Can't Help Falling in Love features an an original book, written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and the music made famous by the legendary Elvis Presley. The work was commissioned by the Presley camp.
"Joe wrote an original musical that is based on a A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night," revealed Pollard about the DiPietro stagework. "Essentially, it is a farce. A jukebox arrives in a sort of dusty, depressed Anywhere, U.S.A. town of 1955 and casts a spell over the town. Everybody starts falling in love with everybody else and the wrong people. You have all the plot twists of both of those Shakespearean comedies but with glorious and rocking Elvis music."
Christopher Ashley (The Rocky Horror Show) will direct as he did for a reading earlier this week in New York City. The cast of the reading included Jarrod Emick, Ron Orbach, Ana Gasteyer, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Kevin Cahoon, Leah Hocking, Sandy Binion, Ashton Holmes, Nikki M. James and Billy Porter.
Stephen Oremus, whose credits include arranging and orchestrating tick, tick... BOOM!, Avenue Q, and the upcoming Broadway production of Wicked, also lends his talents to Can't Help Falling in Love.
The work may draw comparisons to such current Broadway musicals as Movin' Out which features the music of Billy Joel and Mamma Mia! which features ABBA songs. However, while Can't Help Falling in Love does feature songs made famous by the singer, most of the King's tunes — as fans will note — were written by other songwriters including Jerry Lieber with Mike Stoller (Smokey Joe's Cafe), Otis Blackwell and Ray Charles among others. Also, many of his songs were already written to serve a storyline for his numerous movies. The title song, which serves as the first act finale, embodies the central plot of the piece. While the musical may attract some of those avid Elvis fans, Pollard offers "There's nothing in the show that mentions Elvis, it has absolutely nothing to do with Elvis. But, it takes Elvis' music to a different dimension and to a different audience."