Can't Hardly Wait is Being Adapted as a Musical

The 1998 teen classic was written and directed by the Josie and the Pussycats team of Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont.

The 1998 teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait is being adapted into a musical, according to writer/director Deborah Kaplan. Sharing a shot of the logo -- which is just the movie's old logo with "the musical" added on -- and a link to an Instagram page for the musical, Kaplan said there was nothing else she could share. A quick trip down the links available at the Can't Hardly Wait the Musical Instagram page reveals that the project is being developed by Lively McCabe Entertainment, a rights-management company that is responsible for recent stage adaptations of Mystic Pizza and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, among others.

Can't Hardly Wait was a huge hit when it was released, and set the stage for many of its cast members to become hugely famous in the following decade. Written and directed by Kaplan along with her creative partner Harry Elfont, the movie starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Donald Faison, Ethan Embry, Lauren Ambrose, Jason Segel, and many more.

After Can't Hardly Wait, Kaplan and Elfont were Hollywood darlings, with a number of options on the table for what movie to make next. Ultimately, the next movie they wrote and directed would be their final feature film: 2001's Josie and the Pussycats.

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While technically, Kaplan did not clarify whether Can't Hardly Wait would be a stage musical or a movie in the vein of the recent Mean Girls adaptation, it seems likely from Lively McCabe's other work that the adaptation will be a play, either on- or off-Broadway. The company specializes in developing "theatre-native copyrights" and is located in New Jersey, making New York productions easier to kick off.

Elfont has not yet commented, although Elfont and Kaplan (as well as Mutant co-founder Mo Shafeek, who produced Mondo's epic Josie and the Pussycats live show a few years back) follow the official account for the musical.

Can't Hardly Wait has continued to be a perennial favorite on home video, receiving a 20-year anniversary edition Blu-ray back in 2018. Now out of print, it sells for $40 and up on the aftermarket. Josie and the Pussycats has also now established itself as a cult classic. In the years since, Kaplan and Elfont have written and showrun for TV, working on projects like MTV's Mary+Jane and YouTube's Liza on Demand.