Hornsby and Chapman Collaborating on New Musical | Playbill

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News Hornsby and Chapman Collaborating on New Musical Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby is collaborating with Clay McLeod Chapman on a new musical entitled Sick Bastard.
Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Hornsby Photo by Jimmy Ienner, Jr.

Singer-songwriter Hornsby, who has also worked with the Grateful Dead, will pen the musical's score with a book by playwright Chapman; Chapman is also the author of the novel "Miss Corpus." The musical is being commissioned by producer Michael Rafael, who told Playbill.com that Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell was instrumental in the project's birth. "[Stokes] played a couple of tracks from Bruce's last CD, 'Halcyon Days,' for me. We are both big fans and thought he might be an interesting choice to write a stage musical. Luckily, Bruce agreed. . . . Bruce and Stokes are mutual fans of each other's work. Bruce has already started writing songs, including a ballad he thinks would be great for Stokes."

Rafael wouldn't reveal too much about the plot of Sick Bastard, although he did say that the musical will be set in Hornsby's hometown, Williamsburg, VA.

As for the timeline? "Whenever they finish it," Rafael joked. "It's an original stage musical, which is an endangered species these days. We didn't just go to our Netflix queue and see what hadn't been adapted yet. Therefore, it will take some nurturing."

Rafael, who was director of Ticket Central, has previously worked with several non-profit companies who have developed musicals from "offbeat material," including the New Group (Avenue Q), Atlantic Theater Company (Spring Awakening) and Playwrights Horizons (Grey Gardens). "Hopefully we will be able to develop this piece in association with one of them," he says.

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