Tony nominee Jarrod Spector, who played Sonny Bono in The Cher Show, a record-breaking 1,500 performances as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, and Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, all on Broadway, will take on another real-life artist when he plays Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg in the new musical Bruce.
The musical based on Carl Gottlieb’s novel The Jaws Log, about the making of the blockbuster Jaws film, will begin its world-premiere engagement May 27 at Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater prior to an official opening June 8. Performances, as previously reported, will continue through June 26. (Paper Mill Playhouse had been scheduled to present the world premiere in June 2021 in a co-production with Seattle Rep, but the pandemic altered those plans.)
The Stratford Festival's Donna Feore, also attached to the Broadway-aimed The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation, will direct and choreograph the production, which features music by Richard Oberacker and a book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker, the team who penned the Broadway musical Bandstand.
Bruce tells the story of a 26-year-old Steven Spielberg as he sets out to film an adaptation of a best-selling novel in 1974. While invading a sleepy fishing island off Cape Cod, he faced several challenges including weather, water, hostile locals, an exploding budget, and a highly dysfunctional mechanical star named Bruce.
The musical will also feature scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Tina McCartney, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Brian Hsieh, projection design by Shawn Duan, music direction by Lily Ling, and orchestrations and music supervision by Greg Anthony Rassen.
This is not the first theatrical production to spotlight the making of Jaws. The 2019 Edinburgh Fringe hit The Shark Is Broken, Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon's comedic look at the behind-the-scenes drama of the horror film, opened in the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre in October 2021.