This article is from the Theatre FAQ, by aku@leland.Stanford.EDU (Andrew Chia-Tso Ku) with numerous contributions by others.
SUNSET BOULEVARD - ALW's musical version of the Billy Wilder movie
opened July 12/93 at the Adelphi Theatre in London, starring Patti
LuPone and Kevin Anderson. The Los Angeles production opened
December 9/93 at the Shubert Theatre, starring Glenn Close (Norma),
Alan Campbell (Joe), George Hearn (Max), and Judy Kuhn (Betty). The
LA version differed from the original London production in several ways,
including the addition of a new song ("Every Movie's a Circus"), more
musical underscoring, driving a Bentley onstage, etc. The Broadway
production with Close, Campbell, Hearn, and Alice Ripley (Betty) opened
on Nov. 17/94. Glenn Close's last performance on Broadway was
Jul. 2/95; she was replaced by Betty Buckley. Buckley's opening night
was July 20/95, and initial reviews have been reasonably good.
Elaine Paige is currently playing Norma in London, and Diahann Carroll
will star in the Toronto production, which opens in autumn/95. The
creative team for SUNSET BOULEVARD includes Christopher Hampton,
who wrote the book (although it appears to have been taken mostly
from the movie), Trevor Nunn (direction), and John Napier (sets).
EVITA movie - This project has a long history. Actresses rumored to
have been cast in the title role include Meryl Streep (directed by
Oliver Stone; Streep pulled out at the last moment, citing exhaustion
from her previous movie), Barbra Streisand (listen to Forbidden
Broadway for this version), Sarah Brightman, and Madonna. Touchstone/
Disney was going to produce the movie, to be directed by Glen Gordon
Caron (writer/producer of TV's MOONLIGHTING and director of CLEAN
AND SOBER) and wanted Madonna but Lloyd Webber didn't like the idea
(for one thing, Madonna wanted some new songs written for her).
Oliver Stone had reactivated the project in 1994, to star Michelle
Pfeiffer, Antonio Banderas (Che) and Raul Julia (Peron) but Stone
pulled out in mid-July/94 after budget disagreements with
Hollywood Pictures. Alan Parker is the current director, and
as of September/95, it looks as though Madonna will star, with Banderas
as Che and Jonathan Pryce as Juan Peron. The movie is scheduled
to begin shooting in December/95.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA movie - This is another one that has been
rumored for quite a while yet never seems to get made. Rumored leads
have been Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman and one would assume
Steve Barton. Joel Schumacher (ST. ELMO'S FIRE, THE CLIENT, BATMAN
FOREVER) was initially scheduled to direct but he pulled out. Franco
Zefferelli and Jerry Zucker have been considered as directors. The
movie remains in the development stage for Warner Bros.
ASPECTS OF LOVE movie - This is another rumored project that hasn't
begun filming yet. Supposedly Lloyd Webber wants Brightman as Rose
and this wouldn't be surprising since he has had her playing Rose on
Broadway, London and for part of the American tour.
CATS animated movie - Currently in pre-production with shooting scheduled
to begin September/95 for Universal, and co-produced by Steven
Spielberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Initial reports had Tom Stoppard
writing the script, but as of July/95, the script is being credited
to Patricia Knopp. ALW has reportedly written a new song for the
WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND - ALW is currently working on a musical movie
version of the 1961 Hayley Mills movie WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, with
a change of setting to the American South. ALW is the composer, Jim
Steinman (BAT OUT OF HELL) is the lyricist, and Johnny Depp and
Kirsten Dunst have been mentioned as possible leads. According
to a Liz Smith column, a draft of the movie was performed at
ALW's Sydmonton estate in July/95. This version is not to be
confused with a stage musical by Russell Labey and Richard Taylor,
produced in 1994 at Britain's National Youth Music Theatre.
A STAR IS BORN - ALW has purchased the rights to produce a stage version
of the 1954 Judy Garland-James Mason movie. He will not write any
original music, but rather retain the Harold Arlen-Ira Gershwin score
and add other songs from the Arlen repertory. Larry Gelbart
(CITY OF ANGELS) has been sought to write the show's book, and
Stephen Pimlott (the recent JOSEPH... revival) is scheduled to direct
(ALW will act as producer). The production is scheduled to open 18-24
months from the time of the project's announcement (which was March/95).
JEEVES - ALW has revamped this 1975 flop. A UPI report in June/95 stated
that ALW would preview the new version at his upcoming Sydmonton
festival, and if was a success, he would take the show to a regional
theater in England and then to the West End in London, and possibly
Broadway. There have been no reports that the Sydmonton staging took
place (see WHISTLE above).