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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

We Cast Bernadette Peters So I Guess the Character is From Queens Now

by Devin Wallace. @thedevinwallace.

NEW YORK, NY - The team behind hotly-anticipated new Broadway show Heartland of America by Elizabeth Jansen, who wrote the autobiographical musical based on her upbringing in Elk Horn, Iowa (pop. 660), has cast Bernadette Peters in the lead role, so now the lead character is officially from Queens, sources confirmed.

“Even a true life story like this gets changed a little,” said Jansen while on the phone with her parents explaining they would not see themselves portrayed on stage. “Maybe the blonde becomes brunette, or maybe the working class kid in small-town America becomes a hotshot lawyer from the loudest borough in the biggest city on Earth. You can’t be too precious with these things.”

Roger Franklin, who wrote the music and lyrics, was similarly upbeat about entirely reworking the complex musical structure that perfectly maps the characters’ emotional journeys.

“It’s not about the songs I had to cut or the seven years of my creative life down the drain,” said Franklin as he tried to rhyme “endless cornfields” with “Throgs Neck Bridge”. “I try to focus on all the interested avenues that were opened, like our opening number ‘Atlantic Avenue’, or the second-half show-stopper ‘The Intersection of Jewel Avenue and 73rd Avenue’, and let’s not forget ‘Atlantic Avenue (Reprise)’,” Franklin added while scrolling through Google Maps.

Alec McGill, the primary financier of the production, waved away any criticism about changing the entire life story of the creator.

“We did the same thing with Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl,” said McGill, emphasizing Streisand’s name for his Uber drive to hear. “It was originally a beautiful story about Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor of Wyoming. But then we cast Babs and said, no can do. Let’s make the whole thing about some degenerate actors and criminals livin’ in Long Island. That’s Broadway, baby.”

The show, previously titled Heartland of America, will open next year as Welcome to Flushing. Starring opposite Bernadette will be none other than Steve Martin. The musical team is currently adapting every number to be played solely on the banjo.


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