Vermonter's Musical Bound for Broadway With Hillary Clinton as a Producer | History | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Vermonter's Musical Bound for Broadway With Hillary Clinton as a Producer


Published October 25, 2023 at 1:29 p.m.
Updated November 1, 2023 at 10:20 a.m.

Shaina Taub (center) in the 2022 production of Suffs at the Public Theater - COURTESY OF JOAN MARCUS
  • courtesy of Joan Marcus
  • Shaina Taub (center) in the 2022 production of Suffs at the Public Theater
Waitsfield native Shaina Taub's life is shaping up like a Broadway musical: small-town Vermonter heads to New York at age 16, graduates from New York University, performs off Broadway, records albums, creates musical versions of Shakespeare plays, collaborates with Elton John and performs solo in Lincoln Center's American Songbook series.

Now Suffs, her new musical about the women's suffrage movement, is heading to Broadway, opening at the Music Box Theatre on April 18. Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, have signed on as producers. Lead producers are Jill Furman (Hamilton) and Rachel Sussman (Just for Us). Leigh Silverman (Violet) will direct.

Taub wrote the book, music and lyrics for Suffs, and she starred as Alice Paul in the off-Broadway production at the Public Theater last year. Below a photo of the Broadway News headline announcing her latest marquee moment, Taub wrote on Instagram, "My mom got me the Chorus Line cast album for Hanukkah when I was seven years old. Being a part of the Broadway community has been my dream ever since."

Realizing the dream on her own terms, she continued, "is beyond my wildest ones. And to get to tell this story of our foremothers on such a historic stage is the honor of a lifetime."
  • Courtesy of Suffs the Musical

Yousafzai commented,  "I'm thrilled to be part of the team bringing your dream to life."

Suffs explores the victories and failures of American suffragists — who called themselves "suffs" — as they pursued the right to vote. "Reaching across and against generational, racial, and class divides, these brilliant, flawed women entertain and inspire us with the story of their hard-won victory in an ongoing fight," the show's website says. "So much has changed since the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment over a century ago, and yet we’re reminded sometimes we need to look back, in order to march fearlessly into the future."

Taub was working on the musical in 2016 when  Seven Days senior multimedia producer Eva Sollberger interviewed her in New York for the "Stuck in Vermont" video series. Taub expressed appreciation for Vermont's rich artistic community  "and some phenomenal teachers that just completely shaped my world."

She played a pirate when she about 3 years old, she told Sollberger. Each pirate got to pick their name, and Captain Hook went down the line asking each one what they were called. “The pirate name I picked was Hardballs," Taub said. "I got a huge laugh. That was it for me. I was like, Oh, my God, I did a thing, and the audience responded, and I had a real connection with them."

The "theater kid" studied piano, voice and dance; memorized cast albums; created a student-run cabaret to benefit the American Cancer Society; and organized a musical protest to the Iraq War, the New York Times reported in 2018.

Taub attended Harwood Union High School and performed in Lyric Theatre's productions of  Annie, Gypsy and Grease. More recently, she performed in the musical Hadestown, with music, lyrics and book by fellow Vermonter Anaïs Mitchell. Taub portrayed one of the Fates in the off-Broadway production.
She wrote lyrics for the musical The Devil Wears Prada, for which John composed the score. Another former Vermonter, Kate Wetherhead, who grew up in Burlington, wrote the book. The show had its world premiere in Chicago last year and opens in London in October 2024.

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