Order up! Stage favorites Orfeh (Legally Blonde), Taylor Louderman (Bring It On) and Allison Case (Hands on a Hardbody) are heading to the big screen in Life of an Actress, a new movie musical about three struggling stage performers who moonlight as waitresses. Filming begins on June 18 at Clinton Diner and Bar in Queens, NY, with a release date yet to be announced. Featuring a script, music and direction by Paul Chau, Life of an Actress is inspired, in part, by real-life performers Chau interviewed for his 2009 documentary of the same name.
“For these women, there's such a struggle with no guaranteed success,” Chau, also a theatrical producer, told Broadway.com. “Most Broadway shows close in a year, and when that happens, they’re out of work.” One actress who spoke with Chau described her life as “an interview that never ends.” In the new movie musical, he set out to share the passionate and sometimes painful stories of women in different decades of their lives and careers.
Chau composed his pop-flavored score with stage-trained singers in mind, but he wants to avoid the traditional Broadway sound. “When you start filming a traditional musical, it doesn’t work as well because it’s a live experience that you really can’t replicate,” he explains. “Pop songs give it a little bit of color.” In addition to Orfeh, Louderman and Case, the movie will star Broadway alums Richard H. Blake (The Wedding Singer), Bart Shatto (Les Miserables) and Xavier Cano (Grease) as the men in the ladies' lives.
As filming begins at the Clinton Diner (nicknamed Goodfellas Diner—it was also the shooting location for Martin Scorsese’s classic crime drama), Chau can’t wait to officially assemble the “amazing and enthusiastic” cast. "It's about inspiration and human stories, and that's what I hope the audience will see when they look into the lives of these three women,“ he says. "And If the film does what I think it will do, in a couple years, maybe we can take it to the stage."