‘Head Over Heels’ Sets Sights on Broadway, After San Francisco

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From left, Tala Ashe, John Tufts and Britney Simpson in “Head Over Heels” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015.

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Jenny Graham/Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Go-Go’s are going Broadway.

A seemingly improbable musical mash-up of the group’s 20th-century pop songs with a 16th-century prose romance will have a pre-Broadway production in San Francisco next spring, and the producers said Tuesday that they plan to open on Broadway after that.

The musical, a romantic comedy called “Head Over Heels,” had an initial production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015, where The New York Times called it a “funny and frolicsome concoction” but said that the book was stronger than the music. It was further developed in 2016 at Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater.

The show, based on “Arcadia” by Sir Philip Sidney, was conceived by Jeff Whitty, the Tony Award-winning book writer of “Avenue Q.” Mr. Whitty did the original work on the show’s book, which was then adapted by James Magruder. Tom Kitt, who won a Pulitzer Prize and two Tonys for “Next to Normal” and more recently oversaw the pop score for “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” has written arrangements.

Among the songs being used: “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Lust to Love” and the show’s title tune.

Michael Mayer, a Tony winner for the original production of “Spring Awakening,” is directing. The lead producers include the actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Donovan Leitch; the other lead producers are Rick Ferrari, Christine Russell, Louise Gund, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy.

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