Doctor Dolittle
Beyond accepting the triple assignment as screenwriter, composer and lyricist, I have more bizarre recollections from the two and a half extraordinary years I spent working on this Hollywood movie musical than any other I have laboured on in my life. Such as wrestling on the ground with a fully-grown Bengal tiger while “auditioning” animals for the cast, and winning my first Oscar. Almost all memories of that remarkable time are good ones. And the not-so-good memory? One of my lifelong regrets. Because of my exclusive contract at 20th Century Fox, I had to say “no” to collaborating on a Broadway musical with the man whose wonderful music first made me want to be a songwriter when I was a teenager - Richard Rodgers. Years later, in the 1990s, I adapted Doctor Dolittle for the stage, and from 1998 to 2001 it played successfully in the U. K. In early 2006, nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune is essaying the role in the United States, a six-foot-six Doctor Dolittle in top hat and tap shoes!