Broadway-Bound THE NUTTY PROFESSOR Musical Premieres at Nashville's TPAC Tonight, 7/24
Nashville and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) host the world premiere of "The Nutty Professor" Musical this month. Directed by Jerry Lewis, the show is a new musical comedy based on the 1963 film of the same name.
The Broadway at TPAC Special Event runs from tonight, July 24 to August 19 in TPAC's James K. Polk Theater. Featuring music by Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and a book and lyrics by three-time Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), "The Nutty Professor" is a musical treat for the whole family, based on the classic 1963 film in which Lewis starred and co-wrote.
Actor, singer, and entertainer Michael Andrew stars in this new production as Professor Julius Kelp. Andrew, who counts Lewis and the film as principal influences on his career, worked with Executive Producer Ned McLeod and Lewis to bring the production to the stage. Mac Pirkle, co-founder and former Artistic Director for Tennessee Repertory Theater, is also producing.
Additional cast members include: KLea Blackhurst (MISS LEMON), Alex David (KELP DOUBLE), and Jamie Ross (HARRINGTON WINSLOW), as well as Meghan Glogower,Blair Goldberg, Autumn Guzzardi, Sarah Marie Jenkins Allison Little, Charles MacEachern, Lindsay Moore, Ronnie Nelson, Patrick O'Neill, Dominique Plaisant, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Jason Sparks, Christopher Spaulding, Kristopher Thompson-Bolden, Kyle Vaughn, and Ryan Worsing in the ensemble.
Inspired by the film, recently named one of the top 100 comedies of the century by the American Film Institute, the musical follows geeky chemistry Professor Kelp, who concocts a formula to turn himself into the ultimate heartthrob. Utilizing elements of classic comedy, the creators of "The Nutty Professor" are working to redefine what an American musical comedy can be-funny with a fabulous score and characters that resonate with the audience.
"The film that I made in 1963 was so good that I decided to do a Broadway show." said Lewis. "And there's no better place to go to find out what you've got than Nashville. This musical will be spectacular for a couple of reasons. One, I'm directing it. Two, I have Michael Andrew, who is one of the best talents to come down the pike in 50 years. And I'm surrounding him with one of a kind creative people, like Marvin Hamlisch, Rupert Holmes, and me… After it's over, give me a call and let me know if everything I said was spot on."
"Music is truly an international language and it has the ability to bring people together like nothing else... except comedy," said Marvin Hamlisch. "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," said Rupert Holmes. "To work with Jerry and the vivid cast of characters he created is a privilege and thrill beyond measure."
"All Broadway shows start somewhere. With Nashville's community of creative professionals and its passionate theatergoers, it's the perfect place for this major event," said Kathleen O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of TPAC. "We're excited to provide audiences the rare opportunity to be part of the creation of a Broadway musical before it premieres in New York. As the production develops, audiences may see scenes, lines, or whole songs added or removed. Those seeing the show the first week and again the last week will see a real evolution of the production."
Tickets to "The Nutty Professor" can be purchased at www.tpac.org/broadway.