Planned 'Nutty Professor' musical is Broadway-bound, says Jerry Lewis
Slapstick comedian Jerry Lewis has plans to take one of his best-known characters to Broadway.
Lewis said Tuesday that a musical adaptation of The Nutty Professor, directed by the 80-year-old comedian, is set to debut at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Calif., in 2007.
He is also planning to write the show's libretto. Producers have yet to announce the musical's composer and other key positions.
Lewis added that he hopes to have the production on Broadway by 2008.
"I have had an awful lot of inquiries about it for years and I never really bothered to pay much attention to it," Lewis said, according to the Associated Press.
However, he changed his mind after hearing an appeal and watching a performance by Florida big band crooner and comedian Michael Andrew.
Andrew will star as the titular professor, the uncool Julius Kelp, who invents a concoction that transforms him into a suave ladies' man by the name of Buddy Love.
"I saw this kid perform and he wanted very much to do that, and he had money," Lewis said from his home in Las Vegas.
Lewis wrote, directed and starred in The Nutty Professor in 1963. The hit film was also remade in 1996, with Eddie Murphy starring in the revamped version.
Andrew's company purchased the rights to develop The Nutty Professor as a musical in March, the same month Lewis celebrated his 80th birthday and was named a Commander of the Legion of Honour in France.
The comedian who shot to fame as the manic counterpart to Dean Martin has made few stage appearances in recent years because of his battle with pulmonary fibrosis, a crippling lung ailment.