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Musical Based On Life Of Sammy Davis Jr. Pushes Ahead w/ New Title, Crew Attachments, Dates

Musical Based On Life Of Sammy Davis Jr. Pushes Ahead w/ New Title, Crew Attachments, Dates

Recalling my ealry April 50+ Biopic Projects On Black Public Figures “In Limbo” post, there are 3 Sammy projects we know of that are in some stage of development – 1 a feature film; the other 2 stage works.

First, it was announced last December that Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquired rights to his life story from his daughter Tracey Davis, with plans to develop both a feature film AND a stage production.

On his deathbed, one of the last things my father told me as he put my face in his hands was: ‘Tracy, tell my story. Warts and all’,” said Tracey Davis, and, apparently, Byron Allen is the man for the job.

And, as a star of stage and screen (big and small), singer, dancer, husband (thrice), children, near-fatal accident, conversion to Judaism, hanging out in the White House with presidents, and much more… what a full, stirring life Sammy Davis Jr led, which could translate into one heck of a film… depending on who else is involved in putting it all together.

And second,Yes I Can, a new musical inspired by the life and times of Davis Jr is reportedly in the works from producers Arlie Cone and Steven Hayes, with a Broadway run on the horizon. 

Sam Scalamoni of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, is set to direct.

While we wait to hear on the status of Byron Allen’s 2 projects, Yes I Can continues to move forward; first, with a title change (it’s now called I Will, I Can), some new crucial crew attachments (four-time Emmy– and two-time Grammy Award-winning composer Patrick WilliamsJules Aaron is writing the book, with Gail Kantor penning the lyrics), and workshopping dates planned for a show the producers are hoping to open on Broadway in 2013. 

I Will, I Can is intended as a musical featuring a charismatic, triple-threat song-and-dance man, in the same way that Dreamgirls featured a Supremes-like Motown girl group.

Sam Scalamoni remains the director. 

No casting or production dates have been announced yet.

The show is only the latest in a string of Davis-themed musicals, including the Old Globe Theatre’s 2009 production of Sammy, and Eric Jordan Young’s 2006 production, Sammy & Me.

As far as on-screen representation, you may recall that Don Cheadle won a Golden Globe for his performance as Davis in the 1998 HBO film The Rat Pack; also worth noting is that several comedians/actors have impersonated Davis during their careers, like Eddie GriffinGarrett MorrisEddie MurphyTim MeadowsTommy Davidson and even Billy Crystal and others.

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I never comment on anything regarding the internet, but I had to comment on this one. Zara, before you speak about someone, you better know exactly what you are talking about!!!! Sammy Davis Jr. was definitely Not Gay!!!! Facts and again I say Facts is what you should share! Not lies!If you really knew the true info about Sammy Davis Jr., then you would know the 2 women in his life. I would share it with you but I'm not going to waste anymore time with this. Do your homework and find out the Truth instead of spreading lies about people!!!!


I must be really young, because I have never heard any of the sexuality rumors about him. Regardless of whether the rumors are true or not, he was both a trailblazer and an icon. The most important element is that the movie is well done and as factual as possible.


Obviously they'll white wash the homosexual aspects of his life. No thanks!

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