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Struck from Off-Broadway's Second Stage, 'American Psycho' Musical Now Shooting Directly for Broadway

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Sep 17, 2014 08:34 PM EDT

Just the other day came the surprising news that the new musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho had been abruptly ripped from the upcoming season of Second Stage Theatre, a major Off-Broadway company. No explanation was given at the time, but today the New York Times reported that the production had been axed by two previously uninvolved producers who, when consulted, advised that it would be better to skip Off-Broadway entirely and head straight to the Great White Way in the fall of 2015.

With its bloody story, score by Tony winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), and recent London production starring Doctor Who's Matt Smith in the title role, the show had earned a high profile. The withdrawal of permission by the rights holders leaves a big hole in Second Stage's schedule.

Reviews had been mixed in London, and the two veteran producers, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel (All the Way, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Chinglish, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and many more including, perhaps tellingly, Spring Awakening), may not have wanted to subject the show's Broadway ambitions to the risk of lukewarm reviews Off-Broadway.

"I just felt the proposal by Second Stage was something that did not serve the best interests of the production," Richards said. And David Johnson, founder of Act 4 Entertainment, which holds the rights to the story, told the Times that "he believed the show was in strong enough shape to go right to Broadway without testing it first with audiences and critics at Second Stage."

Broadway casting and location have yet to be announced. Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), who had signed on to the Second Stage production, is reported to be in the running for the lead role.

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TagsAmerican Psycho, Matt Smith, Bret Easton Ellis, Off-Broadway, broadway, Broadway Musical, musical theater, Benjamin Walker, Duncan Sheik, Second Stage