Mask, the hit 1985 film about a physically deformed teen and his biker mother, a vehicle for Cher, has been turned into a stage musical with songs by the legendary pop and R&B writing couple,Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
The new musical will get rehearsals and a private New York City reading March 12-23, with Gabriel Barre (Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party) directing.
The libretto is by Anna Hamilton Phelan, who wrote the screenplay for the film. The music is by Mann with lyrics by Weil. Mann and Weil comprise one of the original Brill Building writing teams and are known for such songs as "On Broadway," (with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) "Somewhere Out There," "If Ever You're in My Arms Again" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" among other hits.
The true story of Rocky Dennis — whose face is disfigured by a rare disease — and his mother, Rusty, was the basis for the Peter Bogdanovich film. Under makeup that made him unrecognizable, Eric Stoltz played Rocky in the critically acclaimed picture.
Auditions for the musical reading are this month. Last week, Mann and Weil contacted Playbill On-Line through Edgar Dobie at Watt-Dobie Productions to confirm that David Passick and Phil Galdston are the producers of record for both Mask and the tentatively titled Mann-Weil Project. The separate Mann-Weil Project had formerly been listed under the name, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin.' Both projects are being developed under the auspices of Watt-Dobie. Barry Brown, once linked as a producer for both shows, is no longer connected to either project, sources said.