"Blame it on the Bossa Nova"
"Somewhere Out There"
"There You Come Again"
"Make Your Own Kind of Music"
"Only In America."
"Sometimes When We Touch"
"Don't Know Much (But I Know I Love You)"
"We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"
Whatever generation you're from, you know and probably like at least some of these songs. At least that's the hope of producer Barry Brown, who's putting together a Broadway-bound revue of these and other tunes by composers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
The show is titled That Lovin' Feeling, taken from the song title, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," a monster hit for Mann/Weil, courtesy of the Righteous Brothers. According to producer Brown, 25 other songs will also be on the bill of the revue, which will most likely get its first production this summer at Connecticut's Goodspeed at Chester playhouse.
Glenn Casale (the current Peter Pan) will direct; a choreographer has yet to be selected. Early on, comedy writer Bruce Vilanch was scripting connecting material, but as of October 1999, he is no longer with the project, and the show's book has gone back to the drawing board for a new, Smokey Joe-style concept. Broadway plans for the revue are dependent on how things go at Goodspeed, as well as the usual questions of finances and theatre availability.
"It's not strictly a revue," producer Brown told Playbill On-Line back in March 1998. "It's a theatre evening devoted to their catalogue, which is vast and substantive. There's some thread to it, though it's not a book musical." Brown added (Oct. 13, 1999) that Mann & Weil are "the two most successful, unknown writers people have never heard of. They're phenomenally successful."
The Brown-Mann-Weil nexus won't stop with That Lovin' Feeling, however. The producer adds that the composing team are developing a rock 'n' roll musical adaptation of the film Mask, also eyed for Broadway. Anna Hamilton Phelan, who wrote the screenplay for the 1985 Peter Bogdanovich drama, is penning the libretto.
Brown told Playbill On-Line, "The first draft is finished, and we're in the process of talking to prospective directors. We're in such early stages at this point, I really don't have a time frame for the production yet."
Asked about differences between the libretto and the screenplay, Brown said, "I have a suspicion that the musical will concentrate more heavily on the mother-son relationship."
The Visit, a new John Kander-Fred Ebb-Terrence McNally musical, is also on producer Brown's docket, with Broadway targeted for spring 2001.
-- By David Lefkowitz