Can Pulitzer Prize Winners Make the 'Magic Mike' Musical Good?

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Magic Mike Broadway musical is a thing that's actually happening, and Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reports today that producers have enlisted a Pulitzer Prize-winning songwriting team. Can they make this any good? 

There's always a jokey air over anything mentioning Magic Mike, partly because a movie about male strippers featuring Channing Tatum dancing to "Pony" seems like something of a punchline. But the movie—a Steven Soderbergh flick—actually ended up having elements of a somber recession story. So it's hard to know what a Magic Mike musical would look like. A fun romp with big production numbers involving men taking their clothes off to 1990s hip-hop? Something that embraces the movie's drama? A combination?

That's what makes Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey an interesting choice. The two are responsible for Next to Normal, the story of a bipolar woman who hallucinates about her dead son, which won the Pulitzer under strange circumstances in 2010. The thoroughly depressing show got rave reviews, but ultimately left this writer cold. That said, the show has good, catchy songs for the young people in the cast, a sign that bodes well for Magic Mike. Aside from Next to Normal, Kitt and Yorkey have the upcoming Idina Menzel starrer If/Then. Kitt also was part of the writing team for another seemingly silly movie-to-musical adaptation: Bring it On

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Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will be responsible for Magic Mike's book. Aguirre-Sacasa has one of the book-writing credits on famous disaster musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. Fleming explains that he "helped turn things around when there was nothing but bad news on that musical and performers were dropping like flies from the complicated rigging." 

The movie Magic Mike surprised a number of people by being, well, good and thoughtful, and this creative team implies that the Soderbergh-produced musical could do the same thing. But ultimately, we'd be happiest about this if we got to see Aaron Tveit strip on stage. Here's Tveit singing "I'm Alive" from Next to Normal


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.