Rocker Billy Joel, whose "Greatest Hits III" album was released in September, has set his sights slightly downtown from 52nd Street.
The composer/lyricist of albums including "The Stranger," "Nylon Curtain," "52nd Street," "Glass Houses" and "Piano Man," confirmed Oct. 8 that he is considering doing one and possibly two Broadway musicals -- one based on his existing songs, the other reportedly using an original score.
The New York Post published a story Oct. 7 saying Joel was working on a musical titled Piano Man. The story said Joel was weighing whether he would perform in the songbook himself.
Joel's office issued the following statement Oct. 8: "I have discussed the possibility of a Broadway musical based on my songs with several Broadway production people. Anything that has transpired to date is purely exploratory and pre-workshop. Accordingly, we are not encouraging speculation right now, but don't rule anything out."
He would be in some familiar company: Pete Townsend of The Who (The Who's Tommy), Paul Simon (The Capeman), Randy Newman (Randy Newman's Faust), Harry Chapin (The Night That Made America Famous), Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Roger Miller (Big River), Barry Manilow (Copacabana and Harmony), Dennis DeYoung (Hunchback), Jimmy Buffett (Don't Stop The Carnival) and others who have written musicals with an eye to Broadway. -- By Robert Viagas