Randy Newman Mulling New Productions For His Musical Faust

News   Randy Newman Mulling New Productions For His Musical Faust
 
Though Broadway is an unlikely target, Randy Newman has been mulling further productions of his pop-musical version of Faust. Interviewed on the Nov. 8 edition of the WNEW-FM (NY) radio program "Idiot's Delight," Newman said Washington DC's Kennedy Center has expressed interest in the project.

Though Broadway is an unlikely target, Randy Newman has been mulling further productions of his pop-musical version of Faust. Interviewed on the Nov. 8 edition of the WNEW-FM (NY) radio program "Idiot's Delight," Newman said Washington DC's Kennedy Center has expressed interest in the project.

That said, a Kennedy Center spokesperson told Playbill On-Line he had heard nothing about any plans for Faust.

Michael Greif directed the show's world premiere in September 1995 at La Jolla Playhouse (where he is artistic director). A revised version of Faust, also directed by Grief, opened Sept. 30, 1996, at Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Newman didn't mention Greif in the interview, though a La Jolla Playhouse spokesperson (Nov. 10) quoted Greif as saying he was "very excited about audiences' continued interest in Faust, " and that he had spoken recently with Newman about the possibility of remounting the show. Plans have gone no further than that, though Greif says he "would like to work with Randy Newman again."

The musical has reimagined the Faust story as the result of a bet between God and Lucifer. They try to see whether a single man -- Henry Faust, portrayed as an egomaniacal football player -- can keep to the straight and narrow.

Music is by Newman, who wrote film scores for "Ragtime," "The Natural" and "Toy Story," and has recorded many pop albums including "Good Old Boys," "Sail Away" and "Land of Dreams." He's just a released a four-disk career overview box set and will play a rare concert at NY's Town Hall, Nov. 10. Reviews for the La Jolla production of Faust were promising but indicated that the score and story needed better focus. Commercial producers Warner Bros. and Broadway Video reportedly still have an interest in the production.

Newman made a studio CD of the score with himself as Satan, James Taylor as God, Don Henley as Faust, and Elton John and Bonnie Raitt in supporting roles.

The Chicago production featured Ken Page as God and David Garrison (Titanic) as Satan. On the "Idiot's Delight" radio program, Newman said Faust was among his proudest achievements, especially because of its humor. He did say he had doubts about whether any producer would take the expensive gamble of bringing it to New York.

-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz

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