LONDON (Reuters) – A new musical about the life and career of legendary singer and performer Frank Sinatra will open in the British city of Birmingham later this year.
“Sinatra The Musical” will debut at the Birmingham Rep on Sept. 23, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the “Come Fly with Me” and “New York, New York” singer’s UK tour, during which he performed in the city.
The story begins on New Year’s Eve 1942, when the then 27-year-old Sinatra took to the stage at New York’s Paramount Theatre with a performance that propelled him to success.
As he becomes a huge music star, “he struggles with balancing the love of his wife, Nancy, against the demands and temptations of being the most popular singer in America”, producers said in a statement of the show plot line.
The musical will look at the impact his affair with actress Ava Gardner had on his career, and how he staged “the greatest comeback in showbiz history”.
“I am very proud of our new musical production and I’m especially delighted that, for the first time, we’re going to give you a perspective on my father that you’ve never seen before,” Sinatra’s daughter, Tina Sinatra said, in a statement.
Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro, known for “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Memphis”, has written the book.
“Growing up, there were two pictures hanging in my grandmother’s kitchen — The Pope and Frank Sinatra. So to sit down with Tina Sinatra and hear stories of her father which no one else knows, and then to be able to put those stories on stage – well I think it’ll make for an unexpected and thrilling new musical,” DiPietro said.
“We’ll be showing you how the man became the legend and how the legend was — at the end of the day — just a man.”
Sinatra, whose instantly recognisable voice won him fans around the world with classics like “My Way” and “Strangers in the Night”, died in 1998.
“Sinatra The Musical”, which has Olivier and Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall at the helm, will run until Oct. 28.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Hugh Lawson)