AP News

Songwriter Diane Warren's music optioned for stage


NEW YORK (AP) — The big hooks and soaring melodies of Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren are heading to Broadway.

Tony Award-winning producer Dede Harris tells The Associated Press on Thursday that she has optioned Warren's entire 2,000-song music catalog with an eye to getting her hits into a musical. The creative team and a timeline for the project will be announced at a later date.

"We're starting with a blank canvas and the beauty of the development of this process is that we can let our imaginations run wild," Harris said Thursday. "We have so many different songs that we can pull from and create a story from so many of her songs that it's just too early to say."

Warren's writing credits include Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart," LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" and "I Was Here" for Beyonce.

She's scored multiple Academy Award nominations and has won a Grammy and a Golden Globe award. Warren is the first songwriter in the history of Billboard to have seven hits, all by different artists, on the singles chart at the same time.

Although Harris has her favorite songs, she says she won't insist on their inclusion. "Obviously we want to put in her more popular songs, but we're not going to do it just to do it. It has to work with the story," she said.

Harris, who declined to say how much the catalog cost, has produced such hits as "Hairspray," ''Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "A Raisin in the Sun." Her recent hits include "One Man, Two Guvnors," ''War Horse" and "Clybourne Park" and she's producing the upcoming "Hands on a Hardbody."

Warren, who also has expressed interest in writing new songs for the project, would be the latest rocker to lend their music to Broadway-bound projects, joining the likes of Sheryl Crow, Glen Ballard, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Stewart and Melissa Etheridge.

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits


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