The music of the Avett Brothers has inspired a new musical. Swept Away will premiere at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California, in June 2020.
Written by John Logan and directed by Michael Mayer — both Tony Award winners — Swept Away‘s music draws from the North Carolina band’s catalog, and in particular the Avett Brothers’ 2004 LP Mignonette. The musical is set in 1888 and tells the tale of a shipwrecked crew, including two brothers, as they struggle to survive after reaching land off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Adapting the music of pop stars like the Avetts is nothing new for the director Mayer. He previously directed Green Day’s American Idiot at Berkeley Rep back in 2009, and also worked in the rock world with a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The musical arrangements and orchestrations for the score for Swept Away will be handled by Chris Miller and Brian Usifer.
“This new and original story built with our songs has revealed meanings and connections which Scott and I never could have imagined otherwise,” Seth Avett said in a statement. “Beyond the unique joy and somewhat surreal experience of watching the project develop, it has been an honor to work with everyone involved; writer John Logan has led the way with talent, motivation, and inspiration.”
The Avett Brothers released the new song “Neapolitan Sky” in February. They’re set to launch a summer tour on July 3rd in Kansas, and will headline the Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 14th.