“But I’m a Cheerleader” musical gets a high-profile London reading (and, yes, Savannahians have reason to care)

Bill Augustin started working with publicist Bobby Zarem in New York way back in 2001. Bobby and Bill have handled much of the major programming and publicity for the Savannah Film Festival every year since then.

Bill has spent so much time in Savannah that sometimes it feels like he lives here.

Bill is also a talented writer who has been working for years on a variety of theatre and writing projects. One of those projects has been But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical, an adaptation of the 1999 cult film about a gay conversion camp for teenagers. An early version of Cheerleader was staged at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005 and got an excellent review from the New York Times.

In 2011, Bill stayed in Savannah for a few weeks after the filmfest and produced a really wonderful staged reading of Cheerleader with a cast of SCAD students. (Click here for my post at the time.)

And now Jerry Mitchell, director and choreographer of Kinky Boots and director of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, is launching an invite-only one-time staging of Cheerleader in London. From What’s On Stage:

Broadway director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell could be aiming to score a hat-trick in the West End, as he directs a showcase reading of a new musical adaptation of 1999 film But I’m A Cheerleader.

Mitchell, whose Kinky Boots is rumoured to be heading to the West End, is also directing next year’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre.

The showcase reading of But I’m A Cheerleader, which has book and lyrics by Bill Augustin and music by Andrew Abrams will take place this Friday 6 December (at the same time as our WhatsOnStage Awards Launch Party!) and marks the first London presentation of the show.


Jerry Mitchell said today: “But I’m a Cheerleader is an important, fun and infectious new musical about being who you are and never being afraid of that truth. I can’t wait to tell this story.”

There are more details at Playbill, Broadway.com, The Stage, and Broadway World, among other publications.

Even Buzzfeed has had a little fun with the announcement.

The London reading features 3-time Olivier Award nominee Hannah Waddington. one of the top young performers in West End musical theatre.

So wishing Bill, Andrew, and everyone else involved in the production broken legs on Friday.