Lewis Says Nutty Professor Musical Seeking a Fall Broadway Bow

News   Lewis Says Nutty Professor Musical Seeking a Fall Broadway Bow
 
Jerry Lewis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his new stage musical, The Nutty Professor, inspired by the 1963 film, is aiming to surface on Broadway in October or November.
Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis

Lewis, 83, will direct the show about a grotesquely nerdy academic who takes a potion that turns him into a Don Juan named Buddy Love.

"I'm bringing a helluva…show to Broadway," he told columnist Norm Clarke. "It's going to be a blast. It's unbelievable."

In the Jan. 31 LVRJ column, Lewis said that the show had a recent table reading in Manhattan, and that composer Marvin Hamlisch has written 18 songs for the project. Kerry Butler played the role of Stella in the reading.

The previous official announcement mentioned the show's Broadway bow to be simply "2010-11."

Lewis, the internationally famed comic, writer, actor, director and humanitarian, said he'd love to be back at the Marquis Theatre, where he played devilish Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees. However, an old Vegas pal is likely to be there for a good long time, if only in spirit and voice: The Marquis is the home to Come Fly Away, Twyla Tharp's new dance musical that has a live band playing with recorded tracks of Frank Sinatra. A cast and creative team have not been announced for The Nutty Professor.

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As previously reported by Playbill.com, Tony Award winners Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes will write the songs, and Lewis will make his theatrical directorial debut with The Nutty Professor, based on the film that Lewis starred in and co-wrote.

Book and lyrics are by multiple Tony Award winner and Grammy nominee Rupert Holmes.

The screenplay for "The Nutty Professor" was written by Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond. The film also starred Lewis in what went on to be one of his most famous roles and successful films.

According to production notes, "Professor Julius Kelp is a dull geek with a bright idea. Privately experimenting in his laboratory to find the cure for his social failures, he creates a potion that transforms him into a smooth talking, party animal named Buddy Love. Buddy is everything that Julius always dreamed of being and gets the girl that he always dreamed of dating, Stella. The only problem is that the potion doesn’t last very long. Will the school find out his secret and will Stella stick around even after Love has left the building?"

Hamlisch wrote music for They're Playing Our Song, Sweet Smell of Success, The Goodbye Girl, Smile and A Chorus Line. Holmes (known for "The Pina Colada Song," a pop hit) wrote music, book and/or lyrics for the musicals Curtains and The Mystery of Edwin Drood and penned the play Say Goodnight Gracie. He also created the TV series "Remember WENN."

Lewis appeared on Broadway, on tour and in the U.K. in Damn Yankees in 1995 and Jerry Lewis at The Palace in 1953.

His film credits as performer, director, writer, producer, and sometimes as all four, include "The Bell Boy," "The Ladies Man," "It's Only Money," "The Delicate Delinquent," Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" and many more. Lewis is also an acclaimed author having written three best sellers: "The Total Filmmaker," a guide for directors; and the memoirs "Jerry Lewis: In Person" and the recently released "Dean & Me: A Love Story." His humanitarian efforts for The Muscular Dystrophy Association for over half a century have won him countless accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and his annual Telethons, which have grossed over $2 billion. Lewis received an Oscar in 2009 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, awarded by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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