Josephine Baker

Baltimore-born producer to develop Josephine Baker musical

Broadway musical coming

The chanteuse Josephine Baker was the toast of Paris during the Roaring '20s and 1930s. She was exotic. She was sultry. She was chic. She was the highest-paid pre-World War II entertainer in Europe.

She was, above all else, sui generis.

Her life is about to become a Broadway musical, aptly named "Josephine," that will open in late fall or early 2014. It will be produced and developed by Baltimore native Ken Waissman.

Baker was, as the French say, the personification of le jazz hot, which she is credited with introducing to Paris when she opened Oct. 2, 1925, in La Revue Negre, a cabaret show she had taken abroad.

Baker made her entrance on stage...