You'll Never Guess Which Ballet Legend is in Andy Blankenbuehler's New Musical
We're willing to admit that Only Gold, a Broadway musical that Andy Blankenbuehler has had in the works since 2013, had somewhat slipped our mind. (In all fairness, Blankenbuehler got rather busy choreographing a moderately successful musical about American history, and then directing and choreographing Bandstand.)
Yep, that's ballet legend Alessandra Ferri. And yep, that means the pair of ballerinas are in rehearsals with Blankenbuehler for Only Gold. Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. Here's what we know so far:
What's this musical about anyway?
Only Gold centers on a maharaja in 1920s Paris, though details are still hazy. (Not to be confused with the plot of Moulin Rouge! in which a writer in 1920s Paris is working on a show featuring a love triangle between a penniless sitar player, a courtesan and a maharaja.)
The dance talent in the rehearsal room is INSANE
Alessandra Ferri in rehearsal at The Royal Ballet. Photo by Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH
We've got Ferri, arguably the greatest dance actress of her generation. We've got Pazcoguin, who was tapped by Blankenbuehler to play the balletic Victoria in the 2016 Broadway revival of CATS. And then there's Justice Moore, AKA "The Bullet" in the original Chicago ensemble of Hamilton. These three are reportedly playing the wives of the maharaja (Seán Martin Hingston).
Not to mention Ricky Ubeda (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, CATS, "SYTYCD"), Ryan Steele (Newsies), Ryan Vasquez (Hamilton), Cindy Salgado (Kidd Pivot)...stop us before we list everyone we recognize in Pazcoguin's photo.
Kate Nash is handling the music
Photo by Getty Images/Robin Little/Red Ferns, via Google
The English singer-songwriter has been working on this project for about eight years. Nash's catalogue will be used in the musical, as well as material she is composing specifically for the show. Earlier this summer, she told Harper's Bazaar, "It's quite amazing seeing dancers physically interpret my songs because it puts a whole new spin on them."
There's a ways to go before it's preview-ready
Blankenbuehler has actors and dancers in the studio, and there was a reading of the first act recently, so the project is definitely coming along. But there's no word yet on when a full staging, much less an out-of-town tryout, might happen. (It's fine, we'll just keep Instagram-stalking the cast until then...)
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I was on my favorite treadmill when it happened.
My best running buddy was on my left. To my right, a total stranger with whom I'd suddenly become competitive. As the 15-person group headed into a two-minute push, the instructor got hyped, and the remix blasting Rihanna's "We Found Love" transitioned to "Smooth Criminal."