Florence Welch throws her hat in the musical ring

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NEW YORK – Florence Welch abandons the machine for musicals.

The Grammy-nominated frontman of Florence + The Machine is providing the lyrics and co-writing the music for a stage musical adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” it was announced Wednesday. No casting or premiere location has been announced.

Welch will collaborate on music with Thomas Bartlett – who won a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 2019 for Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love” – ​​and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Martyna Majok. 2018 drama for “Cost of Living.” The musical will be directed by Olivier Prize nominee Rebecca Frecknall.

The copyright of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel on the Jazz Age expired at the end of 2020, which means anyone is now allowed to adapt it into a movie, make an opera, or put on it. stage a Broadway musical without permission from the estate.

“This book has haunted me for much of my life,” Welch said in a statement. “It contains some of my favorite lines in the literature. Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald’s broken romanticism. It is an honor to have been offered the chance to recreate this book in song.

Formed in London in 2007, Florence + the Machine’s 2009 debut album “Lungs” was a hit in the UK and reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200. The band’s flagship track is “Dog Days Are Over”.

Other rock and pop stars who have written original musicals include Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Stewart, Tori Amos, Edie Brickell and Trey Anastasio of Phish. For every Elton John, who has had incredible success with “The Lion King”, there is Bono and The Edge from U2, who were beaten by “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”.

Some of the big names in the pop world who have stumbled into musical theater include Paul Simon, whose Broadway show “The Capeman” in 1998 was the most publicized failure of his career. ‘Taboo’, Boy George’s foray into the world of musicals, went well in London but not in New York.

Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press


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