Broadway-bound THE NUTTY PROFESSOR to Kick Off In Music City USA

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Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) will play host this summer to the world premiere of The Nutty Professor, a new musical comedy directed by the King of Comedy himself, Jerry Lewis.

The Broadway at TPAC Special Event will run from 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 based on the classic 1963 film in which Lewis starred and co-wrote.

"The film that I made in 1963 was so good that I decided to do a Broadway show. 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," Lewis explains.

"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," says 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," says Rupert Holmes. "To work with Jerry and the vivid cast of characters he created is a privilege and thrill beyond measure."

Actor, singer and entertainer Michael Andrew will star 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 and a 2010 First Night Honoree, is also producing.

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.

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"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 and another 2010 First Night Honoree.

"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."

Having the new musical production in Nashville for seven weeks is expected to bring large numbers of both residents and visitors downtown and generate additional economic activity.

"Nashville has a strong and well-deserved reputation for cultural and performing arts and as a place for the creation of art, music and theater," says Nashville mayor Karl Dean. "We are honored to host Jerry Lewis and his new musical production, as its premiere here further underscores that Music City is a place for artists to create and succeed. I am grateful for the opportunities this production will give to the pool of highly talented local actors and others in the theater business that are here, and, once open, I look forward to the energy and economic activity the show will add to our downtown area."

Producers are planning to hold auditions in both New York City and in Nashville and hope to cast local actors in lead roles and in the ensemble. Local costuming and set craftsmen are also expected to be involved as the production is built and tested over the multi-week run.

Single tickets to The Nutty Professor will go on sale April 27. However, groups and individuals who purchase season tickets to the 2012-13 HCA/TriStar Broadway Series at TPAC, can purchase tickets now by visiting www.tpac.org/broadway, or calling TPAC Subscriber Services at (615) 782-6560; (800) 410-4216 if you live outside the Nashville area. You may also visit the TPAC Box Office at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville. For group tickets, call the TPAC Group Sales Office at (615) 782-4060.

Full creative bios included below:

Jerry LewisDirector Jerry Lewis has been called "The King of Comedy", the "Consummate Entertainer" and according to Newsweek Magazine is tied with the Pope as the 4th most recognizable person on earth. As the writer, director, and producer of many of his feature films, Jerry Lewis is a comic auteur firmly in the tradition of Chaplin and Keaton. He is not only one of the biggest stars in history but also one of the most powerful. Performing since he was five (with his parents in the Catskills), Lewis has been a successful star in every entertainment medium. By the late '40s, with stage shows and regular radio and television appearances, Lewis and his performing partner, Dean Martin, were hailed as the most popular comedy duo in the nation. They made their film debut in 1949 and starred in 13 block buster comedies before their split in 1956. Lewis went on to star in over 25 films, 13 of which he directed including The Bellboy, The Ladies' Man, The Family Jewels, and The Nutty Professor. In the 1980s, Lewis garnered some of the best reviews of his career for his work in Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy and also appeared in the major studio films Mr. Saturday Night and Funny Bones. Jerry Lewis realized a lifelong dream when he starred on Broadway as Applegate in the successful 1994 revival of Damn Yankees. His 185 sold-out performances were adored by audiences and critics. He went on to tour with the show in The United States and the UK and during its 2nd year, the tour broke all attendance records of any previous touring Broadway production. Lewis recently received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 81st Academy Awards. Star and director of many hit films, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, French Legion of Honor inductee, recording artist, composer, professor, maestro, inventor of the video assist, and author of The Total Filmmaker and Dean and Me, Jerry Lewis is an American Icon and an InterNational Treasure.

Marvin HamlischMusic Marvin Hamlisch's life in music is notable for its great versatility as well as substance. As composer, Hamlisch has won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards; his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, received the Pulitzer Prize. He is the composer of more than forty motion picture scoresincluding his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and A Baby, Ice Castles, Take The Money and Run, Bananas and Save The Tiger. His latest accomplishment is The Informant, starring Matt Damon, directed by Steven Soderbergh, released in September 2009. Marvin Hamlisch holds the position of principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and San Diego Symphony. Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand's 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys). Hamlisch is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Queens College (where he enrolled at the age of 9, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree). He believes in the power of music to bring people together.

Rupert HolmesBook and Lyrics Broadway: Curtains (NY Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Book for a Musical, Tony noms. Best Book, Best Lyrics); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony Awards to Holmes for Book, Music and Lyrics; Tony to Edwin Drood for Best Musical; identical honors New York Drama Desk; Outer Critics Circle, Best Musical), Accomplice (Edgar Award, Mystery Writers of America), Solitary Confinement, Say Goodnight Gracie (National Broadway Theatre Award, Best Play; Tony nom., Best Play). Off-B'way: Twelfth Night (NYSF, original music). Reg'l:Marty (score by Strouse and Adams, Huntington, Boston), Solitary Confinement (Kennedy Center). TV: created and wrote Emmy award-winning series "Remember WENN." His mystery novels for Random House have been published in six languages and include Where the Truth Lies (Booklist Top Ten Debut Crime Novel; Best American Mystery Novel 2004, Nero Wolfe nom.) which was made into a film by Atom Egoyan starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, and Swing (San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Fiction). His latest short story was anthologized in the prestigious Best American Mystery Stories 2008. He wrote much of, and arranged and conducted all, of Barbra Streisand's platinum album "Lazy Afternoon"; he also contributed songs to the Golden Globe-winning score of A Star is Born. As a pop songwriter, his work has been recorded by many of the leading vocalists of our time, and he's written Billboard Top Ten recordings for himself and others.

Michael AndrewProfessor Julius Kelp For two years, Michael Andrew was the headline singer and bandleader at the world famous Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center in New York City where he entertained audiences nightly and hosted a live Radio Broadcast, LIVE FROM THE RAINBOW ROOM. He was the band-leader and singer at Merv Griffin's Coconut Club in The Beverly Hilton in California. While on Larry King Live, Merv called Michael Andrew "one of the great singers of all time." His self-penned musical comedy, MICKEY SWINGERHEAD & THE EARTHGIRLS was a hit with audiences and the press. The hit show led to the formation of his band, SWINGERHEAD, which remains a favorite among audiences and has toured extensively throughout the country. Michael also formed THE ATOMIC BIG BAND, an 18-piece band that has performed in Hollywood for the premier of the Warner Bros. movie, POSEIDON, and his bands continue to play engagements from Presidential Inaugural Balls to high society fundraisers. Mr. Andrew leads these bands in performances at private events and alongside symphony orchestras, and at festivals and concerts coast to coast. Michael performs in musicals and comedies in Regional Theatre from Shakespeare to Cole Porter. On the other side of the curtain, as a composer, lyricist and book writer, he's created shows paying tribute to the writers of the American Songbook including Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn. And composed or performed his music for motion pictures such as Heart Breakers, Inglorious Bastards, Mad Hot Ballroom, Bobby Jones – Stroke of Genius and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Andrew, singing in the style and tradition of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Sammy Davis, Jr., has been a featured guest artist with symphonic orchestras in Akron, Albuquerque, Birmingham, Melbourne, Houston, Long Beach, Missoula, Orlando, Providence, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, San Antonio, Sarasota, and other cities across America. 

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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