'To Wong Foo' Musical Has Its Eyes on Broadway With New Workshop

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John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze in a car in a scene from the film 'To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar', 1995. 

Drag has been a part of the Broadway experience for years, most recently with the smash hit Kinky Boots and the revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song.

But now, the 1995 cult-classic drag film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar is in the nascent stages of becoming a Broadway musical. Douglas Carter Beane, the film’s screenwriter, is staging a workshop of his Broadway adaptation this week, reports the New York Post.

Santino Fontana, the Broadway actor set to star in the upcoming adaptation of Tootsie and who played Greg on The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, will take on the lead role of Vida Boheme (portrayed in the film by Patrick Swayze) in the workshop. He will be joined by Tony winner Alice Ripley, Daniel Breaker, Ann Harada and Annie Golden. Dates and venues for early stagings of the show have yet to be released.

To Wong Foo tells the story of three New York drag queens who take a cross-country road trip to compete in a drag pageant. Swayze shared the screen with co-stars Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo, who played Boheme’s two friends and fellow drag queens.

In an interview with the Post, Beane said he originally intended To Wong Foo for the stage. “I was a struggling writer trying to break into the theater,” he told Michael Riedel. “I was working as a nanny in Brooklyn, and every time the family went on vacation, I’d write a play. I started working on To Wong Foo but couldn’t figure out how to put a car onstage. So I turned it into a screenplay instead.”


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