‘Sideways: The Musical’ Taps Kathleen Marshall to Direct and Choreograph

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Tony winner Kathleen Marshall is set to direct and choreograph “Sideways: The Musical.”

Marshall, a three-time Tony winner of best choreography for “Wonderful Town” (2004), “The Pajama Game” (2006) and “Anything Goes” (2011), joins novelist Rex Pickett and composer Anthony Leigh Adams as director and choreographer.

Marshall also has six Tony Award nominations, four of which were for best director of a musical.

“As grateful as I am for the movie and the various non-musical stagings, I’m eager to move away from men over-emphasizing the journey of my male characters,” Pickett said. “I had an instinct that a woman director would focus more intently on, and highlight, the trajectory of the Miles/Maya love story and alchemize all the elements of my novel into a production with overall greater character nuance. In Kathleen we found the perfect marriage of musical theater experience and someone who instinctively understands that ‘Sideways’ is not just a fun, bawdy, picaresque buddy-buddy romp, but an emotional journey of the heart. That’s what I wrote. The book for the musical is a pure distillation of my novel.”

This isn’t the first adaptation of Pickett’s 2004 novel “Sideways.” Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) directed the 2004 film of the same name, which grossed more than $500 million worldwide. It won the Academy Award for adapted screenplay and two Golden Globes for best picture and screenplay.

“The movie is as beloved today as it was when it came out 15 years ago, and the brand recognition of Rex’s characters is as fresh and timeless as ever,” said co-producer Susan Gee. “The musical version, in Kathleen’s hands, will hoist the iconic story to new heights.”

With three-quarters of the music composed and recorded, and a fully realized book already completed, “Sideways: The Musical” aims for a spring/summer 2020 regional staging before hitting Broadway.

Pickett is repped by APA and John Campbell at Jcintime Management. Marshall is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.