestating new musical Tammy Faye, based on the life of the legendary evangelist, singer, author and television personality, will have its world premiere at London’s Almeida Theatre this October.
Tammy Faye will feature music and lyrics by John and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, with a book by award-winning writer James Graham (Ink). The cast includes Olivier Award-winner Katie Brayben as Tammy Faye and Tony Award-nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) as Jim Bakker. This true story, directed by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, is billed as a testament of faith, resilience, and the temptations of success.
From a studio in South Carolina, Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker revolutionized religion. Preaching to millions 24 hours a day, Tammy just wants to put the fun back into faith. But a new wave of ministers wants you not to just feel God in your heart, but in your homes, in your schools and in the law too.
Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth has long hoped to bring a musical about Tammy Faye’s life to Broadway, with Chenoweth portraying Tammy. However, Chenoweth’s project, tentatively titled Rise, is separate from John’s new musical, which seems to have beaten her to the punch.
The Almeida’s season will also feature Paul Mescal (Normal People) as Stanley in a new revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Rebecca Frecknall. Lydia Wilson returns to the Almeida to play Blanche, with Anjana Vasan as Stella.
The world premiere of Women, Beware the Devil then follows next February. Goold directs this deadly new play of treachery and trickery by award-winning playwright Lulu Raczka (Antigone, Nothing).
The season concludes in April with UK premiere of new musical The Secret Life of Bees. Written by playwright Lynn Nottage, composer Duncan Sheik and lyricist Susan Birkenhead, this production will be directed by Whitney White, and is based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd.