At his 86th birthday celebration in New York on Friday, comedian Jerry Lewis announced plans to bring his classic film “The Nutty Professor” to Broadway later this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Lewis co-wrote, directed and starred in the original 1963 film version, and he will direct the Broadway performance, though he will not appear onstage. In the original film, Lewis played Julius Kelp, a professor who invented a love potion.
In the musical, Kelp will be played by actor Michael Andrew. Lewis said it was Andrew that brought the project to him originally in 2005.
The show has an opening scheduled for November 15, and will have music by Marvin Hamlisch, known for his work on “A Chorus Line” and “They’re Playing Our Song.” The book for the musical is by Rupert Holmes, who worked on “Curtains” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and the choreography is by Kathleen Marshall, recently known for her work on revivals of “Anything Goes” and “The Pajama Game.”
Eddie Murphy starred in a 1996 remake of the original movie and a 2000 sequel, “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.” Lewis served as executive producer for both films, and also executive produced a 2008 animated remake. In animated version, Lewis reprised his role as Kelp.
The birthday celebration for Lewis was sponsored by the Friar’s club and the 92nd Street Y, and featured Lewis talking onstage with comedian and actor Richard Belzer, known for his work on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” After the conversation between the two, Lewis answered questions from the audience.
During the celebration, Lewis paid tribute to comedians who inspired him, including Charlie Chaplain, Stan Laurel, Harry Ritz and Milton Berle. He also said that the best comedians working today are Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Chris Rock, among others.