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Maupin’s ‘Tales’ to be told on stage

Whitty, Scissor Sisters to adapt as a musical

Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” is getting the tuner treatment, with a Broadway-aimed musical adaptation in the works from “Avenue Q” book writer Jeff Whitty plus Jason Sellards and John Garden, two members of the band Scissor Sisters.

Jason Moore (“Avenue Q,” “Shrek”) will helm the show, which follows the idiosyncratic characters encountered by a young Midwestern woman in 1970s San Francisco.

Produced by “Avenue Q” producers Jeffrey Seller, Robyn Goodman and Kevin McCollum, “Tales of the City” hopes to hit Broadway during the 2009-10 season.

Budget for the developing show has not yet been determined, although creatives and producers expect a large-scale musical that, like the original book, follows the storylines of nearly a dozen major characters. Seller estimated capitalization would cost no less than $10 million.

Plot of the musical will focus on the 1978 novel “Tales of the City,” the first of seven “Tales” books, with elements from the second novel likely included as well.

“Tales” is the first tuner for Whitty since he won a 2004 Tony for his book for “Avenue Q.” He was attracted by the story’s broadly tolerant milieu.

“Even now, it still feels like the future to me,” he said. “I want the world to get to the place that we were in San Francisco in the 1970s.”

“Tales” already has been adapted for television, in three miniseries that have aired in the U.S. on PBS and Showtime.

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