A new stage musical based on the classic Nancy Drew adventure book series is in the works from Little Mermaid composer Alan Menken, Legally Blonde lyricist Nell Benjamin, book by two-time Oscar winner Sarah Kernochan and direction by frequent Stephen Sondheim collaborator James Lapine.
Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Spotlight Manor: A Musical will be based on the Simon & Schuster book series and, according to the announcement from producers Daryl Roth, Lauren Mitchell, Revilo Imaginations (Beckett Swede and Ilana Landsberg-Lewis) and Bill & Laurie Benenson, “seeks to bring her story to a whole new audience while celebrating the power of her legacy which has inspired generations.”
Specific information of a production timeline or casting was not disclosed.
Lapine, who directed and wrote books for the musicals Into The Woods and, most recently, Flying Over Sunset, among many others, said in a statement, “After 175 Nancy Drew mysteries that span from her small town of River Heights to exotic locales around the world, the teen detective is about to tackle perhaps the most exotic locale of all to her: a musical theater camp, Spotlight Manor. Alan, Nell, Sarah and I have been having a ball letting Nancy and her pals take to the stage and sing for the first time.”
In addition to Lapine as director, the Nancy Drew creative team includes music by Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde, Mean Girls), and book by Sarah Kernochan (Oscar winner for doc Marjoe, 1973, and Thoth 2002).
First published in 1930, the Nancy Drew “girl detective” series has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and is considered a pioneer in placing a young female protagonist in the modern-era mystery genre. Accomplished women from Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Laura Bush to Hillary Clinton have cited the Nancy Drew books as inspirations.
Daryl Roth is the Executive Producer of the in-development project, with Adam Hess and Grant A. Rice at Daryl Roth Theatrical Management serving as General Managers.