Oscar-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz and Tony Award-winning actor Kristin Chenoweth — most known for their collaboration on “Wicked” — are working together again. The pair is teaming up on a musical adaptation of the 2012 documentary “The Queen of Versailles,” about beauty queen and television personality Jacqueline “Jackie” Siegel (to be played in the musical by Chenoweth). An industry reading, to be directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, will take place on March 24.
Schwartz is writing the music and lyrics, with playwright Lindsey Ferrentino penning the book of the original work. Additional casting has not been announced.
“The Queen of Versailles” follows Jackie, who began as a computer engineer before winning the Miss Florida pageant. She and her wealthy husband then decide to build the largest private home in America, inspired by the Palace at Versailles. But the housing crisis of 2008 gets in the way of their ostentatious lifestyle.
Chenoweth, who won a Tony for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” last appeared on Broadway in her concert special “For the Girls.” Her last turn in a Main Stem musical was 2015’s “On the Twentieth Century,” a performance which earned her a third Tony nomination. Schwartz, who has earned six Tony nominations, last appeared on Broadway as a guest in “For the Girls,” though revivals of his “Pippin” and “Godspell” have lit up the boards in recent years. His last original Broadway musical was, of course, the currently running “Wicked,” in which Chenoweth originated the role of Glinda.
Writer Ferrentino’s past work includes the plays “Ugly Lies the Bone” and “Amy and the Orphans,” both of which were produced Off-Broadway. Arden is helming the current revival of “Parade” and earned Tony nominations for his direction of “Once on This Island” in 2018 and “Spring Awakening” in 2016.
“The Queen of Versailles” is being produced by Bill Damaschke.