Jasmine Amy Rogers, who recently finished a run as the scene-stealing “Gretchen Wieners” in the national tour of Mean Girls, has been cast in the title role of the pre-Broadway world premiere of BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical.
Rogers will play the iconic big-headed Jazz Age flapper for a limited engagement at Chicago’s CIBC Theatre from November 19-December 24. The production is part of the Broadway in Chicago line-up.
Directed and choreographed by Tony winning Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman: The Musical, Hairspray), BOOP! features music by composer David Foster, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead and a book by The Prom‘s Bob Martin.
Although the Chicago staging is described by producers as a “pre-Broadway premiere,” neither a Broadway production timeline nor Broadway casting has been disclosed yet.
“From the moment Jasmine walks into a room and shares that magnificent smile and her contagious laugh, you know you are in the presence of Betty Boop,” said Mitchell in a statment. “And, like the cartoon Betty, Jasmine can do everything brilliantly – acting, singing, dancing – I know her performance will capture the hearts of audiences of all ages.”
Prior to her Mean Girls role, Rogers played “Melody Green” in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of The Wanderer and as “Francis Bassey” in the world premiere of Becoming Nancy, directed by Mitchell at the Alliance Theatre. On television she has appeared in Evil on Paramount+.
The design and creative team includes David Rockwell, set design; Gregg Barnes, costumes; Philip S. Rosenberg, lighting; Gareth Owen, sound; Finn Ross, projection design; and Daryl Waters, musical supervision and arrangements.
For almost a century, the cartoon character of Betty Boop has won hearts and inspired fans with her trademark looks, squeaky & sexy voice, and thoroughly modern style. In the new musical, Betty’s dream of an ordinary day off from the super-celebrity in her black-and-white world leads to an extraordinary adventure of color, music, and love in New York City — “one that,” per the synopsis, “reminds her and the world, ‘You are capable of amazing things.”
First introduced in 1930, Betty Boop was created by Max Fleischer for his black and white “Talkartoons” animated series, the world’s first cartoon talkies which Fleischer Studios produced for Paramount Studios. Betty initially appeared as a dog-like stage performer who sang and danced with another dog-like character named Bimbo, but inspired by Jazz Age flappers, Betty by 1932 had evolved into the only female animated screen star in the world, known for her liberated, sexy dancing and cooing “Boop-oop-a-doop!” catchphrase. Her dress would soon be the leggy, bright red number – short enough to reveal a heart-shaped garter belt – and Betty would star in more than 100 cartoons, voiced by the great Mae Questel.