- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Vanessa Hudgens will be getting some help onstage in “Gigi” by a longtime phantom, a newsboy and former British nanny.

Producers of the Broadway-bound revival said Tuesday that the cast will include Howard McGillin, a longtime title character in “The Phantom of the Opera” and Corey Cott, who played Jack Kelly in “Newsies” on Broadway. Steffanie Leigh, a onetime Mary Poppins, also has landed a role.

“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.

Hudgens, 25, who made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke’s “Thirteen,” will be making her Broadway debut in the title role. She’s best known for playing Gabriella, the love interest of Zac Efron’s Troy, in Disney’s “High School Musical” movies.

The director will be Eric Schaeffer, who staged the recent revival of “Follies” and “Million Dollar Quartet.” Choreography will be done by Joshua Bergasse, who is choreographing the “On the Town” revival this season. Playwright Heidi Thomas, who wrote the PBS/BBC hit “Call the Midwife,” is reimagining the new production of “Gigi.”

The new musical will be seen at the Kennedy Center from Jan. 16-Feb. 12 and then move to Broadway. Tickets to the Washington, D.C., show go on sale Wednesday morning.

Producers also announced a creative team with plenty of clout: Derek McLane will design the sets, Catherine Zuber will do costumes and Natasha Katz will handle the lighting. Al, are Tony winners.

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Online: https://www.kennedy-center.org

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