Theater News

Hedwig's Stephen Trask Tapped for The King of Comedy Musical Adaptation

The popular 1982 film is being reworked for the Broadway stage.

Robert De Niro in the 1982 film The King of Comedy, now being primed for a musical adaptation.
Robert De Niro in the 1982 film The King of Comedy, now being primed for a musical adaptation.

Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and Chris D’Arienzo, book writer of the Tony Award-nominated Rock of Ages, have signed on to write the musical adaption of Arnon Milchan’s film classic The King of Comedy for New Regency.

The cult classic film, produced by New Regency and company founder Arnon Milchan in 1982, follows a desperate comedian who stalks and kidnaps a talk show host in an effort to land the TV appearance that will make his dreams come true. The movie starred Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, with direction by Martin Scorsese.

"We are very excited to have Stephen and Chris on board to bring this classic film, with its quirky characters and contemporary themes surrounding fame and celebrity, to the Broadway stage," said New Regency’s Bill Weiner, who is overseeing the project and leading the company’s stage efforts.

"I saw King of Comedy in film class at Wesleyan and I still can’t get it out of my head," said Trask. "To get asked by New Regency, one of the most consequential film companies ever, to make a musical with my friend Chris D’Arienzo, out of what might be the greatest movie ever, is one of the most exciting opportunities to come my way. And, we didn’t have to kidnap anybody to make it happen."

D’Arienzo added, "I am beyond thrilled to work with Stephen and New Regency to bring Rupert Pupkin’s toxic fantasy world to the stage. The film is an absolute classic and it is an honor to explore this timely and twisted view of ‘fame obsession’ with such talented and thoughtful collaborators."