Digital News Writer, PEOPLE
The story of Tammy Faye Messner is headed to the stage.
Elton John is bringing his considerable musical talents to bear on a theatre adaptation of the life of the televangelist and her first husband, Jim Bakker.
Tammy Faye is set to premiere in October at the Almeida Theatre in London and will star Katie Brayben as Tammy, Tony-Award nominee Andrew Rannells as Jim and Zubin Varla as fellow televangelist Jerry Falwell.
According to a press release from the theatre, the story is "a testament of faith, resilience and the temptations of success."
In addition to the Rocketman, 75, the creative team includes Scissor Sisters' frontman Jake Shears and playwright James Graham.
The show will run through the beginning of December, according to the release. It also follows on the heels of Elton’s latest foray into the world of theatre with The Devil Wears Prada, The Musical, which opened on Aug. 8 in Chicago.
The new musical is not the first time Tammy Faye’s story has been brought back into the spotlight. In 2021, Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield starred in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, with Chastain, 45, winning Best Actress at the 94th Oscars for her portrayal of the famed televangelist who died at age 65 in 2007 after colon cancer spread to her lungs.
The biopic tells the story of Tammy and Jim, played by Garfield, 39, who grew their Christian news program, the PTL Club, into a multimillion-dollar industry before it collapsed following a sex scandal involving Jim and his secretary, Jessica Hahn.
Jim was convicted in 1989 of defrauding supporters of his PTL ministry of more than $150 million, including a $265,000 payment to church secretary Hahn to keep quiet about their affair — Tammy was never indicted.
After their divorce, Tammy married construction magnate Roe Messner, who had helped build the ministry's Christian theme park and resort Heritage USA in South Carolina.
Chastain told PEOPLE that she did almost 10 years of research for the role, including reading up about and watching multiple interviews of Tammy.
"I just was so blown away by her and her story," Chastain told PEOPLE. "The thing I loved the most about Tammy is her capacity to love. She knew what it felt like to not feel important, and she didn't want anyone to experience that."
Tammy Faye will run from Oct. 13 – Dec. 3 at the Almeida Theatre in London.
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Digital News Writer, PEOPLE