Disney to Develop Feiffer & Lippa's Man in the Ceiling

By: Jul. 13, 2006
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Thomas Schumacher, Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP), announced today that the company is developing a new musical based on the beloved book The Man in the Ceiling, written and illustrated by Pulitzer Prize winning artist and writer Jules Feiffer.

The Man in the Ceiling will feature music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, A Little Princess) and a book by Jules Feiffer (1986 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, Tony Award-nominee for Knock, Knock)

The Man in the Ceiling "tells the tale of Jimmy Jibbet, a boy-cartoonist who dreams of becoming a successful artist despite the expectations of everyone around him," state press notes.

Schumacher said, "We are delighted to begin work on bringing Jules Feiffer's comically poignant book to life.  I have been a fan of Andrew Lippa's work for years and was thrilled when he approached me about developing The Man in the Ceiling.  Feiffer's witty story voices all of our frustrations, fears, desires, and hopes through the deceptively simple and precocious eyes of a child.  Andrew is one of today's most exciting musical writers. He and the legendary Jules Feiffer have just started on what I know will be an exciting collaboration."

"From the moment I first read this book I knew it could be a spectacular stage musical," said Lippa. "It has superheroes, show-folk, delightful characters and, at the center, a boy who wants to be a cartoonist in a world that screams 'being an artist is an impossible dream!'  Jules' point of view is unique and the book is dazzling and moving – often at the same time.  I can't wait to give musical voice to this story." 

The Man in the Ceiling would mark Feiffer's first musical (although his "Passionella" served as the basis for one of the short musicals in The Apple Tree).  Also known for his work as a cartoonist, his other plays include Little Murders, Knock Knock and Grown Ups.  He has also penned screenplays (such as Carnal Knowledge) and is known for his children's book The Phantom Tollbooth.

Lippa penned the 2000 Off-Broadway musical hit The Wild Party and also contributed songs to the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  He also wrote the book and music for john & jen, and book, lyrics and music for A Little Princess (which was seen last year at NAMT).

Disney Theatricals' current Broadway productions include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan and Mary Poppins, which opens in November.