True Blood to become a Musical on Broadway

Today, there have been several announcements in the news that a True Blood Musical is in the works and what a big surprise it is.  Well, it’s no surprise to us! We knew about it two years ago.

The big news today is that the project has been green lit for Broadway!

Unfortunately for all  the Stephen Moyer fans, Steve will not be involved even though he helped Nathan Barr, True Blood’s Music Composer, during the early stages of it’s development, see below: 

Nathan Barr
Stephen Moyer sits next to Nathan and fellow True Blood crew in Nathan’s studio as they prepare for filming of True Blood Season 2, episode 6 where Stephen sang the song Hard-Hearted Hannah.

In an interview with the NYDailyNews in June 2014, Stephen said the following about the early days of developing the project:

“I helped Nathan with some of the songs and we presented them to producers,” Moyer told Confidenti@l at the “True Blood” season seven premiere in L.A. Tuesday. “It is really interesting what he is doing and the music was actually quite good.

Though he was happy to help Barr behind the scenes, Stephen, who starred in NBC’s highly rated live telecast of “The Sound of Music” last December, tells us he won’t be playing “Vampire Bill” on Broadway.

“Working in Broadway is tough and we have a young family here in L.A. And this stage show would be a younger man’s role,” says Moyer, 44. “It’s time for me to move on from this now. I have loved every minute of it, but Anna and I are laying it to rest.”

WE LEARNED ABOUT THE MUSICAL AT THAT TIME, TOO:

I (Lynnpd) was invited to be a member of the press on the red carpet at the True Blood Season 7 premiere in June 2014 and there I learned the news that Nathan Barr was writing a True Blood musical for Broadway! Collaborating on this project is singer Lisbeth Scott, known for her Pie Cry song in True Blood.

Watch the video below from the premiere with Nathan Barr where he talks with me about the musical:

During this interview with Nathan I brought up attending his recent event, An Evening with FX Composers” sponsored by The Society of Composers and Lyricists at The Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles where True Blood’s Nathan Barr was one of three composers featured. If you’re a fan of Nathan’s music like I am, click on the following link to learn all about the three composers interviewed during that event: vault-exclusive-nathan-barr-composers.

An Evening With FX Composers

While on the red carpet in 2014, Nathan also revealed the following further info to AP:

This was something that I pitched to HBO and (show creator) Alan Ball,” said composer Nathan Barr, speaking on the arrivals line at the “True Blood” season premiere Tuesday night in Hollywood. Barr has written the instrumental scores for the series’ entire seven seasons, the last of which debuts Sunday.

Barr said the musical will revolve around protagonist, telepath and waitress Sookie Stackhouse, portrayed in the series by Anna Paquin. But, Barr added, after seven seasons of twists, turns and characters for Sookie, it’s proven a challenge to trim the saga down.

I think we’re really going to try to return to the roots of the show,” Barr commented.

Barr said he hopes to present a workshop version about a year from now, but he’s not looking beyond that.  Barr further said: To say this is “Broadway bound” is premature.

There’s no guarantees,” the composer warned. “But I think the direction we’re heading in is really exciting.”

Watch another video taken at the Season 7 premiere that includes Nathan where he talks about the musical, his section starts at about 1:30:

Then, today we found the article below from the New York Post.

Then, today we found the article below from HBO is quietly developing — dare I say in the dead of night? — a Broadway musical based on its popular vampire series “True Blood.”

Director Pam MacKinnon, who barely survived the fiasco that was “China Doll,” recently staged a workshop here. The cast included Ellen Foley (of TV’s “Night Court”), Claybourne Elder (Broadway’s “Bonnie & Clyde”) and Ann Harada (“Avenue Q”). The music is by Nathan Barr, who scored the TV series it’s based on; YA fiction author Elizabeth Scott (who wrote the novel “Living Dead Girl”) is writing the book and lyrics, and I hear Alan Ball, who created the TV show, is keeping an eye on the stage version.

These are early days, but sources say the musical needs cutting: Act 1 was almost 132 pages.

Like the TV show, “True Blood: The Musical” is set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, La., where vampires live among humans. The town also boasts witches, fairies, shape-shifters and werewolves. If a full production ever materializes, there will be plenty of special effects.

My spies liked the music and thought the book, despite its length, was fun.

True Blood” is the latest of a long line of shows trying to cash in on a famous title. The series ran seven seasons, earned several Emmy nominations and remains hugely popular on DVD.

But “True Blood” is up against a rather bloody history of vampire musicals on Broadway.

“Lestat,” based on Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles,” had a score by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and a book by Linda Woolverton (“The Lion King” movie). Even so, it bombed, running just 39 performances in 2006.

Wrote The Post’s Clive Barnes: “Vampires have very difficult and unhappy lives. You really don’t want to be one. Especially if it involved music as loud and boring as old Lestat has to plow his way through. It’s not a life fit for a dog, let alone a bat.” The show lost $10 million.

My favorite was 2002’s “Dance of the Vampires,” with backstage shenanigans that made great column fodder. Based on the movie “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” the musical had a strong score by Jim Steinman, including his hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

The show starred Michael Crawford, who hadn’t been on Broadway since “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1988. Crawford demanded creative control and even had a hand in designing his own costumes, which were a little too tight. Cast members called him “the fat rooster.”

Steinman thought the show was a train wreck in previews. When he complained — loudly — the producers barred him from the theater.

“Dance of the Vampires” lasted just 56 performances and lost more than $12 million, making it, at the time, one of the costliest flops ever.

And, finally, there was Frank Wildhorn’s “Dracula, the Musical,” which eked out 157 performances at the Belasco in 2004. The only thing I remember about it is that Kelli O’Hara briefly appeared in the nude.

Well, that’s some track record. Best of luck, “True Blood.”

An aside: What’s with all these “top-secret” workshops, anyway? The producers of “True Blood” told everybody involved not to breathe a word of it to anyone.

The cast of the reading of “The Honeymooners” musical the other week had to sign nondisclosure agreements, production sources told me. But I did a little digging and can reveal the following: Ralph Kramden is a bus driver, and Ed Norton works in the sewer.

The secret’s out!

It seems this is a big surprise to them, but not to us, but we’re glad the project is finally moving forward; but still wish Stephen was a part of it!  

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

26 Comments

    1. Veronica France Randolph Agree. There was so much more depth and intrigue in the books, in my opinion. I feel like the writers were in left field during the last two seasons. But a musical? I’m not getting how that will work.

  1. Most interesting. I can understand why both Stephen and Anna won’t be participating. Wishing all those involved good luck with “True Blood, the Musical’s” development.

  2. Would of been real good if all the cast was doing this but got to agree its time we all let them move on with all the new projects will never forget true blood and will always watch out for repeats but they all doing other stuff let them move on and give someone els a chance good luck with the musical

  3. I wish Nathan Barr so much luck with this. It has to be ‘Phantom of the Opera’ type good tho. Beautiful haunting musical scores. Great sets. Amazing voices. And what a task to find singers with incredible voices to play Bill, Sookie, Eric, Jason, Sam & Tara..!!! Omg! A monumental task but not impossible. At least we know Nathan has the Bill & Sookie love song already done! That beautiful, soulful score is so wonderful! GOOD LUCK to everyone involved. xo

  4. I hope it all works out and is a big hit. It’s a great story, and, if the music is good, it has a good chance. They need to make sure the two lead characters have really good chemistry to make the audience want to see what happens between them and draws the audience into the story.

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