An original musical “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” — based on the eponymous 1994 book by John Berendt — is in development, with industry readings planned for May 12 and 13. A team of award-winning creatives are attached to the project.
The presentations will be directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford. The musical’s book is being written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony nominee Taylor Mac, with music and lyrics by three-time Tony winner Jason Robert Brown. Choreography will be by Tanya Birl and Sarah O’Gleby.
Additional members of the creative team will be announced.
“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” tells the story of antique dealer Jim Williams, who faced multiple murder trials in connection to the May 1981 shooting of his assistant and known male escort Danny Hansford. Berendt’s tome, which first captured the account, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and spent 216 weeks as a New York Times bestseller. It was previously adapted into a 1997 film directed by Clint Eastwood.
Director Ashford was last represented on Broadway as the choreographer of “Frozen;” his most recent Main Stem directing credit is the 2013 revival of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Mac — a longtime writer, performer, director, composer-lyricist and producer — debuted on Broadway in 2019 as the playwright of “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” which earned Mac a Tony nod. Brown is currently represented on Broadway with the revival of “Parade,” for which he wrote the score.
Birl last appeared on Broadway as part of the cast of the 2014 revival of “On the Town.” She previously served as the associate choreographer of “Chaplin.” O’Gleby most recently choreographed this season’s “Almost Famous” and is working on the upcoming Broadway bow of “Shucked.”
“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” is being produced by Hal Luftig, Craig Haffner and Sherry Wright.