“The Last Ship,” a new musical penned by singer-songwriter, Sting, has found “a nice berth on Broadway,” according to PostBulletin
The show, which was inspired by Sting’s experiences growing up in a shipbuilding community in England, will begin performances late September at the Neil Simon Theatre, said producer Jeffrey Seller. Opening night is scheduled for Oct. 26.
"The words are there. The music is there. It's time to get into the room and make the play," said Seller. ”We look forward to getting to work.”
The plot, according to PostBulletin
, “centers on a man from a seafaring town who travels the world for 14 years only to return and find the shipyard’s future in grave danger and his sweetheart engaged to someone else.” Sting, a native of northeast England, has been working on the musical for four years.
"People ask if it's autobiographical. The only real answer is I think it's emotionally autobiographical but it's not autobiographical. There's no rock singer in `The Last Ship.' But I certainly think that Sting is inspired by his youth and he's working through a lot of emotions that all of us are working with as we get older," said Seller.
“Red” playwright John Logan and “Next to Normal” writer Brian York collaborated on the book for “The Last Ship.” Joe Mantello, of “Wicked,” will direct and Steven Hoggett, of “Once,” will choreograph.
Michael Esper, of “American Idiot” and “The Lyons,” and Irish singer Rachel Tucker, of “Wicked,” will star in “The Last Ship.” Jimmy Nail, Aaron Lazar, Sally AnnTriplett, Collin Kelly-Sordelet and Fred Applegate have also joined the cast.
Tony nominee David Zinn will design the sets and costumes. Tony winner Christopher Akerlind is in charge of lighting design. Sound design will be taken care of by Tony winner Brian Ronan.
Sting, former lead singer of The Police and 16-time Grammy winner, released a new album last year called “The Last Ship,” which inspired the show. A concert of his songs will be broadcast on PBS on Feb. 21.
Sting is the latest of many pop and rock singer-songwriters who have set their sights on Broadway. Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Stewart, Tori Amos, Edie Brickell, David Byrne, Fatboy Slim, Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello are among other singer-songwriters aiming to make it on Broadway.
Even the biggest music stars can have trouble navigating the world of musical theatre. Elton John did find success with “The Lion King” and “Billy Elliot,” but only after the flop,“Lestat.” U2’s Bono and the Edge, “got on track with ‘Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,’ after numerous postponement openings.” Cyndi Lauper took home a Tony last year for “Kinky Boots.” However, “The Capeman” by Paul Simon remains one of Broadway’s biggest flops.
"I have continually been impressed by and rewarded by Sting's depth of musical knowledge," Seller said. "Sting certainly came to this never having written a musical but he has been an extraordinary student of musical theater, he's an extraordinary collaborator and he has been an ideal artist in making this play.”
“The Last Ship” will begin its run next summer at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre.
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