Until now, the closest the rock group, The Doors, ever got to the legit stage was giving Brecht/Weill's "Alabama Song" a two-step strut on their eponymous first album. Now the Los Angeles Times reports that San Diego Repertory, in conjunction with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, is working on an epic musical, The Celebration Of The Lizard, featuring classic Doors tunes.
Workshop readings are planned for San Diego and Los Angeles, with a full San Diego premiere anticipated in late 1998/early 1999.
A tale of warring factions after the apocalypse, Lizard's book is by Joel Lippman, adapted from Jim Morrison's surreal prose and poetry, "The Celebration Of The Lizard." Also working on the piece is Rep musical director O-lan Jones.
Manzarek, 62, told the L.A. Times Lizard would be about "the classic journey of the hero" and would be "loaded with Doors songs. There's a great version of 'The End' sung in a gospel style by a woman as a lament for her slain lover. 'Waiting for the Sun' is sung by a female quartet when they all finally arrive at the Pacific Ocean and see it for the first time. And the entire cast sings `When the Music's Over' as the curtain falls."
L.A. Times reporter Steve Hochman noted the success La Jolla had with Tommy helped pave the way for another rock-based musical. "I think the audience that would be eager and curious to embrace this poetry and music is immense," artistic director Sam Woodhouse told the Times. "The quest [Morrison] was on, and the poetry reflecting it, make for passionately challenging, rebellious, questioning theatre, and the music represents a body of work that's a 20th century rock 'n' roll classic, now more than ever." --By David Lefkowitz