EXCLUSIVE: Two decades after she made her Broadway debut at the age of 5 singing with the Boys Choir of Harlem, Raven-Symoné is back on stage as the star of a Broadway musical. The actress-singer is set to take over the lead role in the musical Sister Act based on the hit 1992 movie, replacing Patina Miller as Deloris Van Cartier. Whoopi Goldberg, who played Deloris in the film and its sequel, produces the Broadway adaptation featuring original music by Alan Menken, which opened in April 2011. Raven-Symoné is slated to begin rehearsals at the end of February and hit the stage of the Broadway Theatre at the end of March for a minimum six-month engagement. Miller originated the role of Deloris both in the West End and Broadway productions of Sister Act, making her Broadway debut. Raven-Symoné is with UTA and Untitled.
New ABC Family president Michael Riley is making his first new series pickups today, ordering 3 new shows, the Raven Symone comedy The Great State of Georgia and 2 dramas, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Switched at Birth. The orders to all 3 are for 10 episodes, including the pilot.
The Great State of Georgia, from ABC Studios, centers on Georgia (Raven Symone), an exuberant curvy performer from the south, and her science geek best friend Jo (Majandra Delfino) who try to make headway in New York City. The pilot was written by author Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives). This marks the return to sitcoms for Symone, who made her debut in the genre at age 2 on The Cosby Show. It also brings a companion piece to ABC Family’s hot original sitcom Melissa & Joey.
Nine Lives is based on Alloy’s Nine Lives of Chloe King series of 3 young-adult novels by Celia Thomson. Alloy Entertainment is producing the pilot, about Chloe King (Skyler Samuels), a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. Dan Berendsen (Hannah Montana: The Movie) penned the script and is executive producing with Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. This marks the second Alloy series on ABC Family along with hit Pretty Little …
EXCLUSIVE: Raven Symone is returning to series television as the star of ABC Family’s multi-camera comedy pilot The Great State of Georgia. The project, from ABC Studios, centers on Georgia (Raven Symone), an exuberant curvy performer from the south who is trying to make it big as an actress in New York City. Also cast in the pilot is Brock Cuchna (Melrose Place) as Georgia’s Southern ex-boyfriend who, still madly in love with her, comes to New York to bring her back home. The pilot was written by author Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives). Symone, who landed her first regular TV role on The Cosby Show at age 3, worked non-stop for 18 years until the end of her sitcom That’s So Raven in 2007 when she took 2 years off. She returned to the business this summer as one of the two stars of the ABC Family movie Revenge of the Bridesmaid and went on to pitch the cable network a half-hour project with writer Yvette Lee Bowser for her to star in and produce.