After speculation heightened in recent weeks, we can now confirm that COLIN MELOY is indeed working on a musical with Michael Mayer, the Tony Award winning director who brought Green Day's American Idiot to Broadway. But even though Meloy's band, THE DECEMBERISTS, have released multiple albums that on paper are tailor-made for theater, including 2006's The Crane Wife and the 2009 rock opera The Hazards of Love, this collaboration will feature all new material.
"It will be an original show, not something that uses existing Decemberists songs," Mayer told the Phoenix while we talked to the director about brings the touring version of American Idiot to the Opera House for a week-long stay beginning January 24. "We have been discussing lots of different ideas for a musical and actually spent time together outlining two different stories. That's where we are at."
Meloy, who grew up doing theater, has toyed with the idea of doing a musical for years, but it wasn't until Mayer reached out that talks became serious.
The director, who in addition to American Idiot received a bevy of awards and accolades for the smash rock musical Spring Awakening, has in the past teamed up with Duncan Sheik and Patty Griffin. He tells the Phoenix in this week's Back Talk (on newsstands tomorrow) that he loves working with musicians because of the different perspective they bring to the table.
So when can we expect the pairing with Meloy to hit the stage?
"Too soon to say," Mayer notes. "But we are conspiring!"