Jerry Zaks’ Wish List Includes Little Shop in London; Hello, Dolly!; and More

News   Jerry Zaks’ Wish List Includes Little Shop in London; Hello, Dolly!; and More Broadway director Jerry Zaks has disclosed news of several projects on his to-do list — once he’s opened The Philadelphia Story in London on May 10, that is.
Jerry Zaks
Jerry Zaks Photo by Aubrey Reuben

There are plans to bring his New York production of Little Shop of Horrors to the West End. With a book and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the show is based on the 1960 Roger Corman movie and was originally presented Off-Broadway before its recent Broadway run. No dates or venue have been disclosed, nor is it known whether any of the Broadway cast — which included Hunter Foster’s Tony nominated turn as Seymour — will travel with the show, which ran for nearly a year in New York. Zaks also wants to stage another famous American musical: Hello Dolly!. It’s a glint in his eye at the moment, but he’s a frequent musicals director. His production of La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway in December 2004, and his previous New York musicals have included Guys and Dolls and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (both starring Nathan Lane). Another Zaks musical, Smokey Joe’s Café, played both Broadway and London.

Hello, Dolly! last played Broadway in 1995, a production that starred the title role's creator, Carol Channing, and won a Tony for Best Musical Revival. That fact, says Zaks, means that he may direct the show in London, which has not seen a high-profile production of the Jerry Herman show since Channing’s last visit with it, in 1979.

More mysteriously, Zaks admits that there’s a play currently on in the West End that he longs to stage for Broadway. He won’t admit which, but there has been speculation in the British press that it could be Simon Mendes Da Costa’s Losing Louis, a new, Jewish-themed comedy which has won rave reviews.