First announced nearly a decade ago, Allen will adapt the screenplay he co-wrote with Douglas McGrath and write the book for the songs. Of course, being a Woody Allen production, much of the music will be pre-existing tunes from the '20s, but the clarinet playing, jazz loving writer/director will be penning some original stuff as well. If you haven't seen the film -- and by God, remedy that situation immediately -- the story revolves around an emerging playwright (played by John Cusack in the film) who finds his own quality standards and morals slowly eroding as he's forced to work with gangster's moll (a hilarious Jennifer Tilly) and a Norma Desmond-esque diva (an Oscar winning and phenomenal Dianne Wiest) among others to get his play made. The film is crackling piece of work, whipsmart and extraorindarily funny, but we wonder how it will work as a musical.
Allen's last outing at the theater was "Honeymoon Hotel," a segment in the trio of one-acts "Relatively Speaking" last fall, while in 2008 he staged a production of Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi." Will this get in the way of any film work? Considering his work ethic, we doubt it will break his one movie a year spell (though it should be noted, his next film hasn't yet been formally announced). No details on the production yet, but if this is anything like getting tickets for Kraftwerk at MoMA, you might want to keep an ear to the ground because as soon as this goes on sale, it will likely sell out fast. [New York Times]