Skip to content

‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ musical adaptation is in the works

Producers Lively McCabe Entertainment and Primary Wave Music are developing the stage property based on the 1980s film.

Lauren Marcus and M. Dickson (Credit: Courtesy of Lively McCabe Entertainment)

A musical version of the 1985 film “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is currently in development. The musical is being developed by Lively McCabe Entertainment and Primary Wave Music. Jennifer Werner will direct.

M. Dickson and Lauren Marcus will serve as co-book writers, adapting Amy Spies’ original screenplay. The musical will include the titular song, written by Robert Hazard and recorded and subsequently made famous by future Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots” composer Cyndi Lauper. Additionally, songs from the catalog of Primary Wave will be the source of the musical’s score.

“We’re looking forward to turning ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ into a stage musical because we think the film has an inherent theatricality that we know can be upped and celebrated in a different way in a theater, onstage,” book writers Dickson and Marcus told Broadway News in an exclusive statement. “A musical seems like a natural evolution of the story. There’s an adrenaline rush to seeing a live dance performance, to hearing a song that you already know and love belted out in a new way — and then getting to couple that experience with the joy and nostalgia of reliving some of the movie’s most iconic moments. It just sounds really fun to us. It sounds fun to write, it sounds fun to watch. And clearly, we like to have fun.”

Director Werner added, “I grew up on ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun.’ The story resonates because it’s about the pure joy of having a best friend, a first love, a passion for dance and the fearlessness to live your life. Not only is it thrilling to translate the epic dance sequences to the stage, but it’s also exciting to tell this adventurous coming-of-age story, which was ahead of its time in so many ways for young women.”

The film “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” features Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt as high schoolers Janey and Lynne, respectively. In Spies’ screenplay, gymnast Janey is used to obeying her strict Army colonel father’s orders and remaining out of the spotlight. Upon moving to a new town, and meeting the bold and supportive Lynne, she disobeys her father and enters a TV dance competition.

For Lively McCabe, Michael Barra will serve as executive producer of the musical with Allison Bressi as associate producer, collaborating with Natalia Nastaskin and Ramon Villa from Primary Wave.

Lively McCabe has a history of bringing 1980s films to the stage. Their other adaptations include “Clue on Stage” and “Mystic Pizza: The New Musical.”