By Kenneth Jones
26 Jul 2010
Variety is reporting that Million Dollar Quartet writer Floyd Mutrux's production company has a handful of pop-music-related theatre projects on the burner, including Baby It's You!, which was seen in fall 2009 at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Mutrux, who co-wrote the script to Million Dollar Quartet — the Broadway musical about a real-life 1950s studio session that featured Carl Perkins, Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis — is focusing on shows related to pop music. He and writer Colin Escott were 2010 Tony Award-nominated for their MDQ book.
The trade paper reports that Baby It's You! is aiming for Broadway in winter 2011. Mutrux will co-direct with Sheldon Epps.
Mutrux is also working on a show about Elvis Presley and manager Col. Parker (Heartbreak Hotel), and another about pop record producer George Goldner (The Boy From New York City) and his Latina girlfriend.
Also in development is Lonesome Town, a rock fantasy set, he told Variety, in "a halfway station between heaven and hell…in which Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Ricky Nelson and a few others gather on New Year's Eve 1958 to play their past and future hits and tell their life story."
He is aiming all of his shows for Broadway, he said. His collection of planned pop-music stage shows is under the banner American Pop Anthology.
Baby It's You! (with a script by Escott and Mutrux) focuses on Florence Greenberg, the New Jersey housewife who discovered the pop group The Shirelles, and created a record label for new voices in the 1960s. It began a world-premiere engagement Nov. 6, 2009, at Pasadena Playhouse in California.
Here's how Pasadena Playhouse characterized the pop-filled Baby It's You in 2009: "Wrapped in the sensational songs of the '60s, Baby It's You! is the new musical about the groundbreaking girl group, The Shirelles, and Florence Greenberg, the New Jersey housewife who discovered them. With the help of African-American songwriter-producer Luther Dixon, who became her lover, Florence took on a male dominated industry and revolutionized pop music. Her company, Scepter Records, created the most important songs in the golden era of rock 'n' roll, from artists including The Isley Brothers, The Kingsmen, Chuck Jackson and Dionne Warwick."
It opened Nov. 13, 2009, and played a month of performances in Pasadena, CA. Meeghan Holaway (Off-Broadway's Dinner with Friends) played Florence Greenberg.
Mutrux wrote, directed or produced more than 50 films in the last 25 years, including "American Hot Wax," "Scarecrow," "Hollywood Knights," "Urban Cowboy," "The Untouchables," "American Me," "Hillside Strangler," "Freebie and the Bean," "Up in Smoke," "Dick Tracy" and more.