Comedy legend Jerry Lewis may be back on Broadway with his long anticipated musical adaptation of The Nutty Professor as soon as this fall, according to an interview with The Las Vegas Review Journal. The 84-year-old Lewis, who would direct the piece composed by Tony Award winner Marvin Hamlisch and featuring lyrics by Rupert Holmes, stated that the show would begin performances at an unspecified Broadway house beginning October or November 2010.
Lewis also mentioned that a New York reading of the tuner, featuring 18 of "the best" new songs by Hamlisch, recently took place in New York, and that casting for the project will begin in the coming weeks. Lewis even has a theater in mind. "I'd love to get the Marquis Theater," he told the Journal. "It's where I did Damn Yankees in the mid-1990s."
The story of The Nutty Professor follows Professor Julius Kelp, a dull geek with a bright idea. Privately experimenting in his laboratory to find the cure for his social failures, he creates a potion that transforms him into a smooth-talking party animal named Buddy Love. Buddy is everything that Julius always dreamed of being and gets the girl that he always dreamed of dating, Stella. The only problem is that the potion doesn’t last very long. The original 1963 film starred Lewis as Kelp, while a popular 1986 remake starred Eddie Murphy.
Often called The King of Comedy, Lewis is no stranger to Broadway, appearing and touring the U.S. and U.K. in Damn Yankees! in 1995 and Jerry Lewis at The Palace in 1953. Lewis and his performing partner, Dean Martin, were once hailed as the most popular comedy duo in the nation. They made their film debut in 1949 and starred in 13 blockbuster 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 ‘80s, 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 films Mr. Saturday Night and Funny Bones. His humanitarian efforts for The Muscular Dystrophy Association have won him countless accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Lewis received an Oscar in 2009 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.