'Empire Records' Is Becoming a Broadway Musical
Rolling Stone reports that the musical version will likely debut in 2020.
The musical's producer, Bill Weiner, told Rolling Stone that he wanted to turn the movie about a group of record store employees trying to save their indie shop from being bought out by a big conglomerate for a few reasons: Nostalgia for '90s music and now-defunct record stores and, of course, love for the original movie.
Carol Heikkinen, who wrote the film based on her own experience working at Tower Records, will adapt her script for the Broadway musical. She says that even though most people are streaming music and not buying in vinyl or cassette, the story is still relevant: "I think the way that teenagers feel about music hasn't changed. They define themselves by it," she told Rolling Stone.
The original film starred Renée Zellweger, Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, and Anthony LaPaglia. And, of course "Grease 2" star Maxwell Caulfield as Rex Manning.
Embry just revealed that April 8 became "Rex Manning Day" in the film, because that was the day Kurt Cobain was found dead.
The reason we picked April 8th as the day to have the powdered/coifed Rex Manning visit Empire is because Kurt was found on the 8th of April, the day the music of the 90s lost its mascot.#RexManningDay
— Ethan Embry (@EmbryEthan) April 8, 2018
Broadway star Zoe Sarnak, who is arranging the music for the upcoming Broadway production, says that Rex Manning's hit son, "Say No More, Mon Amour," might make it into the musical. "It captures Rex's washed-up pop vibe so well, and I think fans will dig hearing a little snippet," she said. "But I think we'll find a cool way to weave it in in an unexpected form. I'd love to create a nod to the original with an unexpected twist."
It's not clear if we'll be hearing the songs from the soundtrack, such as the Gin Blossoms "Til I Hear It from You" in the show. But Sarnak says the grunge and pop songs film the film "can inform a score that is melodic while still feeling organic, visceral and explosive. Needless to say, this won't be a 'traditional' Broadway score. But excitingly, so many new Broadway musicals are playing with more contemporary styles, so I think theater audiences will dig that."
Heikkinen said she's still figuring out whether Gwar cameo (via pot-brown induced hallucination) will stand. "If the brownies don't make it to the stage, perhaps they'll make it to the merch stand," joked Weiner.
[Via Rolling Stone]