Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Adam Epstein

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Adam Epstein

Article excerpt

Following a string of high-profile play revivals (A View From the Bridge, Amadeus, The Crucible) Adam Epstein won his first Tony at the age of 28 in 2003 for producing the still-running Broadway juggernaut Hairspray. Up next: Cry-Baby, his second John Waters collaboration (adapted from the 1990 musical film), opens April 24 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre. With his Great White Way revival of Godspell slated for this summer, plus a spring 2009 opening anticipated for his musical adaptation of the 1998 film Ever After, this out producer proves that, just as in Waters's world, the underdog wins.

What's been the greatest challenge in bringing Cry-Baby to Broadway? When you do another adaptation of a John Waters movie in the wake of Hairspray, you have to make sure it makes its own stamp.

As a gay man, do you take special pleasure in bringing Waters's queer sensibility to the mainstream? John Waters's world is far more universal than he gets credit for. He winks at a gay audience but embraces a universal audience because he always tells the tale of an underdog who wins.

How do you respond to criticism that the onslaught of musicals based on movies is killing American theater? Good material is good material. If you can find a story that can be told faithfully, with intelligence and heart, it doesn't matter what the source is. There's a double standard for musicals coming from movies; some people think it's crass, but is it any more crass than taking a Williams or an O'Neill and resurrecting it for contemporary generations?

Which movie should never under any circumstances be made into a musical? Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and The Godfather--there's four right there, and the list goes on.

Could you produce a project that was poor-quality but would make tons of money? When you produce something, from the time you get the rights to the time it opens can be three to five years. …

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