Sheryl Crow, the multi-Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, has composed a musical based on the 1982 film Diner. It will be coming to Broadway in Fall of 2012. Original director/screenwriter Barry Levinson has written the book and Tony Award winning director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph the production. Diner is a coming of age drama about a group of college friends in 1959. They spend all of their free time in the diner almost as a coping mechanism. They begin to consider leaving the diner for good to move on with their lives. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Here's the trailer for the original film.
Kathleen Marshall promises that Levinson has added a lot of depth to the screenplay to adapt it for stage. She also says that Sheryl Crow's score is very theatrical.
I can believe both of those things. Crow is nothing if not an emotional storyteller. She has great imagery and creates strong character songs. It doesn't always add up to a cohesive album, but the songs themselves are memorable.
Levinson has done a lot of memorable things with and without credit. He was brought in to fixx up the screenplay of Tootsie. He also wrote the screenplays for Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Sleepers. The man creates strong memorable characters and great conflict.
This team could put out a great show. I doubt that Kathleen Marshall would attach herself to a fluff project with no potential. Even in her failures--like the misguided Grease revival--she was willing to take risks and create a memorable and cohesive night of theater. I'd rather see a risky production falter than see a safe production not try anything. Marshall's career as a director/choreographer has been limited to revivals. It'll be interesting to see what she does with brand new material.
Thoughts? Love to hear them.