Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window takes place almost entirely in one setting, so it makes sense that someone would try to adapt it for stage. Sure enough, this morning a consortium of producers announced their intention to bring Rear Window to Broadway…kind of. This morning, Producer Charlie Lyons, director Jay Russell, and actor Tim Guinee (the dead dad on Revolution) announced that they had purchases stage rights for Rear Window — that is, for Cornel Woolrich’s short story Rear Window, originally titled “It Had to be Murder,” which was adapted by screenwriter John Michael Hayes for the 1954 movie. The basic story is the same: Injured man can’t leave his apartment, gets bored, stares out rear window, maybe witnesses a murder. But some of the particulars are different. There’s no vivacious Grace Kelly girlfriend, nor a sassy Thelma Ritter maid.
Still, the basic plot is tense enough to produce some Broadway fun. No information about where or when the show might open, but Lyons recently had luck with another film adaptation: His show Bring It On: The Musical just got extended through December 30. And following the minor success of The 39 Steps, this could lead into a bumper crop of Hitchcock-related projects. How about The Trouble With Harry as a slammed-door farce, complete with a pesky corpse that keeps popping up in the worst possible places? Or North By Northwest as a musical? Imagine: The Crop Duster Tango, and the climactic Dance of the Big President Heads, and the comical song “Assault! (With a Gun and a Bourbon and a Sports Car).”
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