A year ago, word came that John Patrick Shanley (Where's My Money?, Cellini) was adapting his best-known work, the Oscar-winning filmscript for "Moonstruck," into a Broadway musical, with Henry Krieger (Side Show, Dreamgirls) composing the music and Susan Birkenhead (Triumph of Love) the lyrics. Ira Pittelman and Emanuel Azenberg, who shared producing chores on The Dinner Party and Stones in His Pockets, are producing Moonstruck, which looks at a middle aged, Italian-American woman who marries for security but ends up falling for her husband's brother.
Pittelman told Playbill On-Line Jan. 22 that the creative team is "feverishly working away on act two" and expect to get to the next step "within the next six months."
Norman Jewison's 1987 romantic-comedy film also won Academy Awards for actresses Cher and Olympia Dukakis. Co-producer Pittelman told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 14, 2001) that his friendship with librettist Krieger "goes back 30 years" to when they used to write songs together. He added that it took a while to work out the "Moonstruck" rights with MGM and that the creative work on the musical began in earnest back in summer 2000. He added that it was too early to offer any time-frame for development of the piece.
Author Shanley's plays have included the zany comedy Psychopathia Sexualis and the drama Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Composers Krieger and Birkenhead are also collaborating on a Disney television project based on "Sleeping Beauty."
— By David Lefkowitz