A musical adaptation of 1970s escort Xaviera Hollander's memoir "The Happy Hooker" looks set to play on Broadway.
According to one of Hollander's co-authors of her 1971 bestseller "The Happy Hooker", Yvonne Dunleavy, a musical version is advancing well through it's planning stages and already has potential investors chomping at the bit.
The original opus sold 20 million copies and inspired the 1975 film of the same name starring Lynn Redgrave. Hollander, originally from Amsterdam, moved to New York and was thrilled to discover that men were happy to pay for her company. She soon became a leading madam and the proprietor of her own "Vertical Whorehouse".
The show has already been previewed at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane and is helmed by writer Richard Hanson and composer Warren Wills. Excerpts from the show were previewed last week at Dunleavy and her husband's Fifth Avenue home in New York and the recital was enthusiastically received by those in attendance including over 40 potentially Broadway backers. The show will feature such songs as "There's Nothing Like An Older Man" and "Don't Mention The Name", relating to Hollander's infamous black book of clients. Despite it's raunchy subject matter the tone of the musical is set to be uplifting and fun, echoing Hollander's attitude to her own life. It will be more a celebration of sex and lost inhibitions than a sordid take on the tale, following the overall arc of the original book.
Dunleavy compares it's likely retro appeal to that of rags-to riches Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons musical Jersey Boys. No news as yet of any future plans to bring the show to the UK, but let's not rule it out. As Xaviera proved: sex sells!
[posted by James, 11/04/2011]