Music Theatre International Acquires Sister Act, American Idiot and Murder Ballad
By Adam Hetrick
Music Theatre International has obtained worldwide live performance licensing rights for the Tony Award-nominated musicals Sister Act and American Idiot, in addition to the Off-Broadway rock musical Murder Ballad.
"MTI is thrilled to add these three new musicals in our catalogue. The demand from customers has been high for all three shows," said MTI president Drew Cohen in a statement. "Each of these shows offers diverse options for a wide variety of theatrical organizations. Sister Act has broad appeal and is the perfect show to be performed by high schools and community theatres looking to provide a family-friendly night of musical comedy. American Idiot and Murder Ballad are a bit edgier and work well for community theatres, as well as colleges and universities interested in showcasing alternative content. The nice thing is that all three of these musicals have leading and featured roles that accommodate actors of all types and levels of experience."
MTI is in the process of determining when theatre organizations will be able to officially license the titles. The musicals join a catalogue that includes the entire works of Stephen Sondheim, as well as such classic as Annie, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and newer titles like Next to Normal, Legally Blonde, Avenue Q, Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Disney's The Little Mermaid.
The titles are part of MTI's Theatre on the Edge Collection, which according to MTI, "features shows that move audiences to the edge of their seats, pushing the envelope beyond the edge of the traditional into the realm of the innovative and groundbreaking. Theatre on the Edge shows have garnered a disproportionate share of awards and acclaim; they stimulate discussion and generate phenomenal word of mouth; they attract audiences including those who might not otherwise be drawn to a musical; they generate exclusive cult followings, encourage repeat customers and reflect boldness and artistic integrity."
Based on the 1992 film comedy, Sister Act features a score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater and a book by Douglas Carter Beane, Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner.
American Idiot, which brings to life the Green Day album of the same title, has a book by original director Michael Mayer and Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong.
Murder Ballad was recently seen Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre. It was conceived by Julia Jordan with book and lyrics by Jordan and music and lyrics by indie rock singer/songwriter Juliana Nash.
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