UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS — EXCLUSIVE: Professor Harold Hill, Bill Starbuck, Max Bialystock — Broadway loves a con artist, especially one with a sense of humor. I’ve learned that the latest film tapped to tap its way to the Broadway stage is George Roy Hill’s 1973 Oscar winner The Sting. That was, of course, his second outing with the rainmaking team of Robert Redford and Paul Newman (after Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid in 1969). Set in Depression Era Chicago, the film set up Redford as a low-rent swindler who strikes a deal with Newman’s Mr. Big Time to set the stage for an elaborate revenge scam. The Sting won Oscars for Best Film along with director, screenplay (David S. Ward), costumes (Edith Head), editing (William Reynolds) and that sublime score, fashioned by the late Marvin Hamlisch with no small assist from Scott Joplin (among other things the film did so well was spark a resurgence of interest in ragtime music). Redford was a best-actor nominee.
The trio set to turn the movie into a stage show betrays a slightly cocky sensibility on behalf of the producing team headed by Broadway’s Araca Group (A Raisin In The Sun, Cinderella), newly-appointed EuropaCorp president Matt Gross’s Gross Entertainment (Body of Proof, Dirty Sexy Money, Across The Universe, ) and Universal Stage Productions (Bring It On: The Musical): Bob Martin, who won a Tony as co-writer of the nostalgia drenched The Drowsy Chaperone, will team with Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, who won Tonys for the decidedly unconventional, entertainingly agitprop musical Urinetown, which recently opened in London. All three are repped by CAA. Martin, also the author of Elf, Gotta Dance, Slings & Arrows (which he created, wrote, produced and starred in) is managed by Brian Stern at Brillstein Grey. Kotis and Holllmann are also repped by Ben Feldman at Feldman, Golinski, Reedy + Senouf PLLC. No word yet on whether Hamlisch’s work will be reprised or incorporated into the show.