Ever wonder what happened to that big revival of Cole Porter's Silk Stockings that was supposed to reach Broadway this season? Well, alas it's back in the drawer.
According to a spokesperson from Niko Krauss, producers Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson did a major rewrite on the show, hoping to make it "more sexy and hip." The changes didn't sit well with the Porter estate, which "wanted to stay with the more traditional script. Eventually it came down to arguing one word at a time, and everyone just got fed up."
Jackson and Kessler are currently in Amsterdam working on a tour of Hair.
Based on the 1939 Ernst Lubitsch film, Ninotchka, the original 1955 show had a book by Leueen MacGrath, George S. Kaufman and Abe Burrows (though Theatrical Index writes that MacGrath and Kaufman were fired during Philadelphia try-outs). The musical comedy tells the story of a beautiful but icy Soviet Communist functionary who comes to Paris and discovers, with the help of a charming American, that decadent capitalism isn't so bad after all.
Ken Friedman helped adapt the new text, keeping the basic story and songs from the 1957 Rouben Mamoulian film. Porter tunes that were anticipated for the new Parade include "Night And Day," "Just One Of Those Things," "All Of You," and "Let's Do It." The new version was also hoping to interpolate other Porter songs not in the original show or movie. Heavily dance-driven, the Parisian romantic-comedy musical was to be directed and choreographed by Tony Stevens (choreographer of Off Broadway's Zombie Prom and Sheba).
What was the impetus for a revival of this light-hearted musical? "Because Cole Porter is never out of style," said spokesperson Jeff Chrzczon months ago. True enough, but that's apparently not enough to make Silk Stockings run.
-- By David Lefkowitz