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The Addams Family Lurches to Broadway

Charles Addams with wife Barbara in 1955Photo: AP Photo, File

Addamses to the Stage: Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) and Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) plan Addams Family musical for Broadway in 2009. This would seem like a terrible idea if the producers hadn't also announced that Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) will design and direct, which seems somewhat inspired. [Playbill]

Lonergan Back on Boards: Kenneth Lonergan's new play, The Starry Messenger, once planned for Broadway with Matthew Broderick, now will be featured as part of Manhattan Theater Club's 2007–2008 season. [NYT]

Obies Awarded: Prominent Off Broadway awards given to Nilaja Sun (No Child), David Greenspan (Some Men), Nancy Opel (My Deah), Adam Bock (The Thugs) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), among others. Oh, and even the Obies love Spring Awakening, with an award for Bill T. Jones's choreography. [Playbill]

Hawke Film Gets Starry Soundtrack: Ethan Hawke's movie The Hottest State, based on his novel, will feature songs by Norah Jones, Cat Power, Feist, Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and Willie Nelson, all composed by songwriter Jesse Harris (Jones's "Don't Know Why"). [Billboard]

Chopra to Tell Jesus Story: Enlightened multigazillionaire Deepak Chopra sells fictionalized life of Jesus for "high six figures" to HarperCollins imprint Harper San Francisco. The Lost Years of Jesus will tell the story of Jesus from ages 12 to 30, the period not covered in the Bible, during which, we assume, Chopra will suggest He did a lot of meditating and whatnot. Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media is the agent. [Publishers Marketplace]

Rodriguez to Helm Barbarella: Robert Rodriguez abandons his flirtation with The Jetsons and signs on to direct Barbarella, sci-fi adventure based on same sources as 1968 Jane Fonda movie. Look for Fonda to embarrass herself in campy cameo in new movie. Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis produce for Universal; Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Casino Royale) will write. [HR]

Hughes Brothers Book Next: Albert and Allen Hughes (From Hell) will direct The Book of Eli, postapocalyptic Western written by Gary Whitta, for Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Hugheses reportedly crafted illustrated book of the story while pitching; alarmed and intimidated by incursion of literacy into typical Hollywood process, producers gave brothers the job. [HR]

Gere Hearts Dogs: Richard Gere will produce and star in Hachiko: A Dog's Story, man-meets-dog tale that is based on 1987 Japanese film and certainly not based on John Grogan's mega-best-selling book Marley & Me, not at all. What are you looking at, buster? [Variety]

Branagh Joins Cruise: Kenneth Branagh signs on to Bryan Singer's World War II drama Valkyrie, playing a German general who initiated a plan to assassinate Hitler. Tom Cruise co-stars. This should be a good chance for Branagh to dust off his Dead Again accent, goatee. [Variety]