Woodstock concert promoter Michael Lang plans to stage a Broadway musical about the famous festival and is targeting the Great White Way’s 2009-10 season. But don’t expect any show-tune treatments of the storied song catalog from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in August. “My God, no,” Lang said.
What could be featured in the production, however, are new tunes written by musicians who performed at Woodstock, according to Lang. But, he added, this production will look beyond the music and explore “the human condition and stories affecting people’s lives,” as well as, “something of what we experienced on that weekend.”
Lang said he had been kicking around the possibility of a Broadway musical based on Woodstock for years. Writing his memoir, The Road to Woodstock, gave him an impetus to move on the idea. (Read an excerpt of the book.) The goal of the production, he said, will be to “leave the audience with something of worth.” Lang said he enjoys Broadway and liked the show Wicked in particular. His parents loved the theater and while growing up, regularly played Broadway musical records in the family home. “I must have seen the Three Penny Opera 25 times,” he said.
Lang is close to finalizing his production team, though he declined to name the people with whom he will be working. The creative team, he said, will be responsible for developing the show’s theme and plotting out the direction of the production, which may or may not include a character based on Lang, the public face of Woodstock for four decades.
As Lang continues to prepare his show, the musical American Idiot, based on tunes by Green Day, has extended its run at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in California and the Spider-Man musical — featuring songs by U2’s Bono and the Edge — is still in production.