Ken Davenport And Kurt Deutsch Option Musical Rights To The Griswolds' 'Vacation' Story
Ken Davenport and Kurt Deutsch announced today that they have optioned the musical rights to the characters from the hit film franchise Vacation by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures to develop a new musical Broadway Vacation.
They've visited Walley World. They've toured Europe. They've lost everything in Las Vegas. And now, the Griswolds are debuting on Broadway. What could possibly go wrong?
Ken Davenport said, "Both Kurt and I came of age on the Vacation films series and can't wait to bring the Griswolds to Broadway. If audiences thought their cinematic misadventures were funny, wait till Clark and his family get to Times Square."
Kurt Deutsch said "Millions of tourists come to New York for the first time every year and each one has a singular experience. The Griswolds' maiden trip to the city will be no exception, though in this case, theirs is guaranteed to be outrageous, unique, hilarious - and well-choreographed. While the characters are familiar, Broadway Vacation will take them on a completely original musical journey - and on a trip to New York that they will never forget."
The Griswolds first hit the screen over three decades ago in the classic comedy "National Lampoon's Vacation," giving audiences lasting memories of the disasters that can befall a family on a cross-country road trip. Getting to Walley World, America's favorite adventure destination, was a hilarious hassle for Clark Griswold (portrayed by Chevy Chase in one of his most indelible screen roles), his wife, Ellen (portrayed by Beverly D'Angelo), and their bickering kids, Rusty and Audrey.
It was also an unforgettable trip for filmgoers around the world and became a major box office success. Over the years, the Griswolds took us on a European Vacation, a Vegas Vacation, and even shared a Christmas Vacation with us, becoming part of our cultural fabric. In 2015, New Line Cinema released "Vacation," featuring the next generation of Griswolds.
Ken Davenport is currently represented on Broadway by the acclaimed production of Once On This Island. His other Broadway credits include Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), It's Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots (Tony Award), The Visit (Tony nomination), Mothers and Sons (Tony nomination), The Bridges of Madison County, Allegiance, Chinglish, Oleanna, Speed-the- Plow, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (Tony nomination), Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury, and 13. Off-Broadway Ken has produced Daddy Long Legs, Altar Boyz, My First Time, The Awesome 80s Prom, That Bachelorette Show, and Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage. He also produced the award winning These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, and an award-winning TV pilot entitled "The Bunny Hole" which has appeared in the LA Indie Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, the LA Comedy Festival and more. Ken was named one of Crain's "40 Under Forty," is one of the co-founders of TEDxBroadway, and was featured on a national commercial for Apple's iPhone. He created the Broadway board game Be A Broadway Star, and runs a number of theatrical websites including DidHeLikeIt.com. His blog, TheProducersPerspective.com, has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable, Imedia and others. For more information, visit www.DavenportTheatrical.com.
Grammy Award winner and founder of Sh-K-Boom & Ghostlight Records, Kurt Deutsch is credited with reinventing the musical theatre recording landscape by preserving countless shows in high-quality recordings through close partnerships with Broadway's top producers, as well as working hand-in-hand with the new generation of theater artists and composers to merge them with the popular culture at-large. He was recently appointed Senior VP of Theatrical and Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music, WMG's publishing arm. Prior to entering the music business, Deutsch worked as an actor for over 15 years on and off Broadway, TV, and in film. Deutsch founded Sh-K-Boom Records in 2000 with the mission of bringing passionate, fresh artists and their music to a new audience. To serve the ever-expanding mission of the label the Ghostlight imprint was created in 2004 to include cast recordings and more traditional musical theater albums. Sh-K-Boom with its imprint Ghostlight Records has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings - building a library of over 200 records in the last 18 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway's brightest stars. Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight has won three Grammy Awards (for The Book of Mormon, In the Heights and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical) and is a frequent nominee. Other notable releases include cast recordings for 2017 Tony nominee Falsettos, 2016 Tony nominees Bright Star and She Loves Me and 2015 Tony nominee Something Rotten!, as well as Disney's Newsies. The label has also released solo albums from Patti LuPone, Billy Porter, Sutton Foster, Adam Pascal, Lea DeLaria, Kelli O'Hara, Ben Vereen, Christine Ebersole and more. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theatre composers with their extensive relationships with David Yazbek, Michael John LaChiusa and Michael Friedman, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Pasek & Paul, Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Shaina Taub, Dave Malloy, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk and Adam Gwon. Sh-K-Boom Entertainment is a producer of the acclaimed film version of The Last Five Years, written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Ghostlight recently became part of the new Arts Music division at Warner Music Group. www.GhostlightRecords.com
Continuing Warner Bros.' mission of presenting the finest entertainment across all media platforms to global audiences, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (WBThV) is the company's live stage play division, which develops and produces first-class musicals and other stage productions based on Warner Bros.' vast library of iconic film and television properties. The division is currently preparing Dave, which will make its world premiere at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage in July 2018, directed by Tina Landau, with music by two-time Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt, lyrics by Tony nominee Nell Benjamin and a book by three-time Tony winner Thomas Meehan and Nell Benjamin. In addition, WBThV is developing the new musical comedy Beetlejuice, directed by two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers. WBThV is also currently readying both the North American tour and an Australian production at Sydney's Capitol Theatre of the Olivier Award-winning musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was previously represented on the West End (Director: Sam Mendes) and Broadway (Director: Jack O'Brien). WBThV is presently developing A Star is Born (Director: Bill Condon), Dog Day Afternoon (Playwright: Stephen Adly Guirgis) and 17 Again for the stage. The division's other Broadway productions include Oscar-winner William Goldman's adaptation of Misery directed by Will Frears, starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, the record-breaking holiday hit Elf, the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County and Tony Award Best Play winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The division also co-produced the original musical Secondhand Lions at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. WBThV also licenses third-party stage rights to the various properties held within the studio's vast media library, including such productions as Hairspray, The Bodyguard, Top Hat, Singin' in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, The Color Purple and 42nd Street.