Look out, Broadway—The Go-Go’s are getting the royal Cher treatment!
The Go-Go’s, regarded as the Queens of New Wave, dominated the music charts in the early to mid-1980s. Their debut release Beauty and the Beat—who can forget “Our Lips Our Sealed” and “We Got the Beat”—went double platinum and is considered the springboard from which American new wave blew up. Until their eventual breakup in 1985, the all-girl band remained critical darlings with their two follow-up recordings, Vacation with its top-ten single of the same title, and Talk Show which produced the hit “Head Over Heels,” which will serve as title for the Broadway show to be co-produced by none other than Goop lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow.
(Fun fact: Gwyneth’s late father Bruce Paltrow was a highly successful TV director of such shows as The White Shadow and St. Elsewhere. Go-Go’s guitarist/songwriter Charlotte Caffey’s dad Michael Caffey was also a big-time director, helming episodes of CHiPs and Barnaby Jones among dozens of others.)
As the girl wonders (Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Kathy Valentine, Gina Schock, Charlotte Caffey) were making music history—as a female rock group who struck commercial success without the control of men—there was all sorts of infighting drama as well as gossip of the typical rock-star nature circulating around the group involving drugs and sex, all of which will make an intriguing plot for the play…oh, wait. Head Over Heels, the musical, will not be The Go-Go’s story
Using The Go-Go’s music, the play [pausing, clearing throat] is based on Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th century work Arcadia, adapted for stage by Jeff Whitty. Whitty is known for writing the book for Avenue Q that won a Tony for best musical in 2004.
So, what will Head Over Heels be about? Well, it’s the tale of the Duke of Arcadia named Basilius, “who flees after an Oracle tells him his two daughters’ love lives will be beset by disaster.”
The show director will be Michael Mayer of Green Day’s American Idiot fame.
Productions of Head Over Heels have already been mounted. In 2015, a version played at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival “to middling reviews.” In April 2018, a reworked version of Head Over Heels is set to premiere in San Francisco before it travels to the Great White Way.
In a statement on their website, The Go-Go’s expressed delight at the collaboration.
“If you told us 30 years ago that our songs were going to be in a musical, we’d have said, ‘Of course they’ll be on Broadway!’ None of us would have really believed it, though.”