When the musical Summer of `42 opened a few weeks ago Off Broadway, a couple of critics carped that one of the things they missed from the movie version was the Oscar-winning theme music by Michel Legrand. Well, those scribes may have a whole bunch of Legrand melodies to hear if the Shubert Organization has its way.
Le Passe Muraille, an award-winning hit tuner in France, is being turned into a Broadway musical, with Jeremy Sams adapting the story (from Marcel Ayme's French novel) and James Lapine directing. Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Org, told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 16) the hope is for Le Passe Muraille to reach New York in late spring or early fall, depending on theatre availability and the schedule of Lapine, who's busy directing and helping revise Into the Woods for its late April Broadway opening.
Le Passe Muraille, adapted from a surrealist look at a man who discovers he can walk through walls, won the Prix Moliere for Best Musical in 1997 — the French equivalent of the Tony Award. Asked about the show's American plans, Schoenfeld told PBOL, "We'll probably change the name, maybe for a character's name in the play. It's a small musical, estimated in the $3-3.5 million range, but estimates are only that, made before negotiating all the deals."
A film and theatre director, Legrand is nonetheless best known for his music, including the scores for the films "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and "Yentl" and the songs "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "I Will Wait for You." — By David Lefkowitz