Monday, April 12, 2010

VERY BIG (and Strangely Beautiful) News...

UPDATE 6/13/10:
CONGRATULATIONS to musical director Kenny Seymour and the cast of Memphis for winning the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical! Memphis also won Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score! We are so excited to have Kenny on the Strangely Beautiful team!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the most interesting and exciting news I can possibly offer...

As seen on Publishers' Marketplace:
Report of Option Agreement Sale:
"Musical stage rights to Leanna Renee Hieber’s, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker described as a Victorian “Ghostbusters” about an eerie young woman whose skin is white as snow and the cadre of characters who believe she may be the key to an ancient prophecy, sold to Mt. Clair Entertainment to be adapted by the author with music and lyrics by Kenny Seymour, Jim Abbott and Nicholas Roman Lewis."

Further press details on the option agreement, care of Nicholas Roman Lewis:
"The ghostly, Gothic Victorian Fantasy The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is heading for the legit musical stage. The author Leanna Renee Hieber will write the book of the musical with music and lyrics by Kenny Seymour (Broadway credits include music direction for Memphis and arrangements for The Wiz) and Nicholas Roman Lewis (creative development for The Alchemist and They Call Me La Lupe) with additional orchestrations and arrangements by Jim Abbott (Wicked, Bombay Dreams, Disney’s Tarzan)."

Oh. My. Goodness. How about that?!

So. If you haven't read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, now is the time to do so. Buy it. AND this couldn't have better timing as we count down to the continuation of the Strangely Beautiful series on April 27th. Make sure you're on board for The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker. Buy it.

Well, like the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the theatre... But you can't take the theatre out of the girl. I suppose I wasn't meant to entirely walk away from that magical possibility that is a darkened stage after all. What I've heard of the music composed so far is haunting and gorgeous!!!! I'll be starting work on the script in the coming months. (I do have to get out there and sell Darkly Luminous, you know)

The Strangely Beautiful joy of returning to a childhood dream...

We had our first production meeting today, backstage of Memphis at the Shubert theatre, Nicholas, Kenny and I. I am joined in this venture by two wonderfully talented men, and I could not feel more blessed. And as I was on my way down 44th street, I have to say... I walked past The Majestic theatre, past The Phantom of the Opera and my whole life unfolded before me, all my childhood dreams, and it was everything I could do not to weep with amazement.

You see, I started writing my first book when I was 12 years old, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, because I was obsessed with that Broadway show. I fell in love with the theatre and began my trajectory towards becoming a professional actress. And I always kept writing. My two loves have always gone hand in hand. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my great loves would come together like this, that when I stepped backstage inside a Broadway theatre for the first time today, it would be for the first production meeting of the musical of MY book... the book of my heart, Miss Percy's book. A ten year labor of love, come to this unexpected new possibility. For her, and for all those who feel they are marginalized in society, who feel alone and disconnected, and wonder why they find beautiful things others think are strange... this show, once it comes together, it will be for you. And it will be full of magic. Because things like this just don't happen every day.

Um... and can I just say that we talked about holograms at the production meeting?! For the ghosts. *muppet flailing* THIS. IS. SO. COOL.

I just have to take time out to give a big shout-out to God. God brought gifts into my life, surrounded me with blessed and talented people, and has brought it all together for this incredible moment. The show may never get off the ground, but nothing can take away the incredible fact I never thought I'd get this far to begin with - and how much of a joy it is to dream and dream big. As an adult I don't tend to dream as big as I did when I was a kid. But I'm now reminded to dream as big as ever. You never know what might happen.
And huge thanks to Nicholas Roman Lewis, who wrote this wonderful paragraph for our press releases, words that are truly music to an author's ear:
"Kenny and I had been looking for a musical project for at least two years. Leanna's book had enthralled me from the moment I first read it as a manuscript so it was literally always on my desk staring at me. I knew this would make a wonderful musical but perhaps slightly daunting, after all, the book is full of ghosts, magic and murder. And then I thought, "the book is full of ghosts, magic and murder...this MUST be a musical." The characters and epic nature of the story lend themselves to song and I knew that Kenny shared my desire to incorporate sweeping cinematic themes with traditional musical theater styles. The icing on the cake is I think every writers dream; a lead character white as snow and strangely beautiful....I think I hear a song."


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Congratulations beautiful! There is no one more deserving and I will be there on opening night when it comes to Broadway.

OfficiallyInspired said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so excited for you!

You're so inspirational to me already, and the fact that you're doing what you love and dreaming and actually achieving it - that just makes me want to do the same for myself.

I hope this project really comes to life and, again, I'm so excited for you!

Brooke Reviews said...

This is fabulous! How exciting for everyone especially you :D Congratulations!

mis(h)takes said...

Holy crap!! That's wonderful news Leanna, simply wonderful. I hope it's as beautiful as your writing is. I can't wait to hear more about it.

Congratulations on everything, you totally deserve it!

MaryC said...

Congratulations!!! What absolutely amazing news. I got goosebumps reading about it and thinking of your 12 year-old self and how excited she'd be.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

Congratulations! I hope this project takes off and we get to see Percy and Alexi fall in love on stage!

Kwana said...

Oh. My. Goodness!! Wow wheeee!! I'm so darned happy for you. This is just wonderful.

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

That is very awesome. Grats.

Marcia Colette said...

I'm so utterly happy for you that I had to contain myself in my seat. I was at work when I hear/saw the news. Many CONGRATS, hon. I absolutely *love* seeing childhood dreams fulfilled.

Jessica Kennedy said...

Holy goodness! How stinking awesome is this! :)

I received my copy yesterday in the mail! Thanks so much! I'll be starting it very soon.


Leanna Renee Hieber said...

THANK YOU, my dear friends, for coming on here and sharing in this news with me. It's a very special opportunity, and I can't wait to take you with me on the wild ride!