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Jerry Lewis, Marvin Hamlisch taking 'Nutty Professor' to Broadway

June 29, 2009 | 11:58 am

Jerrylewis

A musical version of the 1963 comedy classic "The Nutty Professor" is headed to Broadway, and the director will be none other than Jerry Lewis himself. The comedian, who won't be acting in the musical, has brought on board Marvin Hamlisch to write music and Rupert Holmes to do book and lyrics. Producers are planning on an opening during the 2010-11 Broadway season.

Lewis, who turned 83 this year, starred in the original Paramount feature film, which he co-wrote with Bill Richmond. The musical adaptation will mark Lewis' directorial debut on Broadway, although the comedian has performed there several times throughout his 60-year career.

An Oscar and Tony winner, Hamlisch is best-known for his music to "A Chorus Line," "The Goodbye Girl" and "Sweet Smell of Success." His notable film credits include "The Way We Were" and "The Sting." Holmes won the Tony Award for his work on "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and was nominated for "Curtains."

Announcements about casting are expected later in 2009. The plot for the musical remains largely faithful to the movie. Professor Julius Kelp is a lonely, socially inept nerd who stumbles upon a potion that turns him into Buddy Love, an irresponsible party animal. The potion allows the professor to date his dream girl, Stella, but problems arise when the spell starts wearing off at inconvenient moments.

The musical is being produced by Loud Watch Productions.

Earlier this year, Lewis received his first Academy Award -- the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his work with the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.

-- David Ng

Photo: Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor" (1963). Credit: Alan Band / Keystone / Getty


 
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Hamlisch also wrote the music for the bomb "Smile" and those tedious songs like "The Way We Were" and in A Chorus Line. If he can return to the fun music he wrote for Woody Allen's "Bananas" the show might have a chance. Otherwise, it will be as substantial as mashed bananas and about as memorable. I hope Jerry Lewis will pull this together.


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