'Roman Holiday' Gets Broadway-Bound Musical Makeover

Roman Holiday (1953) - Photofest-H 2016
Paramount Pictures/Photofest

The Oscar-winning 1953 screen classic is headed to the stage with a score of Cole Porter standards in an adaptation due to premiere in San Francisco in summer 2017.

Another popular screen classic is headed for the stage.

Producers on Wednesday announced that Roman Holiday — The Cole Porter Musical will premiere in summer 2017 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, in what is being billed as a pre-Broadway engagement.

The show is adapted by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman and producer Paul Blake from Paramount's 1953 romantic comedy, which starred Audrey Hepburn as a princess weary of royal protocol who goes AWOL in the Italian capital during a European tour and gets help in remaining incognito from an American reporter, played by Gregory Peck.

Directed by William Wyler, the film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won three, including best actress for Hepburn and a writing Oscar for Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted at the time and credited as Ian McLellan Hunter. Trumbo co-wrote the screenplay with British playwright John Dighton.

The stage adaptation of Roman Holiday will feature a score of Porter standards including "Night and Day," "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" and "Easy to Love."

No director or cast is attached to the project so far, but producers Blake and Mike Bosner have set a premiere run of May 24-June 28, 2017, ahead of a planned fall Broadway opening the same year. An earlier version of the show, on which Blake was the sole book writer, played at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2012.

Blake and Bosner are producers on the Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which also premiered in a San Francisco tryout and is now in its third year at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York.

Blake previously co-wrote the book for another retooled movie, which became the holiday musical Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Speer and Grossman are veteran TV comedy writers, notably on The Golden Girls and Benson.