Actor Jerry Lewis held court today in the lobby of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, fielding questions about the musical version of his 1963 film, The Nutty Professor.He’s trying to use Nashville performances of the show to get it to Broadway
Lewis has been working on the show for eight years. Today he told a gaggle of reporters, including a large contingent from New York, that it will likely be next year before the musical makes it to the Big Apple.
Lewis was playful and cantankerous with the press, sometimes ribbing them for asking long questions.
Lewis says don’t expect to see a clone of himself on the stage.
“We cannot use an impression of Jerry Lewis. We better not allow that to happen for a split second, because it becomes contagious and all of a sudden you’re doing a documentary about the life of this Jew.”
While the Nashville production is being touted as a world première, it’s really more of a fine-tuning. Lewis and other members of the creative team will be in the audience for the 32 preview performances at TPAC. They’ll also ask audience members what they think of the show. It will change based on what they hear.