The Last Ship, the new musical featuring a score by 16-time Grammy winner Sting, is setting sail for Broadway, beginning preview performances at the Neil Simon Theatre on Sept. 30 in advance of an opening on Oct. 26. Prior to its New York run, the musical will have a try-out engagement at Chicago’s Bank of America Theater from June 10-July 13.
Principal roles will be played by Broadway veterans Michael Esper (The Lyons), Aaron Lazar (Mamma Mia!, A Little Night Music) and Fred Applegate (Sister Act, The Producers). Also in the cast are British performers Rachel Tucker (London Wicked), singer-songwriter Jimmy Nail, Sally Anne Triplett (Chess) and Collin Kelly-Sordelet. Additional casting for the ensemble will be announced at a later date.
The story is set in the English seafaring town of Wallsend where Gideon Fletcher dreams of traveling the world. He leaves his life and love behind and returns after 14 years to find the town’s shipyard in trouble and his childhood sweetheart engaged to another.
The epic yet intimate tale inspired by Sting’s childhood will be directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Wicked). The book will be written by Tony winner John Logan (Red, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers) and Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal). Choreography is by Olivier winner and Tony nominee Steven Hoggett (Once).
PBS’s Great Performances series will broadcast a concert entitled Sting: The Last Ship on Feb. 21. Filmed last fall during a series of benefit concerts for the Public Theater, the broadcast features Sting and 14 musicians performing songs from the show.
The Last Ship will mark Sting’s debut as a theater composer and lyricist, but he appeared on Broadway as an actor in a revival of The Threepenny Opera in 1989. He has sold nearly 100 million albums in combination with his work with The Police and as a solo artist.
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