Lane ’76 Writes Book for New Broadway Musical

Cast members of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. (Photo by Tony Cenicola / The New York Times)

Jeffrey Lane ’76 is the book writer for a new Broadway musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, based on the Spanish film of the same name directed by master filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar. The musical deals with love and abandonment in 1980s Madrid and stars Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott, and Laura Benanti. The show is directed by Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), and the composer and lyricist is David Yazbek, who previously worked with Lane on the hit Broadway musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, also adapted from a film. Lane was nominated for a Tony Award for his book for that show, which continues to be produced in theaters around the United States.

According to a recent New York Times article about the new project, Lane and Yazbek received offers to adapt films by John Hughes and other American comedies into musicals, but Lane “rejected those offers in the interest of a greater challenge.” He finally decided to adapt the Almodovar film, but it took two years to secure the rights. The show was developed over 18 months during three intensive workshops, which included the participation of Almodovar.

The musical began previews on October 8 at the Belasco Theater in Manhattan and is playing in New York without the traditional out-of-town tryout. The show is scheduled to open on November 4. (For ticket information, click here.)

Before working on Broadway musicals, Lane found success writing for such television comedy series as the Emmy Award-winning Mad About You. He talks about the inspirations and encounters with theater folk that led to his current project in an article at

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: