Jim Shankman, who recently debuted his play Heartless Bastard at the HERE Arts Center, returns to the downtown venue with a new musical titled Billy and the Killers. The show, which features a rock score Peter Stopschinski and direction by Craig J. George, will star Adrian Blake Enscoe as Billy, and Broadway veteran Sean McDermott (Grease, Falsettos, Miss Saigon).
Billy and the Killers is set to begin performances at HERE November 7 ahead of a November 9 opening night. The production is scheduled through November 18 with a cast completed by Sydney Shepherd (First Date), Tom O’Keefe (Vanity Fair), and Paul Sadlik.
Inspired by a true story, the musical follows a young songwriter whose violent music and troubled upbringing leads police to suspect he killed his lover. The show is billed as a “play meets rock band” and a “tale of misfit lovers and a bloody crime of passion.”
Shankman explains that the story ”spoke to me on many levels, including the suspicion of the artist in society, the power and provocative nature of art, the use and misuse of art, the often misplaced innocence of the artist and the brutal awakening to the adult world that comes to us in our teenage years.... Composer Peter Stopschinski and I began with the idea of heavy metal and acoustic metal as an expression of youthful angst and rebellion, but Peter’s music has evolved into something more eclectic that grows from innocence to sophistication.”
Billy and the Killers features a book and lyrics by Shankman, and music by Stopschinski.
The production will feature scenic design by Margaux Maeght, lighting design by Cha See, costume design by Glenna Ryer, sound design by Rafe Terrizzi, and general management by Simpson & Longthorne Theatricals.
Tickets for the world premiere of Billy and the Killers are $18 and can be purchased online at HERE.org, by phone at (212) 352-3101, or at the HERE box office located at 145 Sixth Avenue, New York.