I am very pleased with the news that Woody Allen’s brilliant comedy “Bullets Over Broadway” is coming to, where else?
Woody is adapting his 1994 movie as a musical, aiming for a New York opening in 2013. The musical is being co-written with Douglas McGrath, from their original screenplay, and will feature period music from the Depression era.
It tells the story of a struggling writer David Shayne who agrees to cast a gangster’s girlfriend – Olive, in his new play in exchange for financing.
I think this is one of Woody’s best films and certainly one of his funniest. It features a superb cast (John Cusack, Jennifer Tilly, Jim Broadbent, Tracey Ullman amongst others) and it gave the divine Diane Wiest her second Oscar for her portrayal of stage diva Helen Sinclair, who utters the famous words “don’t speak” in moments of ecstasy! A true laugh out loud moment.
Dianne Wiest (Helen) and John Cusack (David) in a moment of pure art direction and stunning costume design from the film.
Here are a few bits of the very funny dialogue from the film, hopefully to remain intact for the stage version, why would one change a word?
*The coloured maid Venus and the gangsters moll Olive (Jennifer Tilly – hysterical in her Oscar nominated role) have an interaction over cocktails…..
Olive: Hey, didn’t I tell you to make “horse durves”?
Venus: I don’t make nothin’ out of horses, especially “horse durves”, ’cause I don’t know what they are, and neither do you.
Olive: Oh, aren’t you the big mouth since you hit your number!
[raising her voice]
Olive: And I said the imported stuff!
Venus: The imported stuff ate through the bottle! It’s gone!
Olive: A likely story!
[composing herself – to David]
Olive: It’s very hard to get good help these days.
Jennifer Tilly as Olive.
*Sid Loomis, Helen’s agent (Harvey Fierstein) accuses her of being a drunk….
Sid: You’re a star because you’re great and you are a great star, but let me tell you something, Helen. In the last couple of years you’re better known as an adulteress and a drunk. And I say this in all due respect.
Helen: Look, I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.
Sid: You’re talking Chinese New Year’s.
Helen: Naturally. Still, that’s two days, Sid! You know how long that is for me?
*When Helen has a drink at the bar with David….
Helen: Two martinis please, very dry.
David: How’d you know what I drank?
Helen: Oh, you want one too? Three.
*And of course Helen’s most famous line, as David asks her for a kiss…..
Helen: No, no, don’t speak. Don’t speak. Please don’t speak. Please don’t speak. No. No. No. Go. Go, gentle Scorpio, go. Your Pisces wishes you every happy return.
David: Just one…
Helen: Don’t speak.
I can’t wait to see who gets the role of Helen Sinclair, sure to be filled by a true Broadway diva. (Patti Lupone anyone?)