Cry Baby, the musical adaptation of the John Waters’ film that starred Johnny Depp, will likely join Hairspray, the current hit musical based on another one of Waters’ films, on Broadway next year. This newest stage production debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in California last month and hopes to find a home in April at the Marquis Theatre if The Drowsy Chaperone leaves.
It’s a challenge. On the one hand, the $12 million production hopes to catch some of the stardust of Hairspray which has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity this past summer with the very successful release of the movie-musical starring John Travolta. But, Cry Baby must create its own niche. There are similarities between the two: they are both set in an earlier time, Cry Baby in the ‘50s, Hairspray in the ‘60s. Both showcase a high-school puppy love theme. They are Waters’ “nostalgia” pieces, making them more suitable for the big musical stage than his earlier comedies.
Adam Epstein is producer of the new production along with others from Hairspray, including Elan McAllister and Alan Gordon.
The book is written by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan who also wrote the book for Hairspray.
The score is by composer Adam Schlesinger and lyricist David Javerbaum, new to Broadway. Schlesinger is the co-founder of the band Fountains of Wayne and is the band’s bassist as well as bassist for the band Ivy. He was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for writing the title track of the film That Thing You Do and has many other awards and credits to his name. Javerbaum is an executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a winner of numerous awards, including eight Emmys. He was co-bookwriter of Suburb, nominated for Outer Critics’ Circle and Drama League awards in 2001.
Director Mark Brokaw makes his debut, staging his first large-scale musical. He was nominated for the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Director of a Play in 1997 and 2001.
(The image accompanying this story is from HollywoodTeenMovies.com)