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Melissa Etheridge Is Writing Songs for a ‘Mystic Pizza’ Musical

One Broadway extravaganza, hold the pepperoni, please

Lili Taylor and Julie Roberts in Mystic Pizza

Mystic Pizza, the 1988 rom-com that is perhaps best known as the movie that launched Julia Roberts’s career, is getting turned into a musical by a handful of Broadway veterans and singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge.

A company by the name of Lively McCabe Entertainment has tapped actor Sas Goldberg, who previously appeared in Significant Other, to write the Mystic Pizza script with director Gordon Greenberg, a veteran of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. The team has not announced any potential production dates or locations, but the creators of the show have already arranged to publish and license the musical through Concord Theatricals. Although Etheridge has never written music for the Broadway stage before, the folk-rock hero did briefly step into Billy Joe Armstrong’s role in the Green Day musical American Idiot back in 2011. As Vulture notes, an episode of 30 Rock once included a plotline about a Mystic Pizza musical in the episode “Secrets and Lies,” so this production is actually a bizarre example of life imitating art.

The original movie followed the romantic entanglements of three servers at a pizzeria in Mystic, Connecticut. Roger Ebert was a fan of the film, writing, “Mystic Pizza does create the feeling of a small resort town and the people who live there and, amazingly, given the familiar nature of a lot of the material, it nearly always keeps us interested.” Ebert also accurately predicted that the movie “may someday become known for the movie stars it showcased back before they became stars.” In addition to featuring Julia Roberts in one of her first starring roles, the film also included early performances by Vincent D’Nofrio (of Daredevil fame), Lili Taylor (American Crime), and Matt Damon (the Bourne series, Good Will Hunting, etcetera).

While the participation of ’90s icon Melissa Etheridge is promising, these movie-to-musical adaptations are sometimes tricky to pull off (see: Amelie, Honeymoon in Vegas, and Big Fish). But if Waitress, another movie about life at a small restaurant, can make the succesful jump from screen to stage, perhaps there’s still hope for the Mystic Pizza musical yet.

Melissa Etheridge Is Working on a Musical Adaptation of Mystic Pizza, As Life Imitates 30 Rock [Vulture]
Melissa Etheridge Prepping Musical ‘Mystic Pizza’ For Stage Delivery [Deadline]