Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
There are some films that seem like logical inspirations for Broadway musicals — such as Sister Act, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and The Lion King, to name just a few of the shows currently playing on the Great White Way. Barry Levinson‘s 1982 coming-of-age dramedy Diner doesn’t seem like one of them. Although the film boasts an impressive soundtrack of midcentury classics, with hits by Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Bobby Darin, the talky, meandering picture doesn’t seem like a natural fit for the flashy song-and-dance numbers of a typical Broadway production.
Nevertheless, a musical production based on the movie is currently in the works, to be directed by Tony-winning choreographer Kathleen Marshall. Levinson is set to write the book, with — here’s another surprise – Sheryl Crow writing music and lyrics. More details after the jump.
In addition to being an excellent film on its own merits, Diner is also notable for helping to launch the careers of stars Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, Ellen Barkin, and Paul Reiser. (Well done, casting director Ellen Chenoweth.) It does not, however, seem on the surface like Broadway material. Nor is country/pop rocker Crow the obvious choice to write songs about young men in the ’50s. None of this is an indication that the stage show won’t work, of course, but it is difficult to imagine from here how the finished product will end up.
Levinson seems to be feeling pretty optimistic, though. “I’m excited to be embarking on this stage version, which affords me the opportunity as a storyteller to expand on my original vision and let the characters express their innermost feeling and thoughts through song,” he said in a release. According to the LA Times, Diner the musical will debut as a limited run in a city to be determined before tackling New York City.
Though the move seems like part of the modern-day obsession to remake and adapt everything across all media, it’s actually not the first time Levinson has attempted to revisit the beloved Fells Point Diner. In 1983, he shot a television pilot starring Mike Binder, Paul Reiser, Michael Madsen and James Spader. However, the would-be series never made it beyond the pilot stage and was quickly forgotten.
Here’s the trailer for the original film:
[via The Playlist]
Discuss: Hey, I just noticed that between Levinson, Marshall, and Crow, the crew of Diner is already 75% of the way to a collective EGOT! Now we just have to find an Emmy winner to step in for one of the leads.