‘Jailhouse’ staging a legit breakout

'Pearl Harbor' scribe duo to adapt movie into stage musical

This article was corrected on March 26, 2001.

NEW YORK — If “Flashdance” can be a stage musical, why not “Jailhouse Rock”?

In yet another movie-to-stage segue, the red-hot screenwriting team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais is at work on a legit retelling of the 1957 Elvis Presley classic “Jailhouse Rock,” about a man who goes to jail on trumped-up charges of manslaughter and becomes a rock ‘n’ roll star in the process.

Clement and La Frenais are best known for their film work, having penned “Stir Crazy” and the Irish rocker movie “The Commitments.”

Clement and La Frenais’ legit version of “Jailhouse Rock” will use the film’s famed Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller score, which includes such hits as “Treat Me Nice,” “Don’t Leave Me Now” and the title tune. New songs are being written especially for the stage.

Rene Sheridan, lead producer on the project, said the additional material would be composed by a Grammy Award-winning composer to be announced next week. She expects the show to workshop in September in Los Angeles, with plans for a national tour to follow.

Sheridan has teamed with Michael Coleman and Conwell Worthington of Cornerstone Entertainment; Coleman and Worthington were general managers on “The King and I” tour with Yul Brynner and Rudolf Nureyev, and Disney’s first national tour of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Sheridan spent 10 years securing the rights to “Jailhouse Rock.”

“The rights were very complicated,” explained the producer. “There is a split royalty: Leiber and Stoller controlled domestic and the Presley estate controlled the rest.”

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