CAN’T HARDLY WAIT Co-Writer and Director Deborah Kaplan Announces Stage Musical Adaptation Is in the Works — GeekTyrant

The 1998 coming-of-age teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait is getting a reimagining in the form of a stage musical. The film’s co-writer/director Deborah Kaplan announced a stage musical is in the works based on her and Harry Elfont‘s 1998 cult classic teen movie, which starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green and Charlie Korsmo.

She shared the title art and tagged the official Instagram profile for Can’t Hardly Wait: The Musical, writing in the caption, “And that’s all I’m able to say @canthardlywaitthemusical #comingsoon.”

Kaplan told Deadline that she and Elfont are “mostly benevolent godparents watching from the sidelines” on the upcoming production.

The musical “follows a group of high school seniors on the eve of graduation, as they navigate the ending of this chapter of their lives at a classmates’ house party. What will the future bring? That is a question for another day.”

Can’t Hardly Wait: The Musical will be directed by Kate Sullivan (Nineteen, Grease Live!, Rent: Downtown LA) and written by Sinead Daly (Amazon’s The Summer I Turned Pretty, Netflix’s Dirty John) with arrangements and orchestrations by Jesse Vargas (Glory Days, The Ritz). The musical is produced by Michael Barra and Allison Bressi of Lively McCabe Entertainment, as well as Natalia Nastaskin and Ramon Villa of Primary Wave Music.

The score will feature some iconic hits of the late ’90s and early 2000s, primary from the Primary Wave and Sony Music Publishing Catalogs. I owned the soundtrack to this movie, and it was in heavy rotation back in the late 90s.

Barra, CEO of Lively McCabe, said of the project:

Can’t Hardly Wait has grown to become a cult hit for three generations of film audiences and it has long been a dream of ours to adapt it for a broad theatrical audience. We’re grateful to Deb and Harry and our friends at Columbia Pictures for entrusting us with this iconic property, and are so looking forward to again collaborating with our partners at Primary Wave to contribute to its legacy.”

Natalia Nastaskin, Chief Content Officer of Primary Wave Music, added:

“The teen rom-com narrative of Can’t Hardly Wait is relatable, fun, and heart-warming. We are thrilled to work with Kate, Sinead, Jesse and the Lively McCabe team and bring our vast catalog of hits to power the soundtrack of this timeless story.”

The original 1998 romantic comedy followed six high school seniors at their grad night house party, where Preston Meyers (Embry) plans to give his long time crush (Hewitt) a love letter after their chance encounter four years before.

The entire cast of Can’t Hardly Wait boasts an all-star ensemble of the era’s young Hollywood, including Selma Blair, Jason Segel, Melissa Joan Hart, Jerry O’Connell, Donald Faison, Jaime Pressly, Clea DuVall, Leslie Grossman, Breckin Meyer, Sara Rue, Sean Patrick Thomas, Amber Benson, Marisol Nichols, Joel Michaely and Jennifer Elise Cox.

The movie served as Kaplan and Elfont’s directorial debut before they went on to helm Josie and the Pussycats (2001), as well as the shows Mary + Jane (2016) and Liza on Demand (2018-2021).

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