Is the ‘Empire Records’ Broadway Musical a Bad Idea?

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 at 8:26 am by

In the immortal words of The Doors, “The time to hesitate is through.” And keeping in that vein of logic, get ready for your favorite group of misfits to transform into a Broadway musical.

That’s right, the crew from Empire Records (open til midnight!) is potentially turning into a theatrical production. Producer Bill Weiner recently acquired the rights to the ’90s cult classic film, and has plans to work with original screenwriter Carol Heikkinen to make it happen. Composer Zoe Sarnak will score original music and lyrics.

Sarnak told Deadline a couple weeks ago how Empire Records impacted her in her formative years:

I first saw Empire Records when my older sister brought it home on VHS – I remember sneaking into the TV room while she was watching it with her friends. Over the years, I watched it again and again because that cast – those characters – were my idea of the coolest misfits. Teenagers who loved music as much as I did, and still do. The film’s music so iconically captured the sound of that decade – a sound that has indelibly shaped my own aesthetic.

It’s risky – taking something so beloved and ingrained in the lives of many, and doing more with it – not leaving well enough alone. Could be incredible, could be like that unfortunate Donnie Darko theatrical “experience” we saw ten years ago in Cambridge, MA. We withhold judgement for now. (But, then again, they probably don’t feel they need to explain their art to us.)

As far as the musical’s soundtrack is concerned (and as a child of the nineties, who watched this movie pretty much everyday after school), we would like to gently suggest that “Sugarhigh” includes Gina’s vocals, unlike the annoying album version from the film.

Director and casting is still TBD. The musical is currently projected for a 2020 release, to align with the film’s 25th anniversary. Yes, you’re old.

[h/t Brooklyn Vegan]


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