'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Prepping Musical Version Of Hit Show

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Jill Soloway attends 2017 Outfest Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America on July 15, 2017 in Los Angeles. 

Jill Soloway is taking Transparent in a new direction. In a weekend interview with The New York Times, the creator of the landmark Amazon streaming show about a parent's transition revealed that a musical movie is in the works that will focus on the Pfefferman family matriarch, Shelly (Judith Light).

According to the article, a two-hour musical film of the Amazon TV show will hit the streaming service next fall, which Soloway is writing with their sister, Faith. (Soloway, who identifies as non-binary, prefers the third person plural pronoun.)

"It will hopefully feel like Jesus Christ Superstar mixed with La La Land mixed with Flight of the Conchords with something more Jewish thrown in," said Soloway. "A little Yentl." No other details on the air date of the show were available at press time, though Soloway reveals in the piece that even before the Transparent pilot was written -- after father Carrie came out -- they and Faith had decided to write a musical about it.

"The idea of music rescuing our family was all there," Soloway says. "So we're like, 'Let's just keep blowing on the flame. The Pfeffermans will live on, and that's what kept us going and then [Amazon studio head] Jen Salke sat down with me and told me, 'It's going to be OK. So we just kept singing.'" The Times piece -- a profile of Soloway and their production company on the Paramount lot, Topple -- includes a scene in which Faith Soloway is working on a song for the musical with transgender performer Shakina Nayfack.

How do I say this delicately?” the pair sing softly. “We all have closet Jewish ADHD, plus there’s guilt and shame … We need to sit in it, sit in all of it. So many feelings that you have to unpack. All this karma sitting square on your back. But here is the bottom line. You need to give it time.” The bit, which mixes Soloway's patented blend of celebrating and lampooning Jewish life elates the show runner. "So good," Soloway says of the song in process. "Oh my God, that's amazing. I'm feeling it! You guys did that so fast! Guys, it's all happening." 

The musical will focus on Shelly Pfefferman in light of the firing in February of the show's lead, Jeffrey Tambor, who was removed from the show following accusations of sexual harassment from a cast member and a crew member.

Click here to read the full Times profile.


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