'You Again' Director Says Cher Musical May Come to the Stage
By Stacy Jenel Smith Posted Sep 16th 2010 11:31AM
Prolific producer-director-writer Andy Fickman confirms that he has a theatrical piece, drawn from Cher's life and career, on the way.
He tells PopEater, "We'll be making announcements about that project coming together shortly. She's a fairly phenomenal character, Cher -- as a human being I think she's one of the great icons of all time, a force to be reckoned with. The way she looked onstage with Lady Gaga, well, it's one for the books."
Fickman doesn't want to give out details yet. For one thing, he has other project to talk about -- and, certainly, another icon: everyone's favorite octogenarian superstar, Betty White.
The Betty movement couldn't have come along at a better time for Fickman's Sept. 24-opening 'You Again' comedy with Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Odette Yustman – and Betty. The movie was made "before her Super Bowl spot, before she did 'SNL' and her career ignited 10 times over," as Fickman puts it.
He notes, "It was funny when we were casting, we kept referring to the character as 'the Betty White character,' and we finally said, 'You know, we really should find out if Betty White herself is available.' And we were just so thrilled to get her. She is in a league of her own. Comedically, every actor wanted to get to work with her."
"I'd never worked with Betty before, and I approached her the same way I'd approach my mother -- talking loud and slow, and as if she was incapable of operating a VCR," he adds. "I was not sure of her energy level. But she turned out to be the brightest person around, the smartest -- and by far the funniest. She could not help herself. She could put a cap on any sentence, and we'd be in stitches. At the end of a long day, you could look over at Betty and she'd still be ready to go. It was a lesson for the rest of us."
Betty plays the grandmother of Bell's character in the multi-generational romp in which Bell and Curtis have to square off against their old high school nemeses.
Meanwhile, Fickman's been busy this week with concert presentations of his Broadway-bound 'Heathers' -- as in his musical based on the 1989 dark high school flick about a very nasty clique and the bad things that happen to them. The cult favorite helped launch Winona Ryder and Christian Slater into stardom.
"We've been having a blast with it," he says. "We've been doing readings in Los Angeles of it, and now we've put it on as a concert in New York -- we had a couple of new songs to try out, and we sold out all three performances."
As far as the casting, "It's like when we did 'Reefer Madness,' and people really wanted to be part of something culty and fun. 'Heathers' has no shortage of fans. A lot of actors would like to be involved, a lot of requests have come in form people asking if they can be a Heather, or someone who has to deal with a Heather." So far, he says, "We've been using a lot of the same wonderful actors I've been fortunate enough to work with in the past. By winter, we'll have more of an idea," he adds of who'll be in the show next year. "I've been very lucky to have the right cast come together at the right time."
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