- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark has joined the Broadway-bound musical “Gigi” playing a role she lately has been really enjoying - a mentor.

Clark said Tuesday that she and three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty will join the cast, led by pop star Vanessa Hudgens. The rest of the actors include Howard McGillin, Corey Cott and Steffanie Leigh.

“It’s nice because it’s an intergenerational story and I love doing pieces where there are a lot of young people in the room,” said Clark. “I remember when I first started out, I was always the youngest one. And I remember one day looking around and thinking, ‘I’m not the youngest one anymore!’ Now it’s so much fun to be around these young people.”

“Gigi,” set in Paris at the turn of the last century, comes from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe, the same composer and lyricist as “My Fair Lady.” It centers on a teenage girl being groomed to serve as a companion to a bored, wealthy playboy until the pair realize they have fallen in love.

Clark, who has a 20-year-old son, will play Gigi’s grandmother, who tries to teach the young woman the rules of society only to find her granddaughter rebel.

“I think it’s a show about change,” Clark said. “Gigi breaks the cycle. She literally says, ‘This is not for me. This is what I need for me.’ And I think that’s the job of young people, to say, ‘We’re not going to do this anymore.’ That’s why I’m doing the piece.”

Clark won a best actress Tony for “The Light in the Piazza” and has been nominated for “Sister Act” and “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Hoty’s Broadway credits include “Footloose” and “City of Angels.”

The new musical will be seen at the Kennedy Center from Jan. 16-Feb. 12 and then move to Broadway.

“Gigi” features the memorable tunes “Thank Heaven For Little Girls,” ”I Remember It Well” and “The Night They Invented Champagne.” The score also includes a few songs added to the score in 1973, including “Paris is Paris Again” and “I Never Want to Go Home Again.”

In addition to the new musical, Clark has also been mentoring students at Pace University as an artist-in-residence. She’s directing a student version of “Light in the Piazza.”

“I came to New York to direct and it just so happened that all the writers kept giving me their material to present so I kept getting up and singing everything,” she said. “That door just kept opening and I’m very grateful but it was never what I really thought I was going to do. So I really want to branch out and start directing.”


Online: https://www.GigiOnBroadway.com


Mark Kennedy is at https://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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