More than a year ago, New York Magazine reported that New York Theatre Workshop was considering a musical based on Jay McInerney's 1984 novel, Bright Lights, Big City, scripted by McInerney with a score by Paul Scott Goodman.
Randal [sic] Lichtenwalner, NYTW's director of audience development, told Playbill On-Line (May 21, 1997), "We had an excellent reading, and everyone's very excited about it. The only thing keeping us from moving ahead is that we have so many other projects we're already committed to... We're trying to help the author bring develop it for either here or another theatre."
Now Variety reports (Mar. 24) Bright Lights will debut at NYTW, Feb. 1999, with a book and score by Goodman, to be directed by Michael Greif, who helmed Rent. Goodman told Variety, "I read the McInerney book in August 1996, and it turned me on. I mean, it's about drugs, sex, rock 'n' roll and clubs in New York." Bright Lights appears to be a natural choice for NYTW, considering the similar subject matter of such recent shows there as Rent and the current Shopping and Fucking.
Author of the musicals Tiny Dancer and Domestica, Goodman, 37, told Variety Bright Lights would be 95 percent sung-through and that he would appear in it as "a singing narrator." Rehearsals begin in December.
Lichtenwalner told Playbill On-Line (Mar. 24) that speculation on a possible Broadway future for Bright Lights was still somewhat premature. "We have an interest in developing the piece, and we really want to do it, but no formal decision has been made." In fact, NYTW isn't quite ready to announce the double-bill that will cap this season. When Shopping and Fucking ends, Apr. 11, Anne Bogart's Bob will go in, to start previews Apr. 23.
-- By David Lefkowitz