‘Midnight’ takes gay murder to Atlanta, Broadway

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The classic gay Southern murder mystery with a drag twist, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," is getting its Broadway treatment, going musical and coming to Atlanta early next year for its debut.

And with real-life characters like the Lady Chablis, no stranger to Atlanta and its drag scene, you just know the music will prove to be gaylicious. The real crime story in Savannah certainly is: It's about the relationship between gay antiques dealer Jim Williams and Danny Hansford, a hooker who is killed. The book by John Berendt portrays the killing as the result of a lover's spat. Williams was tried four times with the last one ending in acquittal.

Clint Eastwood turned Berendt's book into the 1997 movie of the same name. Kevin Spacey portrayed Williams with a sexy young Jude Law taking on the Hansford-esque character Billy Hanson. Now, Broadway producer Anne Hamburger is teaming up with "Driving Miss Daisy" author (and Atlanta native) Alfred Uhry and Broadway composer Mark Bennett to create the musical.

According to the Duncans, the storyline will focus mostly on the relationship between Jim Williams and Danny Hansford.

“But with real-life characters like Joe Odom, Emma Kelly and The Lady Chablis, music will be a huge part of the show,” John said.

Hamburger said it’s still too early to know the score, but she expects the songbook to include Johnny Mercer hits, as well as a variety of other classics.

“Music will be just as important as the script,” Hamburger explained.

Expect the musical to open in January in Atlanta, which would come as the book celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Lady Chablis' character was included in the book and she played herself in the movie. Here's hoping she'll make the cut for the musical, too.

[via Savannah Morning News]

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