Big Easy is new tuner's first stop
Producer Manny Fox is laying plans for a new musical, “Family Fortune,” to make its way to Broadway via New Orleans.Developing tuner has music by Puerto Rican musician Alberto Carrion, with pop musician-producer Nile Rodgers (“We Are Family,” “Like a Virgin”) onboard as co-composer and producer of the score. Book is by Fox’s wife, Cinda Firestone Fox, who based the comedy loosely on her own experiences as a member of the clan that began Firestone Tire and Rubber. Story has been reset in Puerto Rico, where a salsa dancer marries a wealthy man and becomes embroiled in a battle over his family’s assets. Puerto Rico-based Fox (“Sophisticated Ladies”) is currently at work raising $14 million (including a $5 million reserve) for the incipient tuner, which will be produced by Fox and his company De Aqui Pa’ Broadway y Hollywood. In an unusual deal, Fox plans for all his investors to have a stake in the tuner’s publishing and licensing rights. Production is still in its early stages, although Fox already has booked a tryout slot at New Orleans’ Mahalia Jackson Theater in summer 2012, with the intention of moving the show from there to the Rialto. The producer also aims to take advantage of tax incentives from both Louisiana and Puerto Rico. He’s also at work on a new version of “Sophisticated Ladies,” the Duke Ellington revue he co-produced on Broadway in 1981, intended for a stint in Vegas.