The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star acquired the rights to the 1996 film and wrote the music and lyrics for the new production, which will have an industry presentation in New York City on 12 September (16).

Actor/writer Daniel Beaty wrote the book for the musical, Allegiance director Stafford Arima will helm the show, and soul singer Ledisi and Emmy winner Loretta Devine, who also appeared in the film, will star in the musical workshop.

The original film starred Houston as a woman who struggles to find her voice and supports her preacher husband, played by Courtney B. Vance, as their church community goes through a financial and emotional crisis.

Denzel Washington and Gregory Hines also starred in the Penny Marshall-directed film, which was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score category for Hans Zimmer's soundtrack.

Emmy nominee Burgess is no stranger to the stage - he previously appeared in Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid and Jersey Boys.