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By Film Threat Staff | August 16, 2006

Midnight Cowboy, the musical!?! Oh, sorry, “play with music.” I hope one of the songs is the rousing spiritual “I’m Walkin’ Here!” or the sentimental love ballad “That’s Strictly for F**s.” The official MGM press release is below, read on with your bad self:

MGM ON STAGE, which develops and licenses film properties as stage productions, is on a roll for the theatrical 2006-07 production season. The unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. will debut five new productions, highlighted by the scamming, scheming, double-crossing hit Broadway musical, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, which bows at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood for 16 performances from August 15-27.

“With so many great MGM movies adaptable into entertaining musicals and stage plays, this is a natural area of growth for the studio,” said Darcie Denkert, who oversees MGM ON STAGE with Dean Stolber.

“This is a great way to create new works based on our outstanding library, keeping our key titles and the incomparable MGM brand in front of the consumers,” adds Stolber.

Kicking off the new raft of productions is MIDNIGHT COWBOY, a play with music, which is being featured at this year’s Edinburgh Festival in the United Kingdom. Playing at the Assembly @ George Street, the preview performances for August 4 and 5 were sold out as well as for the opening dates of August 6 and 7. This engagement is the premiere of Tim Fountain’s adaptation of the triple Oscar-winning film, which tells the story of Joe Buck, the cowboy seeking his fortune as a gigolo in New York, but finding friendship and reality with a small-time con Ratso, prior to its West End run.

As for the Los Angeles engagement of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, the multi-talented Norbert Leo Butz reprises his role as con man Freddy Benson, who swindles women by stirring their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother’s ailing health. Butz’s performance in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is one of the most awarded performances in Broadway history, garnering him the Tony Award for Best Actor as well as a number of other prestigious awards. Based on the popular 1988 MGM film, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS will also tour next season to London’s West End, Scandinavia, Spain, Japan, Mexico and elsewhere around the world.

PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT romps back to Australia as the production based on the 1994 Australian film opens at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney on October 7. The funny and moving story of two drag queens and a transsexual who travel across the desert to perform a cabaret gig, PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT is a fun, daring, and hilarious production. The movie has been described by fans as “bitchy, gaudy, outrageous, kitsch comedy classic and has all the elements for a successful adaptation to the worldwide musical stage.”

For calendar 2007, MGM ON STAGE will bow LEGALLY BLONDE in February at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco to be followed by an April 29 opening on Broadway at the Palace Theater and WHERE’S POPPA? at the Falcon Theater in Los Angeles in March 2007.

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