Hamlisch, Holmes and Lewis Creating Nutty Professor Musical for Broadway

By Kenneth Jones
June 29, 2009

Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes will write the songs, and legendary actor, director, writer and producer Jerry Lewis will make his theatrical directorial debut with the new Broadway musical, The Nutty Professor, based on the 1963 film that Lewis starred in and co-wrote.

With music by Academy Award, Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Hamlisch and a book and lyrics by multiple Tony Award winner and Grammy nominee Rupert Holmes, the musical is aiming for a bow on Broadway in the 2010-11 season and is being produced by Loud Watch Productions, LLC.

The screenplay for "The Nutty Professor" was written by Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond. The film also starred Lewis in what went on to be one of his most famous roles and successful films.

Lewis stated, "I was born with show business in my blood and working on Broadway gets it coursing through my veins like no other place can. Marvin and Rupert have given one of my favorite and most enduring films…a hilarious and gorgeous adaptation for Broadway and I could not be happier. Does this story sing and dance? You bet it does."

According to production notes, "Professor Julius Kelp is a dull geek with a bright idea. Privately experimenting in his laboratory to find the cure for his social failures, he creates a potion that transforms him into a smooth talking, party animal named Buddy Love. Buddy is everything that Julius always dreamed of being and gets the girl that he always dreamed of dating, Stella. The only problem is that the potion doesn’t last very long. Will the school find out his secret and will Stella stick around even after Love has left the building?"

Casting and additional creative team will be announced later this year. Hamlisch (They're Playing Our Song, Sweet Smell of Success, The Goodbye Girl, Smile and A Chorus Line) stated, "Music is truly an international language and it has the ability to bring people together like nothing else…except comedy. It's a thrill to be working with Jerry Lewis, a true king of comedy, and bringing this classic story to life on Broadway with music."

"Jerry Lewis has been my hero from boyhood, not only as one of the most gifted entertainers of all time but also as one of the grand masters of movie-making. To work with Jerry and the vivid cast of characters he created is a privilege and thrill beyond measure," stated Holmes (Curtains, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Say Goodnight Gracie).

Lewis appeared on Broadway, on tour and in the U.K. in Damn Yankees in 1995 and Jerry Lewis at The Palace in 1953.

His film credits as performer, director, writer, producer, and sometimes as all four, include "The Bell Boy," "The Ladies Man," "It's Only Money," "The Delicate Delinquent," Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" and many more. Lewis is also an acclaimed author having written three best sellers: "The Total Filmmaker," a guide for directors; and the memoirs "Jerry Lewis: In Person" and the recently released "Dean & Me: A Love Story." His humanitarian efforts for The Muscular Dystrophy Association for over half a century have won him countless accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and his annual Telethons, which have grossed over $2 billion. Lewis received an Oscar in 2009 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, awarded by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.