|Music Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland|
Lyrics Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland
Book Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Basis 1996 film The First Wives Club
Productions 2009 San Diego, California 2015 Chicago
First Wives Club is a musical with music and lyrics by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland. The musical is based on the 1996 movie of the same name.
The musical premiered in San Diego, California, in 2009, with a book by Rupert Holmes. A reworked version had a production in Chicago, in 2015, with a new book by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
The first production of the show opened at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California on July 17, 2009, in previews, through August 23, 2009, prior to a projected Broadway engagement. The book was by Rupert Holmes, with a score by the "one-time only reunited" Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team from 1960s Motown soul music fame. Francesca Zambello directed the San Diego production. The creators and Zambello were engaged for the project in 2006. An industry reading of the musical was held in February 2009, with principals Ana Gasteyer, Carolee Carmello and Adriane Lenox.
The principal cast in the San Diego production originally included Karen Ziemba as Annie, Adriane Lenox as Elise, Barbara Walsh as Brenda, John Dossett as Aaron, Kevyn Morrow as Bill, Brad Oscar as Morty, Sara Chase as Trophy Wife, and Sam Harris as Duane. Lisa Stevens choreographed, with scenic design by Peter J. Davison and costumes by Paul Tazewell. On June 16, 2009, Lenox dropped out of the production due to health concerns and was replaced by Sheryl Lee Ralph. The production's tryout received mixed to negative reviews, but the production sold approximately 29,000 tickets in its 5-week run.
The musical was reworked and opened in Chicago in March 2015 at the Oriental Theatre with a book re-written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of Designing Women. Originating producers, Jonas Neilson and Paul Lambert, teamed with Elizabeth Williams and John Frost, and brought on Simon Phillips to direct.