By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
My personal definition of a musical is a cheery, upbeat theatrical production full of music. What comes to mind are the Lion King, Mamma Mia, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys and the list goes on, not a psychological thriller like American Pyscho, a film known for its graphic violence and sexual content. But it’s happening. A musical version of the movie is set to premiere in London later this year.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, former Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, was cast as the musical’s lead character. Smith will play Patrick Bateman, a Manhattan businessman who serves as an investment banker by day and serial killer by night. So what is Smith going to be singing about on stage, the amount of blood oozing from his victims’ bodies or how much stock his employer is selling to investors? Beats me.
The Ruper Goold directed stage production is based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel and the 2000 film adaptation in which Christian Bale played the lead role. Duncan Sheik, the Tony Award-winning composer of “Spirit Awakening”, created the score for the musical, which also stars Ben Aldridge, Susannah Fielding and Simon Gregor.
I’m interested in hearing Sheik’s score for this musical because I can’t imagine the types of songs he created to depict a storyline that’s far from the conventions of a typical musical. Let’s be real here. There is no musicality in murder and mental instability. This type of subject matter simply doesn’t suit theatre. I don’t know how Ruper Gould and his production team pulled this off but they found a way. “American Pyscho: the Musical” (I don’t know if that’s the official title) is set to debut at London’s Almeida Theatre on December 3 and run until January 25.