The box office failures of Saturday Night Fever and Footloose notwithstanding, producers still see gold in them thar pop movie musicals. No surprise, then, that plans are apparently underway to bring Adrian Lyne's 1983 megahit, "Flashdance," to the stage.
Variety reports March 22 that the touring arm of the William Morris Agency is packaging the show, which hopes to be on its dancing feet by the 2002-03 season. Composer Giorgio Moroder is penning ten new songs with librettist-lyricist Michael Kunze (Dance of the Vampires), though, of course, the film's Moroder-Irene Cara hit "What a Feeling" and Michael Sembello's "Maniac" will also be in the stage show. Six new songs have already been finished.
Susan Weaving, vice president of WMA's touring division, told Variety the show isn't ruling out a Broadway berth, is seriously considering a Vegas "sit down" stint, and has serious interest from major markets throughout North America.
The screenplay for "Flashdance," which told of a welder-by-day, exotic dancer-by-night (who wants to be a ballet-dancer-by-day-and night), was penned by Joe Eszterhas and Thomas Hedley Jr., based on the latter's original story. According to VP Weaving, since Hedley owns the rights and is a William Morris Agency client, they'll base the stage musical on his original story.
For decades, Hollywood relied on Broadway plays and musicals for product, bringing such tuners to the screen as My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof and, towards the end of that era, Cabaret and Hair. Only very recently has that trend reversed, with Broadway looking to the movies for its grist. The Producers and The Full Monty, both based on semi-musical movies, could turn out to be this season's biggest musical hits, while Fame, though eschewing Broadway, has had a successful life on the national and international tour circuit. — By David Lefkowitz