Comedy Legend Jerry Lewis Directing Theatrical Version of “Nutty Professor” - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, July 1, 2022

Comedy Legend Jerry Lewis Directing Theatrical Version of “Nutty Professor”

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Jerry Lewis, seen here in the original film version of The Nutty Professor, is surely hoping that the new stage musical of the story will be similarly successful.Comedy legend Jerry Lewis – whose 1963 film “The Nutty Professor” featured one of his career-defining performances – is preparing to direct a musical stage version of the farce that will hopefully end up on Broadway. The play will attempt to beguile audiences and build up a positive buzz during its opening run at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center from July 31 through August 19.

Speaking with reporters in advance of the production, the 86-year-old Lewis – star of radio, stage, film and television – described the original plot of the science fiction comedy, which focused on a professor who creates a magical potion that relieves him of his tendency to be socially awkward by transforming him into a suave alter ego. As Lewis recalled, the movie company’s executives were worried about the actor taking on a role that was dramatically different from his previous work – but they changed their tune once the film became a smash hit.

The theatrical “Nutty Professor” has been crafted by Tony Award-winning book and lyrics writer Rupert Holmes and stellar composer Marvin Hamlisch. Lead actor Michael Andrew, a lifelong Jerry Lewis fan, proposed the concept of the play to the star.  “There are moments that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience,” Andrew said about his new role. “This man who has absolutely been my idol has become my mentor and then my friend.”

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