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Celebrity Takeover

Aretha Franklin Wants Her Life To Be A Musical On Broadway

Drew Shade



The Queen of Soul wants to be the Queen on Broadway. Recently in an interview with Billboard, Aretha Franklin had a few things to say about her life story being told and how. Allegedly there have been plans for a Lifetime biopic of the legendary soul singer, with Jennifer Hudson & Audra McDonald in the top picks to portray her. However, it seems Franklin wants to see to her life story on Broadway, as well. (Those two still would ranked in the top choices just FYI)

“I would like to see it be a dramatic musical,” Franklin tells Billboard. “I loved The Motown Musical; it was so great. I think the timing is very good now, especially behind Jersey Boys, Carole King [Beautiful]. Gloria Estefan has come to Broadway now [On Your Feet] and why not Aretha?”

Aretha FranklinFranklin’s likeness was last seen on Broadway in A Night With Janis Joplin that included some guest appearances from Nina Simon, Bessie Smith, Etta James, and Aretha Franklin. Franklin was portrayed by NaTasha Yvette Williams (Chicago, Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess), who would be an excellent choice to cast for an Aretha Musical, which from this point on we’re going to call Natural Woman from here forward. That is not the title but it’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Franklin had hoped to talked with Clive Davis about backing the project somehow it didn’t work out. She has now talked to Marsha Mason about working on the project and said she’s “very amenable and would love to do it.”  Mason has been on seen Broadway in Steel Magnolias and more. She is a four-time Oscar nominee and was married for ten years to the Tony-winning playwright Neil Simon.

What songs would you like to hear in Natural Woman: The Aretha Franklin Musical? <–(not the real title). Of course, “Natural Woman” is a definite. One of our favorites would have to be “Chain Of Fools” and you can’t leave out the classic “Respect”.

Below is the interview with the Wall Street Journal that should definitely be a moment in the musical or at least referenced. It may even inspire a song called “What Is Auto-Tune?” or a big costume number titled “Beautiful Gowns”, or even a big backstage fight scene number called “Lies, Lies, & More Lies.” In the interview she also discusses her biopic in the interview including possibly casting Audra McDonald, Jennifer Hudson, “or someone from the church.”


Also, listen To NaTasha Yvette Williams sing Spirit In The Dark on The Wendy Williams show. Wendy Williams was on Broadway in Chicago in 2013. The same role Yvette Williams currently plays.

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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Celebrity Takeover

Tituss Burgess Has New Music, A New Movie, & No Time For Mess + The Preacher’s Wife Musical Update

Broadway Black



Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover
Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Tituss Burgess gave us an update on his musical adaptation of the 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife – starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. On the late-night talk show, a viewer called in to ask if there had been any updates regarding the show and Burgess shared that:

“ We are very close to signing with a hot-shot producer in New York, which means that the show is closer to appearing in London or here. But there’s also a recent development which could delay it for the better. You’ll find out about it later”

So not only do we know that the musical is still on its way to bless us, but there is an announcement about the show on the way! If you ask me, this is incredibly exciting. Tituss Burgess’ career has gone from stage to screen, and his abilities as an actor and singer are undeniable. Knowing that we are closer to seeing his skills as a musical theatre composer is mad exciting. Watch a clip from the interview above.

While we wait for The Preacher’s Wife Musical, listen to Burgess’ newly released EP Saint Tituss. Burgess sings his face off as he skillfully talks about issues that are personal and political — all while wrapping things up with a joyous celebration of resilience as positivity. He also has two songs that feature Daniel J. Watts including the single 45

St. Tituss is available on Spotify, apple music, and other streaming platforms.

He also has a new movie on the way. “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy along with Burgess, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, & more will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A national release date has not been set as of yet but is sure to be on its way.


While discussing the new movie during the same interview, Cohen asked Burgess about his relationship with Murphy. The way Cohen presented the question insinuates there might have been a problem between the two because of a ‘problematic past with the gays’ on Murphy’s part. The response given by Burgess is swift and loaded with “you tried it, but you won’t get me”:

“He wasn’t problematic for Tituss. We had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls and he should have won the Oscasr, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”

It is the following facial expression and the interaction that comes afterward that makes live television great. You can see Burgess say something to someone off-camera which leads Cohen to ask what he’s saying. Burgess replies with a soon-to-be iconic response to everything: “Keep going, girl. Do your show.”

and this is why we live.

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Cast List

Amber Riley & MJ Rodriguez Will Star in Little Shop of Horrors

Drew Shade



Amber Riley and Mj Rodriguez

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olivier Award winner for her portrayal of Effie White in London’s West End production of DreamgirlsAmber Riley (Dreamgirls UK) and Pose star Mj Rodriguez will star in a reimagined production of Little Shop of Horrors at Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Riley will take on the iconic voice of Audrey II while Rodriguez will star as Audrey alongside George Salazar (Be More Chill) as Seymour.

The show will run from Sept. 17-Oct. 20 with an official opening set for Sept. 25.

Little Shop of Horrors is considered a classic. It’s a horror-comedy rock musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and a book by Howard Ashman. The story follows a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. It debuted Off-Broadway in 1982 and the movie version of 1986 introduced the world to young talents of Gina and Pam Tisha Campell and Tichina Arnold.

Directed by Mike Donahue, the design team includes scenic design by Dane Laffrey; costume design by Danae McQueen; lighting design by Josh Epstein; sound design by Veronika Vorel; and choreography and puppet design by Sean Cawelti.

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