Lewis going 'Nutty' on Broadway
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- Jerry Lewis, who played "The Nutty Professor" in 1963, has a wacky new scheme: staging the film as a Broadway musical.
The first show is planned for January at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where the 80-year-old comedian has a houseboat, he said. Lewis will direct the show, which he aims to have on Broadway by October 2008.
The show will be produced by The Michael Andrew Company. Andrew, a 41-year-old crooner and comedian who fronts The Atomic Big Band, is set to play the lead, the bucktoothed Julius Kelp, who invents a potion that transforms him into the suave Buddy Love.
"I had an awful lot of inquiries about it for years, and I never really bothered to pay much attention to it," Lewis, who lives in the Las Vegas area, told reporters Tuesday.
"I saw this kid perform, and he wanted very much to do that, and he had money," Lewis said. "I said, 'With those pockets, we'll give it a shot."'
The company bought the rights to develop "The Nutty Professor" into a musical in March, executive producer Ned McLeod said. The story also was remade in 1996 into a movie -- which Lewis co-produced -- starring Eddie Murphy.
Andrew said he was inspired by Lewis' comedy at an early age.
"When I was 8 years old, I saw that movie and it pretty much formed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," Andrew said. "I never knew it would be as direct as it's going right now."
Lewis has battled pulmonary fibrosis, a crippling lung ailment, in recent years, keeping him off the stage. He plans to return for four shows in Las Vegas in July.
Pee-wee plays again
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- After being shuttered for more than 15 years, the doors to "Pee-wee's Playhouse" are being reopened.
The Emmy Award-winning show will get new life on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, which will air all 45 original episodes beginning July 10, company officials announced Monday.
"I'd say this is a dream come true," actor Paul Reubens said in a statement.
Reubens, 53, created the bow-tie wearing Pee-wee Herman in 1978 as a member of the L.A.-based comedy troupe, the Groundlings. Known for his big laugh and small suit, Pee-wee gained worldwide fame in 1985 as the star of his own movie, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," directed by Tim Burton.
The film's success led to "Pee-wee's Playhouse," which originally aired Saturday mornings on CBS beginning in 1986.
In 1991, a year after production wrapped on the final season of "Playhouse," Reubens was arrested in Florida for indecent exposure.
Reubens returned to the big screen with an acclaimed performance in 2001's "Blow."
'Deadwood' to return
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- There will be life in "Deadwood" after this season, with HBO and series creator David Milch agreeing to wrap up the drama with a pair of two-hour specials.
The saga of the rough-and-tumble 19th-century mining town looked like it might end with its 12-episode third season, which begins this Sunday, when Milch and HBO couldn't reach agreement on details of another year.
HBO had offered an abbreviated six-episode season. Milch wanted a dozen, because he constructs each episode to reflect a day in the town's life and felt he couldn't wrap the series in fewer, HBO spokeswoman Nancy Lesser said Tuesday.
The deal for the two specials, suggested by Milch, was reached over the weekend, she said.
"It allows him to work on a broader canvas through these specials," Lesser said. "He found a way to bring closure to the narrative and remain true to the themes of the material and spirit of the characters."
When and how the specials will air, whether back-to-back or otherwise, has yet to be determined.
Options for the large ensemble cast, which includes Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, had been allowed to lapse for season four so contract negotiations for the specials are ahead, Lesser said.
Milch also is focusing on another series in development for HBO with the working title of "John From Cincinnati," a surfer drama set in California.
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