The producers of Sing Street are in talks to transfer their musical to the Shubert Organization’s Lyceum Theatre this spring, in time to qualify for Tony Award nominations.
The adaptation of the highly-regarded 2016 movie, about Dublin schoolboys who form a band influenced by Duran Duran and other English pop groups of the era, would begin previews in late March ahead of an April 19 opening, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. A developmental production at New York Theatre Workshop opened on Dec. 16 and is scheduled to close on Jan. 26.
Sing Street shares many elements with the 2012 Tony winner Once, which was also developed at New York Theatre Workshop following its premiere at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. The book is by Once ‘s Enda Walsh; John Carney directed the film and the cast includes actors playing their own instruments.
Like Once, which won eight Tonys, Sing Street will be lead produced by Barbara Broccoli, who oversees the James Bond franchise. She was also a co-producer of Tony winner The Band’s Visit.
Sing Street is to be capitalized at $11 million, according to papers distributed to investors in the fall. That’s relatively inexpensive for a Broadway musical. With modest fixed weekly running costs of $490,000, the show could recoup in a year by grossing just $757,000 a week, after box office deductions such as credit card fees, according to the papers.
Complicating the picture for Broccoli and her partners is the critical reception off-Broadway, which was not as rave-ridden as the reviews that greeted Once. While New York magazine’s Helen Shaw described it as “transporting and delightful,” Ben Brantley in the Times called it “promising but still unfulfilled” and added that its “auspicious elements often seem to exist in a lumbering, sleepwalking state, as if waiting to be stimulated into the ideal selves that lurk within.”
A spokesman for the show had no immediate comment.
The score for Sing Street , by Gary Clark and John Carney, includes pop standards such as Duran Duran’s “Rio” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” from Depeche Mode. But most of the songs are original to the movie and inspired by the period. They’re quite catchy in their own right, and include “Up,” “Drive it Like You Stole it,” “Girls” and “The Riddle of the Model.”
Director Rebecca Taichman (a Tony winner for Indecent ), book writer Walsh and choreographer Sonya Tayeh (Moulin Rouge ) have work to do in making the musical and its central romance between lead singer Connor (Brenock O’Connor) and aspiring model Raphina (Zara Devlin) more distinctive. How to make Sing Street sing for a Broadway audience in a few months is the challenge at hand.