Sammy Davis Jr. Broadway Musical in the Works

Posted on July 31, 2012 /Theater


The late Sammy Davis Jr will be immortalized on stage in a new Broadway production. Producers Arlie Cone and Steven Hayes are developing I Will, I Can, a new musical based loosely on the life of the legendary singer/actor.

After an early 2012 workshop failed to materialize, the producers are on a new path and are officially moving forward with the project.

According to Playbill, the show will be composed by the four-time Emmy- and two-time Grammy Award-winning composer Patrick Williams, who was Oscar-nominated for his score for the 1979 film “Breaking Away.” A composer and arranger of jazz orchestral works and film and television scores, Williams is making his musical theatre debut with this project. Jules Aaron is writing the book, with Gail Kantor penning the lyrics. Sam Scalamoni (associate director of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and beyond) remains the director.

The producers are planning a workshop and are aiming the show at Broadway in 2013. No casting or production dates have been announced.

Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) was the vivacious Harlem-born triple threat — singer, dancer, actor — seen in nightclubs, on Broadway (Mr. Wonderful and Golden Boy), in films (“Robin and the 7 Hoods,” “Sweet Charity,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Tap”) and heard on recordings. Some of his memorable recordings include “The Candy Man,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “Gonna Build a Mountain,” “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” “Too Close for Comfort,” “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” among others.