Producers Launch Kickstarter Campaign for London Premiere of American Psycho Musical
By Adam Hetrick
Producers of the London world-premiere musical American Psycho, penned by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, have launched a Kickstarter campaign to enhance the production of the 1980s-set rock musical at the Almeida Theatre later this season.
The musical is based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel of the same title. Rupert Goold (Macbeth, King Lear, Enron) will stage the production that will begin performances Dec. 3 prior to an official opening Dec. 12. The run is currently scheduled through Jan. 25, 2014.
Commercial producers David Johnson and Jesse Singer of Act 4 Entertainment are developing the musical along with the U.K. non-profits the Almeida Theatre and Headlong. The producers are raising additional funds to allow for an extended seven-week rehearsal period, in addition to enhancing production values and hiring live musicians for the engagement. The goal is to raise $150,000 in enhancement money by May 24.
The Kickstarter page also gives fans a first-listen to songs from the production. Individuals who donate a minimum of $5 will be able to download "You Are What You Wear," one of Sheik's songs from the production. Additional packages include more demos from American Psycho, as well as t-shirts, limited edition prints and signed copies of Ellis' novel.
American Psycho centers on a 26-year-old Manhattan investment banker who moonlights as a serial killer. It has music and lyrics by Sheik and a book by Aguirre-Sacasa, who also penned the revised book for Spider-Man, as well as the television series "Glee" and "Big Love."
Aguirre-Sacasa previously spoke to Playbill.com about the property in 2011. The staging features an original score by Sheik, with a few 80's pop songs sprinkled in.
"It's one man's horrific, misguided attempts to connect with the world around him," Aguirre-Sacasa pointed out, "to make sense of the societal chaos that's threatening to crush him and his friends. Patrick wants to belong—he wants to feel—he wants what we all want, on some level. But he is—to say the least—a deeply disturbed individual. With very few things keeping him tethered to the rest of the world we ('normal people') live in, as the musical begins, he loses one of those touchstones—his best friend, Tim Price—and things start spiraling out of control for him."
It is also the intent that the brutal murders depicted in the novel and film will be shocking on stage. The novel stirred controversy with its graphic accounts of how Bateman murdered his victims and mutilated their bodies. "The hope is to theatricalize the violence in such a way that it packs a visceral punch without being completely grindhouse," he said.
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