Jerry Lewis to Direct Nutty Professor Musical

News   Jerry Lewis to Direct Nutty Professor Musical
Jerry Lewis, who was last on Broadway playing Applegate in the hit revival of Damn Yankees, plans to return to The Great White Way — but not as an actor.

Lewis, according to Variety, will direct a musical based on his 1963 film "The Nutty Professor." The industry paper says Michael Andrews, who Lewis saw perform at a private party, will head the cast of the musical, which Lewis hopes will bow on Broadway in October 2008.

The veteran performer would like The Nutty Professor to tryout in 2007 at San Diego's Old Globe, although a theatre spokesperson told Variety the show is not currently on its schedule.

Although he has yet to hire a composer or lyricist for the project, Lewis said that he is working with several writers to pen the musical's book, which will be based on the film comedy. Lewis not only starred in the first "Nutty Professor" film, but he also co-wrote and directed the picture.

About the upcoming musical, Lewis had this to say at a New Orleans press conference: "You can't reinvent the character. The dual role of Jekyll and Hyde made the film. If you're looking to make it different, you'll ruin it."

In "The Nutty Professor" Lewis played Professor Julius Kelp, who drinks a potion that turns him into the handsome but obnoxious Buddy Love. The film also featured Stella Stevens, Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman, Med Flory, Norman Alden, Howard Morris, Elvia Allman, Milton Frome, Buddy Lester and Marvin Kaplan. A 1996 remake cast Eddie Murphy in the lead roles.

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