Bob Martin’s The Prom opens on Broadway this month – but that new musical is only one of a dizzying number of high-profile projects the Tony-winning co-creator of The Drowsy Chaperone has on the go.
Indeed, Martin already had two other potentially Broadway-bound musicals premiere earlier this year in New Jersey: The Sting, an adaptation of the 1973 movie, starring Harry Connick Jr.; and Half Time, a musical about a basketball dance troupe comprised of senior citizens.
“My philosophy is to keep a lot of balls in the air, so I have, like, seven shows in various stages of development right now,” says the Canadian librettist and screenwriter.
1. The Drowsy Chaperone: The Sequel
The Canadian team behind Drowsy – Martin, Lisa Lambert, Don McKellar and Greg Morrison – are all working on a top-secret project that began with talks with Broadway producer Kevin McCollum about a revival of their hit 2006 musical.
“We have a very specific thing that we’re planning to do to follow up Drowsy,” says Martin, who was inspired after recently reprising the role of ultimate musical-theatre fan Man in Chair to host a revue in New York. “I think Man in Chair will be back, but it will probably be a different show."
2. The Princess Bride: The Musical
There have been reports of Disney developing a stage show based on the cult 1987 family film since 2006 – but not much in recent years. Martin confirms it’s still in the works – and that he’s been working on it for “a few years now.”
“It’s a really beloved property, so people are very protective of the material,” he says. "But the way I look at these adaptations, you have to create a product that exists alongside the original."
3. Slings and Arrows: The Prequel
Martin writes for television (Michael: Every Day, Sensitive Skin) in addition to theatre, but his two fan bases overlap on Slings and Arrows (2003-06), a series about the behind-the-scenes drama at a fictional theatre company inspired by the Stratford Festival.
He confirms that work on a prequel series is under way with co-creators Susan Coyne and Mark McKinney, that a number of scripts have been written and new producers are on board. “It’s loosely based on the origins of the Stratford Festival,” Martin says. “It’s still early stages.”