Elvis Presley's first book musical moves ever closer to Broadway. Theater biz insiders attended a first reading of "Can't Help Falling in Love" Monday night at the Westside Theatre, with another performance to follow the next day. Producer Jonathan Pollard described it as "the first step in the development process."
Pollard announced the Presley project in 2000, and a preliminary draft of the book by Joe DiPietro was presented to Presley's estate in spring 2001. In the style of the Abba song-filled "Mamma Mia!," "Can't Help Falling in Love" features more than 20 Presley favorites, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender" and "Blue Suede Shoes."
The principal cast at the "Love" readings includes Sandy Binion, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Kevin Cahoon, Jarrod Emick, Ana Gasteyer, Leah Hocking, Ashton Holmes, Nikki M. James, Ron Orbach and Billy Porter. Christopher Ashley directs. DiPietro is represented Off Broadway with the long-running "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."