Off-Broadway Premiere of American Psycho Musical Axed

News   Off-Broadway Premiere of American Psycho Musical Axed
 
The stage musical adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel "American Psycho," written by Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, which was to premiere Off-Broadway in early 2015, has been canceled, Second Stage Theatre announced Sept. 12.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith Photo by Manuel Harlan

The musical thriller, set during the height of the 1980's era of Wall Street greed, premiered at London's Almeida Theatre last fall, where it played an extended, sold-out run. 

Rupert Goold (Macbeth, King Lear, Enron), who directed the critically acclaimed London premiere, was tapped to stage the Off-Broadway engagement that was announced to begin previews in February 2015 towards a March opening.

“We are disappointed that we will not be producing American Psycho this season, but the rights holders, Act 4 Entertainment, have decided to not move forward with the production at Second Stage," 2ST artistic director Carole Rothman said in a statement. "We will be announcing a new production in its place in the coming weeks."

Other plans for American Psycho have not been announced. Executives at Act 4 did immediately respond to Playbill.com's request for comment.

The New York Times reports that a potential motive for the canceled 2ST production is that Act 4 is opting to fast-track the musical to Broadway. The dark pop musical has a book by Aguirre-Sacasa ("Glee," "Big Love," Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, Good Boys and True), with music and lyrics by Grammy and Tony winner Sheik. Ellis' 1991 novel was previously adapted for the screen in 2000, starring Christian Bale. 

The writers returned to work on the musical along with director Goold since the London premiere. A handful of new songs as well as book revisions and "more blood" were planned for the American premiere.

The London premiere featured BAFTA Award-nominated "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith as serial killer Patrick Bateman. Read London reviews of American Psycho here.

Here's how the musical is billed: "26-year-old Patrick Bateman is sophisticated, rich and devastatingly handsome. He's got a sculpted body, a model-gorgeous girlfriend, a to-die-for apartment, and a Wall Street job in 1980s New York City. In short, his life's killer. There's just one snag in this dark vision of the American Dream...Patrick can’t get the blood out of his $5000 suits."

The London premiere of American Psycho was an Almeida Theatre and Headlong co-production in association with David Johnson and Jesse Singer for Act 4 Entertainment by special arrangement with Edward R Pressman.

Second Stage was to have presented the American premiere of the musical in association with Act 4 Entertainment and Edward R. Pressman.

Check out photos from the London production here.

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