The star of the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is bringing a classic Black movie to Broadway, The Preacher’s Wife, the 1996 all-Black remake of the 1947 film The Bishop’s Wife starred Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. Some of its memorable songs were Houston’s remake of the Four Tops’ 1983 hit I Believe In You And Me.”
Burgess has written new original songs for the Broadway version, which is still in development.
We learned last year that Burgess acquired the rights to the 1996 film, which starred Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, which is remake of the 1947 film, The Bishop’s Wife.
At the “An Evening with Tituss Burgess” event, the actor took to the piano and played “All I Need,” a song he wrote for the musical.
Burgess told the crowd that he “saw the film as a teenager and it had a huge impact.”
He also revealed that he began writing the music and lyrics “even before he had obtained the rights to the film,” advising the crowd to never do that.
Burgess aims to adapt the film as a Broadway musical, and has already penned the music and lyrics, with Daniel Beaty writing the book.
An industry reading took place last year, with Loretta Devine and Ledisi starring, and Olivier nominee Stafford Arima directing.
The Broadway-aimed musical is described as “the story of one woman (Julia’s) journey to find her voice and strengthen her husband (the Preacher) and larger church community during a moment of financial crisis and emotional overwhelm. In a fast-gentrifying Harlem when they’re at risk of losing their church and their hope, an Angel appears and reminds them that a church is not a building, but the people who inhabit it and the love they share.”
Burgess, certainly no stranger to the stage, made his Broadway debut in 2005’s Good Vibrations. He’s since had roles in Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid and in the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls.