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Friday, October 10, 2014

Sting's Last Ship

Sting, most famous for his time with the Police, wrote the music and lyrics for an autobiographical musical titled The Last Ship. It is set in the shadow of the Swan Hunter shipyard of Sting’s youth, and is sort of a folk-­influenced song cycle featuring characters drawn from the songwriter’s past, and from his imagination. Jackie, the foreman. Jock, the singing welder. Gideon, the kid who fled for the horizon 14 years previously and who, at best, has “an ambiguous” relationship with his home town and, at worst, “he hates the place”. Adrian the riveter, the yard’s intellectual and agitator, who’s gifted “with rhyme and metre”. Peggy, the barmaid. Davey, the drunk. After a UK premiere and a Chicago theatre run, Sting’s musical  has made it to Broadway. Last week it weighed anchor at the Neil Simon, ringing up a healthy $533,382 for seven performances and filling about 72% of the Nederlander-owned theater’s 1,344 seats. Since some years it has become pretty usual for recording artists to try to branch out into musical theater.

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