New York Theater Guide Rumors

We heard it on the grapevine… Our Rumors section includes information that is yet to be officially confirmed or has been reported by reliable sources as a future possibility. If a rumor then materializes, it will be removed from this page and re-introduced in the main news and listings sections.

However, if, after a long period of time, there are no further developments with a particular rumor, it will be deleted from this page.

Empire Records
Is a musical adaptation of 90s cult film Empire Records heading to Broadway?

A musical adaptation of 1995's much loved, cult-hit movie "Empire Records" is eyeing a Broadway bow for 2020 in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary. Producer Bill Weiner has acquired the stage rights and has enlisted original screenplay writer Carol Heikkinen to adapt her script into a book for a musical, with Zoe Sarnak providing music and lyrics.

The film, which boasts a cast that inlcudes Liv Tyler and Renée Zellweger, centers on Empire Records, last of the independent small-town record stores, which employs a tight-knit group of music-savvy youths. Hearing that the shop may be sold to a big chain, slacker employee Lucas places a big bet with a chunk of the store’s money, hoping to get a big return and save the store. When the plan fails, Empire Records falls into serious trouble, and the teens must find a way to fend off the encroaching Music Town overlords.

A scene from the 1983 film "National Lampoon's Vacation"
Get ready for a "Vacation" musical comedy?

The Griswolds may well be heading to Broadway on a Vacation that promises to be as hilarious as it is well-choreographed! Producers Ken Davenport and Kurt Deutsch have optioned the musical rights to the hit film franchise "Vacation" by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. Under the title of Broadway Vacation, the musical comedy will follow the Griswolds on a musical trip to the Big Apple in a completely original story. Although no timeline has been set for the project, Ken Davenport commented: “Both Kurt and I came of age on the Vacation films series and can’t wait to bring the Griswolds to Broadway. If audiences thought their cinematic misadventures were funny, wait till Clark and his family get to Times Square.”

The popular movie series includes "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983), "National Lampoon's European Vacation" (1985), "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989), "Vegas Vacation" (1997), and, most recently, "Vacation" (2015).

Joy Mangano
Is a musical based on the life of Joy Mangano Broadway-bound?

Broadway producer Ken Davenport has announced he has successfully aquired the rights to develop a stage musical based on the life of celebrated entrepreneur, inventor and TV icon Joy Mangano. The QVC & HSN (Home Shopping Network) legend has already been the subject of the CBS digital series "Inventing Joy" and the 2015 Hollywood movie "Joy" which earned Jennifer Lawrence a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. Is the Great White Way next?

Ms. Mangano commented: “My life has taken me to many unexpected places - from the back of the auto-body shop where I worked on my first invention, my successes on QVC and HSN and to Hollywood when the film Joy was produced. Being the subject of a Broadway musical is more than a dream come true for me. I’m a local Long Island girl; I just used to dream of coming into town to see a Broadway musical – much less to be the subject of one!”

Heart of Rock & Roll
Huey Lewis and The News musical is in the works

Heart of Rock & Roll - a new jukebox musical inspired by chart-topping songs from Huey Lewis and The News is in development and is said to feature an original story by Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Abrams. Under the direction of Gordon Greenberg, the musical is likely to feature such 80s and 90s classics as “The Power of Love,” “Stuck with You,” “Hip to Be Square,” and “If This Is It,” among others. Huey Lewis and The News have sold over an estimated 30 million records worldwide and even earned an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for "The Power of Love," which was featured in the film "Back to the Future".

The Secret of My Success
Is The Secret of My Success heading to Broadway?

A musical adaptation of Universal's 1987 movie "The Secret of My Success" is currently in development, featuring a book by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen and original music and lyrics by Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler. The story follows a recent college graduate named Brantley Foster (portrayed on screen by Michael J. Fox), who moves to the Big Apple from Kansas to take a job in finance. On discovering that his position no longer exists, he is forced to work for his inept uncle, who earned his position as president of a company through marriage, and we witness Brantley's rise to the top of the corporate ladder from mail clerk to high-end executive.

A private industry reading is set for February 9 in New York City, directed by Gordon Greenberg. The cast includes Chris Dawn (as Brantley), alongside Lilli Cooper, Golden Globe winner Christian Slater, Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita, Tony Award winner Priscilla Lopez, Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner, Javier Muñoz, Lori Tan Chinn, David Rossmer, Levi Buksbazen, Courtney Balan, Josh Breckenridge, Kayla Davion, Alyse Alan Louis, Joey Taranto and Noah Weisberg. Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming tuner in the coming months.

The Rose
Is Bette Midler's The Rose getting the Broadway musical treatment?

Accordintg to Variety, a musical adaptation of 1979 film The Rose is in the works with Grammy Award winner Glen Ballard writing a new score for the project. The Rose helped to skyrocket the career of Bette Midler, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance as Mary Rose Foster, and is partially based on the life of rock music icon Janis Joplin. The story follows a self-destructive rock singer, who struggles with new-found fame with a tormenting manager.

Tony-nominated producer Gail Berman commented: "Bringing The Rose to Broadway was a true labor of love. The story lends itself perfectly to a live musical production: it's a roller-coaster journey through the life of a volatile star, a celebration of music and a visual homage to the dazzling culture of rock and roll. We are so excited to bring a modern-day take on this project to the stage, and beyond thrilled to have Glen, a true musical vanguard at the helm."

Stay tuned for more details, including casting and dates, for this exciting musical-in-development. 

Kristin Chenoweth
Will Kristin Chenoweth star in a Death Becomes Her musical on Broadway?

According to Universal Theatrical Group, a stage musical adaptation of the hit 1992 film "Death Becomes Her" is in the works. Even more deadly is the news that Tony Award winner and Broadway favorite Kristin Chenoweth is rumored to star as Madeline Ashton in the musical. Previously played on-screen by Meryl Streep, Madeline is an actress who is introduced to a groundbreaking treatment that promises eternal youth and gives her the perfect chance to outlast her nemesis Helen Sharp (played by Goldie Hawn). Things take a turn for the worse, however, when these archrivals physically die and become the walking, trash-talking dead in the process. "Death Becomes Her" was a huge commercial success, earning over $149 million dollars at the global box office, and also picked up the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

Stay tuned for further details about casting and creative team members as this death-defying project develops.

Rosanne Cash
Rosanne Cash is working on a musical adaptation of Norma Rae

According to The New York Daily News, four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, eldest daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, is working on a score for a musical adaptation of the hit 1979 film "Norma Rae".

The movie earned Sally Field her first Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role", David Shire & Normal Gimbel an Oscar for "Best Original Song" (for "It Goes Like It Goes"), and two further Academy Award nominations (for "Best Picture" and "Best Screenplay"). The plot follows Norma Rae and her colleagues at a textile factory in North Carolina, who rally together and incite labor union demonstrations after their health is put in jeopardy at the factory. The musical would mark Ms. Cash's first foray into the world of musical theatre.

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump
Will Alec Baldwin play Donald Trump on Broadway?

According to Alec Baldwin, his Emmy Award-winning impersonation of President Donald Trump may well be headed to the Great White Way. During an interview on The Howard Stern Show, the actor stated he was considering adapting his book "You Can't Spell America Without Me" into a one-man show. Baldwin co-wrote the book with Kurt Andersen as a parody of Trump's first year in the Oval Office. He has gained widespread appeal for his "Saturday Night Live" impressions since debuting there in September 2016. He also named SNL's Lorne Michaels as a producer of the Broadway project. 

Alex Baldwin earned a Tony Award nomination in 1992 for his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Jessica Lange. He has also appeared on Broadway in Orphans, Twentieth Century, Serious Money and Loot.

The South Korean production of Titanic
Is Titanic looking to set sail back to Broadway?

Fans of the 1997 Tony Award-winning musical Titanic may well be treated to its first-ever Broadway revival, if the rumors are true. Broadway veteran director Eric Schaeffer has mounted a brand new South Korean production at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul with an immersive set design. As Artistic Director of Virginia's Signature Theatre, he also previously helmed a 2016 production at the venue. The production company behind the Seoul incarnation is The OD Company. CEO Chun-soo Shin released a statement, saying: "Under Eric Schaeffer's polished direction and with Paul Tate De Poo III's innovative and environmental set design, this production deserves to be seen on Broadway. It's been twenty years since this great musical had its maiden voyage and now The OD Company is committed to relaunching its return to Broadway as soon as possible." Although a rumored 2014 revival never came to fruition, it is now looking likely that the musical, which features a book by 3-time Tony Award winner Peter Stone and music & lyrics by 2-time Tony Award winner Maury Yeston, may finally anchor in New York City for another Broadway run.