Rick Elice (born November 17, 1956) is a writer and former stage actor.
Elice was born to a Jewish family. He earned a BA from Cornell University, an MFA from the Yale Drama School and is a Teaching Fellow at Harvard. He was the salutatorian graduate of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, New York (class of 1973). He is a charter member of the American Repertory Theatre. From 1982–1999, Elice was copywriter, producer, creative director and eventually executive vice president of Serino Coyne, Inc., an entertainment advertising agency in New York. From 1999–2009, he served as creative consultant to Walt Disney Studios. His civil partner was actor Roger Rees. They married in 2011 and remained together until Rees' death on July 10, 2015.
Work for the stage
Elice with Marshall Brickman wrote the book for the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, which received a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk nomination for best book for a musical in 2006. With Roger Rees, he wrote the popular thriller, Double Double, which has been translated into 16 languages.
He wrote Leonardo’s Ring (London Fringe, 2003) and Dog and Pony (New York Stage and Film, 2003). Elice was creative director at Serino Coyne, Inc. (1982–2000), where he produced advertising campaigns for more than 300 Broadway shows including A Chorus Line and The Lion King. He has been a creative consultant for Walt Disney Studios from 1999–2009.
Elice collaborated with Brickman once again, this time writing the book for the musical, The Addams Family. After a successful run at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre in Chicago, The Addams Family opened on Broadway on April 8, 2010, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia Addams.
He wrote Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, which opened in California in 2009 and played off-Broadway in 2011. The play moved to Broadway, opening at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 15, 2012. Peter and the Starcatcher received nine Tony Award nominations, more than any new American play in the history of the Tony Awards. On June 11, 2012, the play won five Tony Awards. The play enjoyed a successful tour throughout North America in 2013–14.
His most recent collaboration with Brickman was for the film of Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood and released by Warner Brothers in June 2014. Brickman and Elice wrote the screenplay, adapted from their book for the stage musical.
A new musical, Dog and Pony, with book by Elice and music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker, had its world premiere at The Old Globe in San Diego in June 2014, starring Nicole Parker, Jon Patrick Walker, Heidi Blickenstaff, Beth Leavel and Eric William Morris, directed by Roger Rees.
- Tony Award for Best Musical – Jersey Boys – WINNER
- Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical – Jersey Boys – Nomination
- Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical – Jersey Boys – Nomination
- Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical – Jersey Boys – WINNER
- Olivier Award (London's West End) for Best Musical – Jersey Boys – WINNER
- Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play – Peter and the Starcatcher – Nomination
- Tony Award for Best Score – Peter and the Starcatcher – Nomination
- Tony Award for Best Play – Peter and the Starcatcher – Nomination
- Klickstein, Mathew (September 14, 2016). "The Jewish 'Jersey Boys'". jewishtimes.com. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- Jones, Chad (July 19, 2008). "Interview with Rees". Theaterdogs.net. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Marks, Peter (March 25, 2007). "Roger Rees Tests His 'Will'". The Washington Post. Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Actor-director Roger Rees and partner Rick Elice, co-librettist of ''Jersey Boys.''". Broadway.com. January 10, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
- "Scott Heller on Twitter". Retrieved 2015-07-11.
- "Conversations with Roger Rees" (Press release). Actors' Equity Association. June 21, 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Riedel, Michael (January 30, 2009). "Good Reviews Come from Invitation-Only Reading of The Addams Family Musical". New York Post. Retrieved 2013-08-29.