The musical was to have had a New York City workshop in February or March. However, artistic differences between Williams and Hines scotched that plan. "I had some real problems with his approach to the material," said Williams. According to the composer, Hines intended to fashion a hip-hop version of the score.
An upcoming meeting will address the matter of hiring a new director for the piece.
Friedman is the co-founder, with singer-lyricist Stevie Holland and associate Gary Crawford, of 150 Music, the label that in 2001 reissued the original cast album for the show.
"We want to bring it to a small Broadway theatre," like the Helen Hayes or the Booth, Friedman previously told Playbill On-Line. (The Me Nobody Knows began on Broadway at the original Helen Hayes Theatre, since demolished, in 1970. Before that, it played Off-Broadway at the Orpheum.)
Tara Fishman, a newcomer, is the project's lead producer. Fishman was a fan of the original production, said Friedman. Nominated for five Tony Awards, the musical had a score by Friedman, lyrics by Will Holt and its material was adapted by Robert H. Livingston and Herb Shapiro, based on a 1969 book edited by Stephen M. Joseph. The musical won the 1969-70 Drama Desk and Obie awards for Best Musical.
The collection of songs inspired by the stories of inner-city kids was embraced Off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre in 1970 and transferred to Broadway to be a unique voice on the commercial landscape. Critics found it to be a breath of fresh air.
Livingston directed a cast of fresh-faced kids, including Irene Cara, Northern J. Calloway, Hattie Winston, Beverly Ann Bremers, Gerri Dean, Jose Fernandez, Douglas Grant, Melanie Henderson, Kevin Lindsay, Paul Mace, Laura Michaels and Carl Thoma. Patricia Birch choreographed.