He's Your Man: George Michael Considering Wham! Stage Musical

News   He's Your Man: George Michael Considering Wham! Stage Musical
Pop star George Michael has been uttering some careless whispers about producing a new stage musical about Wham!, the blown-dry British music duo he headed in the '80s.

The show will track the rise and fall of Wham!, which from 1982 to 1986 collected a string of bubbly, pure-pop chart toppers including "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper," "Everything She Wants," "Freedom," "I'm Your Man," "The Edge of Heaven" and "A Different Corner." The group consisted of Michael, who did nearly all of the songwriting and singing, and Michael's childhood friend, Andrew Ridgeley, who basically functioned as additional eye candy for the outfit's teenage fan base.

Wham! was part of a lighter component in the '80s British New Wave music explosion, which included Duran Duran, Culture Club, The Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet and other artists.

Michael told a London radio station that two or three producers had approached him and Ridgeley about the idea. In recent seasons, London has seen several musicals which have exploited the catalogue of faded pop artists, including ABBA'a Mamma Mia, which has proved widely successful worldwide, and We Will Rock You, the Queen tuner that had lesser luck but is still spreading internationally. Taboo, which recently had a brief run in New York, told the tale of pop singer Boy George, who wrote the score.

Michael said, while he is repulsed by the idea of a Wham! musical on an artistic level, he recognizes the production could have wide appeal. "I know a certain generation of people would love the idea...I think Andrew is of the opinion that if the story was good enough, then it would be snotty not to do it."

If the show comes to fruition, it would create a new source of income for the duo, who have both had their share of career troubles. After Wham! broke up, Ridgeley unsurprisingly faltered as a solo artist and sank into obscurity. Michael's solo career thrived in the late '80s and early '90s; albums such as "Faith" and "Listen Without Prejudice" sold well and produced several hit singles. Much of the '90s, however, was consumed by a long legal battle with Sony. By the time it was resolved, Michael's star had dimmed and his albums performed comparatively weakly. An 1998 arrest for lewd behavior in a Beverly Hills public toilet further tarnished his reputation. Recently, Michael announced his retirement from mainstream music, saying he would distribute his work over the internet.

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