The original plan in the mid-1950s was for Laughton and his wife, Lanchester, to perform the show, then titled "Happy Anniversary, 2116," as part of an evening of one-act musicals staged in London.
James Whale, who had directed Lanchester and Boris Karloff in the movie "The Bride of Frankenstein" (after making its precursor, "Frankenstein") and Laughton in " The Old Dark House," was going to stage the production. ( Ian McKellen portrayed the director in the 1998 film "Gods and Monsters.")
Veteran Tin Pan Alley songwriter Ray Henderson ("Bye, Bye Blackbird") was engaged to set Bradbury's lyrics to music.
But Whale's suicide in 1957 sidetracked those plans and Laughton's death in 1962 seemingly finished them.
Until, that is, Bradbury dusted the script off early this year as a potential project for his own stage troupe, Pandemonium Theatre Company, which last year offered a long-running, non-musical version of "Fahrenheit 451" at the Fremont Centre.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Back to the Future?
Ray Bradbury wrote a futuristic musical for Richard Laughton in the 1950's. It is receiving its premiere this January in California.