Louis & Keely Seeking the Lights of Broadway

News   Louis & Keely Seeking the Lights of Broadway
The creators of Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, the much-extended musical biography of Las Vegas stars Louis Prima and Keely Smith, have hopes for a Broadway future.
Vanessa Claire Smith and Jake Broder
Vanessa Claire Smith and Jake Broder Photo by Michael Lamont

A spokesperson for Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles — where Louis & Keely, starring creators Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith, is enjoying its fifth extension (to Sept. 27) — told Playbill.com that the commercial future of the show would not include film director Taylor Hackford ("An Officer and a Gentleman," "Against All Odds"), who helped reshape the show for its Geffen run.

"Taylor and the L&K team decided to move on separately," according to a statement. "Jake and Vanessa, the show's creators, are currently working on a new draft of the show for a new production. They're prepping for a 2010 short tour and then, ideally, a move to Broadway in fall."

No dates or creatives have been announced.

Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara plays the Geffen's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The show opened in March. Sales have been brisk, and an audio CD featuring the music of Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara was recently released.

Created by Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith, who also star as Louis and Keely, respectively, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara follows the life and love of Las Vegas' infamous onstage couple. Helmed by acclaimed Hollywood director Taylor Hackford, the current production is a revamped version of Broder and Smith's show that was seen in 2008. The cast also includes Nick Cagle and Erin Matthews, playing various other characters in the couple's story. A seven-piece jazz band is part of the experience, standing in for Prima's Vegas band known as The Witnesses.

It won Best Musical at the Ovation Awards, Best Production at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, Best Production at the Garland Awards and Musical of the Year at the LA Weekly Theater Awards.

Originally developed by Broder and Smith at the Sacred Fools Theatre Company in June 2008, Louis & Keely has been substantially reworked for its current production at the Geffen.

Hackford, who, according to earlier production notes, guided the revision process for Geffen, estimates about 40 percent of the script is different from the original production. This includes the addition of several new songs: "I Wish You Love," "Hey Boy, Hey Girl," "What is this Thing Called Love," "Night Train," "Ai, Ai, Ai" and "I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me," as well as new characters.

Crystal Keith and Michael Lanahan are understudies.

For more information visit geffenplayhouse.com.

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