Woody Allen’s 1994 film, Bullets Over Broadway, was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The odds are good that the film’s stage adaptation will receive the same number of Tony Award nominations. The Broadway musical begins previews at the St. James Theatre on March 11, 2014. It officially opens on April 15.
The man himself, Woody Allen, wrote Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical. He adapted it from the screenplay he co-wrote with Douglas McGrath. The musical is directed and choreographed by the sensational Susan Stroman (The Producers, The Scottsboro Boys, Young Frankenstein, Big Fish). The original cast stars Zach Braff as “David Shayne,” the role played by John Cusack. Nick Cordero plays “Cheech,” Chazz Palminteri from the movie, and Marin Mazzie plays “Helen Sinclair,” Dianne Wiest from the movie—a role for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Bullets Over Broadway is set in the 1920s and the musical uses selections from the so-called “Great American Songbook.” That means songs from composers like Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Walter Donaldson, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Harry Warren.
Bullets Over Broadway is about playwright David Shayne. To get the proper financing for his play he casts Olive Neal, the girlfriend of a gangster. She’s not only difficult to work with but she’s also talentless. To make sure Olive is taken care of, the gangster sends along an escort, a wise guy by the name of Cheech. As it turns out, Cheech has a knack for the stage and Shayne incorporates his great ideas into his play. Of course, Shayne uses Cheech’s ideas as his own. Additionally, Shayne has to deal with the fact that he’s cheating on his partner, his leading lady is a drunkard, and his leading man is having an affair with the gangster’s girlfriend.