In a significant leap towards the theatrical stage, Amazon Studios has set its sights on Broadway for 2024 with its inaugural stage production, A Transparent Musical. The musical, which took its initial bow at the Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in May 2023, is grounded in the premise of the popular Transparent television series.
Transparent is an American comedy-drama television series created by Jill Soloway for Amazon Studios. The series debuted in February 2014 and completed its five-season run in September 2019. The title of the series is a play on words, being a combination of “transgender” and “parent”, which are the core themes of the show.
The show centers on a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that their parent, played by Jeffrey Tambor, is a trans woman named Maura. This event becomes the catalyst for each family member’s journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Transparent is notable for its representation of LGBTQIA+ characters and issues and has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of the transgender community. The series won multiple awards, including two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and one for Jeffrey Tambor’s performance. It also won several Primetime Emmy Awards, including a Best Actor award for Tambor.
Partnering with Eva Price, renowned producer of &Juliet, Amazon Studios envisions a successful Broadway trajectory for the musical. Price’s seasoned experience in the theatre industry undoubtedly enhances the project’s prospect.
A Transparent Musical unfolds from the perspective of Ali Pfefferman, the youngest member of the Pfefferman family. Ali bears witness to their parent, Maura’s, transition into the transgender matriarch of the family while grappling with their personal journey of self-discovery. The script, penned by MJ Kaufman and Joey Soloway, one of the main contributors to the TV series, pairs with the musical scores and lyrics by Faith Soloway.
While the particulars regarding the cast and timeline for the Broadway run remain unannounced, the ensemble that graced the Los Angeles run featured notable names like Adina Verson (Ali Pfefferman), Daya Curley (Maura Pfefferman), Liz Larsen (Shelly Pfefferman), Zachary Prince (Josh Pfefferman), Sarah Stiles (Sarah Pfefferman), Kasper (Ezra), Peppermint (Davina), and Murphy Taylor Smith (Rabbi Raquel).
Although this production marks Amazon Studios first foray into theatre production, its sibling company MGM Studios, acquired by the tech behemoth in March 2022, currently has representations on Broadway with ‘Some Like It Hot’ and ‘New York, New York’.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that A Transparent Musical was the final performance at the Mark Taper Forum before the theatre temporarily halted its programming due to an unparalleled crisis in its 56-year history. The theatre reported significant reductions in ticket sales and donations, leading to a paused season and staff layoffs.