Among the many movie franchises to have made their way onto the stage in musical form in recent years, from Ghost to The Bodyguard and Back To The Future, there are some that seem to lend themselves to the format of a Broadway show more than others. Top of the list of unexpected and frankly bizarre choices of movies to be adapted has to be Bruce, a new musical production based on the memoir of Jaws by screenwriter Carl Gottlieb. Previously announced to premiere this year prior to the COVID pandemic arriving, the show is now to make its debut in May 2022 in Seattle.
The show gets its title from the name given to the animatronic shark used by Steven Spielberg in his movie and tells the story of the making of the film as documented in Gottlieb's The Jaws Log. The premiere will now be at Seattle Rep in May next year, being moved from its original slated world debut in New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse.
The musical's description reads, "Chronicling the making of an iconic movie, Bruce tells the story of then-unknown director Steven Spielberg's beleaguered film set and the challenges that thwarted his team at every turn, including the film's star: an uncooperative mechanical shark named Bruce. At its heart, the show proves that when we are faced with hardship and work together as a team, great things can happen."
An updated synopsis was released with the new premiere details, which now says, "While invading a sleepy fishing island off Cape Cod to shoot on the open ocean, he faced several challenges including weather, water, hostile locals, an exploding budget, endless delays, and a highly dysfunctional mechanical star named Bruce, to bring his vision to life in what proved to be one of the biggest success stories in film history."
Featuring music by Richard Oberacker, who also wrote the book and lyrics with Robert Taylor, who together created the 2017 Broadway show Bandstand, Bruce joins the ranks of movies that are so far removed from the world of musicals that it should be questioned who ever came up with the idea in the first place. Other films that have been adapted into song-filled romps against better judgment have included Back To The Future and Beetlejuice, The Evil Dead, but if fans of the films are looking for a very different take on the story, then they will definitely find it here.
Jaws was released in 1975 and became an instant summer blockbuster in a time when there wasn't such a thing as a summer blockbuster. Over four decades later, the movie is still as highly rated now as when it was originally released, inspiring new filmmakers and movies, and still having new tie-in collectable action figures developed and even has a range of TUBBZ rubber ducks based on the main characters including Bruce himself.
Previews of Bruce begin at Seattle Rep's Bagley Wright Theater on May 27, followed by opening night on June1, with the show running until June 26. The cast are expected to be announced soon. This story comes to us from Deadline.