It was announced last Fall that producer Harvey Weinstein was going to be teaming up his company, Weinstein Live Entertainment, with Theatre du Chatelet of Paris to bring the stage production of the 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain across the pond to Broadway.
This week at his pre-Oscar dinner, Weinstein revealed the exciting news that the longtime Dancing With the Stars professional dancer Derek Hough would be taking on Gene Kelly's classic role as Don Lockwood, and the choice couldn't be more perfect!
As stated by The Hollywood Reporter, Hough sang and danced to title song "Singin' in the Rain" with the tap-dancing group the Rockettes at Weinstein's New York Spring Spectacular last year. This proved to be the unofficial audition that landed Hough the Broadway gig.
Watch that performance here (filmed by audience member):
But it's no secret that Hough is a fan of Gene Kelly. Not only does his dancing style prove that, but when performing a number to the song 'Singin' in the Rain' on Dancing with the Stars, he was a bit stressed and very articulate with partner Bethany Mota to make sure they got the dancing exactly right.
The performer is also good friends with Gene Kelly's wife, Patricia Ward Kelly, who congratulated him on Facebook for the landing the role:
Congratulations to my dear friend Derek Hough! #genekelly #genekellylegacy #derekhough #singinintherain (genekelly.com)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Broadway production is going to be directed by Robert Carsen and choreographed by Stephen Mear (though it's hard to imagine that Hough will not have his own choreographing ideas implemented somehow) and is in the works for the 2016-2017 season, looking at a January opening date.
If you're interested in looking at yet one more of Hough's interpretations of the famous 'Singin' in the Rain' dance, check out this one performed the night of his casting announcement.
If there's one thing for sure, Derek Hough definitely knows how to pay homage to the legendary Gene Kelly.