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More details emerge on future of 'Louis & Keely' musical

August 28, 2009 |  6:00 am


Culture Monster has more details to share about the future of "Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara," the hit musical biography of Louis Prima and Keely Smith that is currently running at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.

Earlier this week, we reported that the producers are preparing for a national tour in 2010, with the intention of bringing the show to Broadway later that year.

Jake Broder, who plays Prima, told Culture Monster Thursday that he couldn't say which cities will be on the itinerary but added that "we've received offers from a lot of cities and we're not going to be able to do everything on the table right now."

He also provided an interesting hint of things to come: "Next year would have been Prima's 100th birthday and he's from New Orleans. So that will be great."

Rumors have been circulating that a rift has developed between the cast and film director Taylor Hackford, who staged the production at the Geffen. Hackford will not be directing future versions of the show, which is currently being rewritten by Broder and his costar, Vanessa Claire Smith.

A source close to Hackford told Culture Monster that "no one is mad at anyone" and that the version of the show currently at the Geffen won't be traveling because of legal considerations. (The source declined to provide further details.)

When asked about his relationship with Hackford, Broder said, "All I can say about that is that we have mutually decided to part company."

As far as the script rewrites go, the show will be moving away from the traditional biopic structure that Hackford introduced after its initial runs at Sacred Fools Theater and the Matrix Theatre in L.A.

"Audiences don't need to be spoon-fed biographical detail," said Broder.

The new version of "Louis & Keely" also will feature more songs from the duo's repertoire.

"There's a catalog of music many albums deep to draw from," said Broder. "There's one number called 'Bigger the Figure,' which is very irreverent. We could have Louis singing that to a very pregnant Keely ... maybe."

-- David Ng

Photo: Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith, the stars of "Louis & Keely." Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times