“Bullets Over Broadway” is set in the 1920s and includes a new adapted book by Allen. The new musical comedy tells the story of an aspiring young playwright who is forced to cast a mobster’s talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced. The film starred John Cusack as the playwright, Jennifer Tilly as the girlfriend, Chazz Palminteri as her gangster escort who seems to have a genius for playwrighting, and Dianne Wiest as an over-the-top diva who’s signature line is, “Don’t speak!” The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Wiest won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, her second for an Allen film (her first being for “Hannah and Her Sisters”).
Among the veterans from “The Producers” who will work on the show are costume designer William Ivey Long, musical arranger Doug Besterman, and music supervisor Glen Kelly.
The 1995 film “Everyone Says I Love You” was Allen’s previous foray into musicals, although that film featured a score of all old songs. It appears “Bullets” will have few, if any, new songs, instead relying on music from the 1920s and 1930s.
Allen’s past Broadway work includes writing the book for the 1960 musical revue “A to Z,” the plays “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Play It Again, Sam” (in which he starred), and “The Floating Light Bulb.” More recently he contributed a short play to the show “Relatively Speaking,” which also featured plays written by Elaine May and Ethan Coen.