Until recently, Taylor Mac was known for making epic avant-garde theater that crossed easy categorization. His groundbreaking art concert, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, was Mac’s subjective history of the United States told through 246 songs — everything from World War I ditties to The Mikado to a mash-up of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” — told with the help of radical drag queens and other special guests. Since then, the genre-busting artist was recognized as a Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur fellow. Now he’s taking on Broadway with Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, starring Nathan Lane, Kristine Nielsen and Julie White and directed by George C. Wolfe. Today producer Scott Rudin announced that iconic composer (and former Oingo Boingo frontman) Danny Elfman is contributing music to the world premiere production, which begins previews on Monday and officially opens April 11th.
“I’ve been missing the fun and excitement of live interaction with theater, where I had my first music experiences many, many years ago, and where I wrote my very first compositions,” Elfman says. “When Scott Rudin called with the idea of bringing me in on Gary, I thought it would be an incredible opportunity to be able to work with such an amazing, talented group. I just had to jump in.”
Gary riffs on Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus, and is set during the fall of the Roman Empire and, as press notes explain: “The year is 400 — but it feels like the end of the world. The country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere, among them a midwife on the verge of death (White). And two very lowly servants — Lane and Nielsen — are charged with cleaning up the bodies.”