'American Psycho' Musical to Terrify Off-Broadway Next Year - Rolling Stone
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‘American Psycho’ Musical to Terrify Off-Broadway Next Year

‘Spring Awakening’ composer Duncan Sheik wrote over a dozen original songs for the production, which also incorporates Eighties hits

American PsychoAmerican Psycho

Christian Bale in 'American Psycho.'

Lions Gate

Author Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel American Psycho, about a deranged Wall Street yuppie more interested in “murders and executions” than mergers and acquisitions, will be staged as an off-Broadway musical in February 2015. New York’s Second Stage Theatre will host the production, with British theatre director Rupert Goold will direct it. No castings have been announced yet, according to The Associated Press.

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Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – who has written works with suitably dark titles like Say You Love Satan and Dark Matters but who also wrote episodes of Big Love and Glee and the Archie Meets Glee comic book – wrote the book for the production. Singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik, who had a hit with “Barely Breathing” (not a serial killer reference) in 1997 and who wrote the music for the 2007 Tony award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, has been enlisted to write the lyrics and music for several original American Psycho songs. Spring Awakening won eight Tonys including Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations for Sheik and Best Musical for the production.

The singer-songwriter’s songs include “You Are What You Wear,” likely referencing titular psycho Patrick Bateman’s materialism, and a foreboding closing number titled “This Is Not an Exit.” The production also features snippets of songs from the Eighties, when the musical takes place, including Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Phil Collins‘ “In the Air Tonight” and Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip to Be Square,” among others.

The 160-minute production got its premiere in London in December 2013 and ran through February. Upon its close, Sheik told Broadway World that the musical would reopen on the West End, the London equivalent to Broadway, in the fall.

Previously, the controversial novel, which was dropped by its original publisher over press outrage due to its graphic content before it even came out, served as the basis for a movie, also titled American Psycho, starring Christian Bale and Willem Dafoe, in 2000. The movie proved to be a hit, and its legacy has lived on most recently when Kanye West made a short inspired by the film to promote Yeezus.

Last September, TV network FX reported that it would be developing American Psycho into a series that would trace Bateman’s whereabouts in the decades following the original plot. The character would now be in his fifties and, according to reports, the plot would involve Bateman training a protégé.

In This Article: Bret Easton Ellis


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