Jules Feiffer, who penned the 1993 book, will write the libretto for the musical, which will feature a score by The Wild Party's Andrew Lippa. No timetable has been announced for a staged production of the work, which, according to press notes, "tells the tale of Jimmy Jibbet, a boy-cartoonist who dreams of becoming a successful artist despite the expectations of everyone around him."
In a statement Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher said, "We are delighted to begin work on bringing Jules Feiffer’s comically poignant book to life. I have been a fan of Andrew Lippa’s work for years and was thrilled when he approached me about developing 'The Man in the Ceiling.' Feiffer’s witty story voices all of our frustrations, fears, desires, and hopes through the deceptively simple and precocious eyes of a child. Andrew is one of today’s most exciting musical writers. He and the legendary Jules Feiffer have just started on what I know will be an exciting collaboration."
Composer Lippa added, "From the moment I first read this book I knew it could be a spectacular stage musical. It has superheroes, show-folk, delightful characters and, at the center, a boy who wants to be a cartoonist in a world that screams 'being an artist is an impossible dream!' Jules' point of view is unique and the book is dazzling and moving – often at the same time. I can’t wait to give musical voice to this story.”
Jules Feiffer's "Passionella" was the basis for a portion of Harnick and Bock's The Apple Tree, and he contributed material to the revue Oh! Calcutta!. Feiffer also penned the Broadway plays Little Murders, Knock Knock and Grown Ups.
Andrew Lippa has written the scores for the Off-Broadway productions of The Wild Party and john & jen. He contributed songs to the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and wrote the score for Jerry Christmas. To date, Disney's Broadway offerings include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida and Tarzan. Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, will arrive on Broadway in the fall, and a one-week costume/movement lab for The Little Mermaid was recently held in London.
Visit www.disneyonbroadway.com for more information.