Revised Cry-Baby and To Die For Musical on Tony Nominee David Javerbaum's Plate

News   Revised Cry-Baby and To Die For Musical on Tony Nominee David Javerbaum's Plate Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated writer David Javerbaum is at work streamlining his short-lived Broadway musical Cry-Baby and is also drafting a stage adaptation of the 1995 film "To Die For."

David Javerbaum
David Javerbaum Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Javerbaum told Playbill.com that he is penning the book and lyrics for a musical adaptation of To Die For, which has music by rock songwriter Linda Perry, who has penned such hits as Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful."

Xanadu producers Tara Smith and B. Swibel are producing the project, which was first announced in 2007, though no creative team was revealed. A timeline is not in place for the dark comedy about an aspiring news anchor who enlists three teenagers to murder her husband.

Javerbaum and his Cry-Baby collaborator, Tony-nominated composer Adam Schlesinger, are also revisiting that musical based on the John Waters film, which will make its post-Broadway debut at the New Line Theatre in St. Louis, MO, in early 2012.

"They approached us, said they liked the show and that they had done High Fidelity and sort of gave that further life," Javerbaum said. New Line was the first to stage the regional premiere of High Fidelity in 2008, which spurred on other regional companies to take on the production. (The St. Louis company will also revive its production of High Fidelity prior to Cry-Baby.)

"Our show only ran for a couple months on Broadway; obviously we hoped and expected it to do better," Javerbaum said of Cry-Baby's short-lived Broadway run. The musical did garner four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Choreography. Cry-Baby will bow in St. Louis with a smaller band, reduced to six pieces, and a smaller cast of 16. According to Javerbaum, "The changes we're making are not so much [about the material]. We're making it a little bit smaller and that's fine. A lot of us felt that it might have been too big to begin with, but we all felt pretty good about the show creatively. We don't look back creatively and think we should have done this or that."

Part of the goal of the St. Louis production will be to finally record the score of Cry-Baby, one of the few recent Tony Award-nominated musicals to never release a cast album. The album will likely reflect the new six-piece orchestral arrangements.

Javerbaum would like to reunite the original Broadway cast; however, no details have been arranged. "I would love to," he said. "I miss those guys and I love the original cast, but I'm not sure. My preference would always be to have the original cast do it, but as you know, what you can do in St. Louis, is a lot laxer than in New York."

Revisiting Cry-Baby will also provide the writers the opportunity to shop the materials to musical licensing companies so that the irreverent show may take on a further regional life.

If the Internet is any indication, it looks like fans are eager to perform Cry-Baby. Despite the fact that the music has never been published, Youtube has some 20 videos of performers belting the stand-out song "Screw Loose," which was originated by Alli Mauzey in the Broadway run. (Javerbaum's performance is also preserved there.)

Javerbaum is the former executive producer of "The Daily Show With John Stewart." The 11-time Emmy Award winner also earned a Grammy for Stephen Colbert's 2008 Christmas Special, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!" He is an Edward Kleban Award winner and an alumnus of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program.

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