Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jim Dooley & Rye Mullis Set to Adapt Musical Comedy “Witch’s Night Out”

Queens and Kings Inc. has acquired the musical theater rights to WITCH’S NIGHT OUT, a heartfelt comedy focusing on the magical mischief of a witch and the antics that ensue after she fulfills the Halloween wishes of some children. Originally premiering in 1978 on NBC--the animated special “Witch’s Night Out” was created and produced by Jonathan Rogers (formerly known as John Leach) alongside partner Jean Rankin. The popular special ran yearly on the Disney Channel and Fox between 1983 and 1993, and was more recently released in a Halloween DVD collection by Mill Creek Entertainment in September 2014. Emmy-award winning composer/songwriter Jim Dooley, owner of Queens and Kings Inc, is helming the upcoming project alongside director Rye Mullis, of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

Dooley says, "After working on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's innovative production of "Legends", I am thrilled to partner with my director, Rye Mullis, on the new Musical Comedy: "Witch's Night Out". Our goal is to create a unique and exciting family musical theater experience that celebrates the spirit of Halloween and the idea of exploring your own "Inner Monster. To be able to adapt this cult classic television special into a full scale musical, is an opportunity that I am truly excited about."

Mullis adds, "The Halloween special of "Witch's Night Out" was worn out on our VHS when I was a kid. I loved the tale of two kids whose dream of becoming real monsters, comes true with the help of their own Witch-y version of a "Fairy Godmother" on Halloween. It was the perfect the combination of unique animation, a great story and the comedic genius of Gilda Radner and Catherine O'Hara. It has stuck with me into adulthood. A year ago, I noticed that there were no Halloween musicals for families (most "horror" musicals are for adults i.e., "Rocky Horror Show"). When I mentioned the idea of turning "Witch's Night Out" into a musical to Jim Dooley, he jumped on the idea, set the wheels in motion and made everything happen. Jim is the only composer I could consider working on this musical with, he has that magical, whimsical and exciting talent that is going to bring this vintage special to a whole new generation of families in a fresh and exciting Halloween musical. We are so excited to begin this journey and in the words of our Fairy Godmother: "Just you wait my darlings till you meet your gracious hostess." 

The original Halloween classic, “Witch’s Night Out”, was an animated special originally produced in Toronto and featuring some notable Canadian voice talent such as actress Fiona Reid (King of Kensington), comedian Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone), and SNL alum Gilda Radner.  The plot follows a lonely witch (Radner) who is summoned by some small children to a town that has lost sight of the holiday’s spirit. At the kids’ wishes, the witch transforms the youngsters into the real life versions of their costumes. Chaos results when a mob of grumpy citizens form in retaliation, including characters such as Nicely (voiced by Leach) and Malicious (voiced by O’Hara), causing the witch to lose her magic wand. In the end, the witch must work together with her new friends to restore her powers, turn the children back into humans, and teach everyone the true meaning of Halloween.  

Jim Dooley is an Emmy Award-winning composer/songwriter who has received accolades for a variety of works in film, television, video gaming and live theatrical industries. In 2008, Dooley received a Primetime Emmy Award for “Best Original Music Composition for a Series” for ABC’s “Pushing Daisies.” More recently, two projects featuring Jim’s music were also honored with Academy Award nominations, the animated short “Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare”, and the live-action short “The Buzkashi Boys”. Jim’s portfolio also boasts several collaborations with many of the top names in music, from Hans Zimmer, Kristin Chenoweth to Babyface. In addition, Dooley also wrote music for several animated feature scores such as the German animated release “Urmel aus dem Eis” (“Impy’s Island”) and its sequel; DreamWorks Animation’s musically acclaimed short “First Flight.” Currently, Jim is scoring TNT’s post-apocalyptic drama “The Last Ship,” with collaborator James S. Levine and has recently emerged into the sports industry with his theme for the 2015 Senior PGA Championship.

Rye Mullis is an American Director and Actor. Directing Credits include: Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus, 3 Editions – Legends, Built To Amaze, And Barnum Bash; Rock Of Ages (Norwegian Cruise Lines), Disney’s Imagination Movers: Live from the Idea Warehouse. Lucha Va Voom (East Coast Tour), Blue Balls (New York Fringe); Associate Directing Credits Include: Rock Of Ages (Las Vegas), SURF: The New Beach Boys Musical (Las Vegas), Disney’s The Cheetah Girls: One World Tour, Yanni: Voices Tour, Dancing With The Stars: Live In Las Vegas, Ringling Bros: Bellobration, Over The Top And Barnum 200. Off B’ways The Awesome 80’s Prom.; The Divalogues; Performing Credits Include: Tours; Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (The Monster), The  Scarlet Pimpernel (Percy), Curtains (Johnny Harmon), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Baron Bomburst), Joseph… (Pharaoh).

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