Two different Elvis Presley musicals are currently in the works, one about the King's romance with Priscilla Beaulieu but not featuring his music, and another using his music but not specifically about his life.
Daily Variety reports that Immortal Entertainment is developing a new musical based on the relationship and eventual marriage between Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu. Immortal's president, David Codikow, told the industry paper, "[Elvis and Priscilla] lived their lives as a musical, and now we hope to bring it to the stage. The story is as much about Elvis and Priscilla's romance as it is about the landscape of popular culture evolving before, during and after their relationship." Because the rights to most of Elvis Presley's songs are unavailable, the Immortal project will include other music of the period. The entertainment company also plans to launch an international search to find actors suitable to portray both Presleys, who divorced in 1973.
The second Elvis project is being written by I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change playwright Joe DiPietro. As reported by Playbill On-Line in November 1999, DiPietro is working on a new musical using the songs made famous by the late Presley. Like the smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, which uses ABBA music to tell a new story, DiPietro's Can't Help Falling in Love will concern the effect of Presley's music on a small town in the heartland of America.
Presley's estate, Elvis Presley Inc., has granted producers Jon Pollard, Bernie Kukoff and Dena Hammerstein the rights to Presley's songs, and a New York winter workshop of Can't Help Falling in Love is scheduled. Casting has yet to be announced for the project.
Tunes made popular by "The King" include "Love Me Tender," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog," "All Shook Up," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Suspicious Minds." —By Andrew Gans