Isaac Robert Hurwitz, the longtime New York theater impresario who co-founded the New York Musical Theater Festival, is now officially a Hollywood executive, signing on as a senior vice president of Fox Stage Prods., the studio arm where he’s served as a consultant since 2013.
The new post for Hurwitz, who’ll report to division head Bob Cohen, comes as Fox’s stage activities accelerate, with the musical version of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” gearing up for production next year and Harvey Fierstein and Alan Menken collaborating on a musical adaptation of “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Hurwitz and Cohen will continue to work with Broadway producer Kevin McCollum (“Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “Something Rotten!”), film producer John Davis and former Key Brand Entertainment executive Thomas McGrath, who together pacted with the studio in 2013 to develop new stage work.
Fox isn’t the only Hollywood studio panning for gold in the live entertainment arena. Later this month Universal Stage Prods.’s brewing musical incarnation of “October Sky” will premiere at the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire, Ill., and on Broadway, Warner Bros. Theater Ventures’ “Misery” hits the boards this season prior to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” targeting a 2016-17 opening.
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The Hurwitz hire at Fox also falls in line with the trend of Hollywood studios tapping Broadway experts (such as McCollum) to help guide the development of stage work. Sony, for instance, made a deal with Scott Sanders (“The Color Purple”), while Universal’s division (co-headed by Robert Greenblatt, the TV exec with Broadway experience) has teamed with a number of Broadway regulars for individual titles.
Along with “Doubtfire” and “Wimpy Kid,” Fox is also at work on developing “The Devil Wears Prada” as a musical. “Doubtfire” and “Prada” have yet to map out production timelines, but the first production of “Wimpy Kid” runs April 16-June 5 at Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minn.