Tony winner Beth Leavel will star as '60s girl group composer Florence Greenberg in the previously announced musical Baby It's You!, according to a source close to the production. The musical is directed by Floyd Mutrux and features a book by Muturx and Colin Escott. It will begin performances at the Broadhurst Theatre this spring, according to the New York Post. No official casting or dates have been announced.
Leavel, who received a Tony Award for her performance in The Drowsy Chaperone, recently originated the role of Emily in the holiday musical Elf. Her other Broadway credits include 42nd Street, The Civil War, Show Boat and Mamma Mia!
Featuring songs like "He's So Fine", "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Twist and Shout", the musical follows the rise of New Jersey housewife Greenberg, who teams with African-American song writer Luther Dixon to craft the popular girl group The Shirelles as well as their own independent record company.
Baby It's You! is the second of five shows (preceded by Million Dollar Quartet) in Mutrux's planned "American Pop Anthology" series, which focuses on American music from the 1950s to the 1980s. Mutrux will produce the series under his production company of the same name. Other planneds shows include Heartbreak Hotel, the story of Elvis and his manager Colonel Tom Parker (which Mutrux likens to a prequel to Million Dollar Quartet); The Boy From New York City, following the rise of the radio payola scandals thanks to record producer George Goldner; and the musical fantasy Lonesome Town, which takes place in a purgatory-esque environment where deceased rock greats Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Ricky Nelson and others gather to play their hits and tell their life stories.
Million Dollar Quartet marked Mutrux's first time working on Broadway. He has directed several films, including the rock-inspired American Hot Wax, The Hollywood Knights and There Goes My Baby.