A True Blood Broadway musical is in the works: could be fun or dumb idea?

It’s been two years since True Blood ended and while it definitely faltered in the last few seasons I watched the hell out of that show and never missed an episode. I loved the setting, I loved the premise and I especially loved the characters like Eric, Sookie, Jessica, Lafayette and Pam. That’s why I was so excited to hear that a True Blood Broadway musical is in the works! It’s being written and scored now.

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…

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.

[From The NY Post]

Rolling Stone also covered this story, and they add as an aside that the Spongebob Squarepants musical is coming for the 2016-2017 NY Broadway season. How is this the first time I’m hearing of the Spongebob Squarepants musical? I doubt they can capture the madness that is Spongebob but I want to see them try. True Blood did have excellent music, I kind of wish they would have switched out the title track after a few years but it was fitting, and you could tell that the person doing their score was talented, so it’s good news that their original music director is involved in this. It’s also promising that Alan Ball is on board – presumably, we’ll have to see how that pans out. I loved Six Feet Under and of course True Blood, and Ball is now doing a show on Cinemax called Banshee. (It’s been on for four seasons and has the first two seasons available free on Amazon Prime so I’ll have to check it out.)

As for this musical, I will wait for the first reviews, but as long as it’s not getting panned I am so going to see it. I still remember seeing Dirty Dancing on stage and what a thrill that was, and True Blood is one of my favorite shows of all time. I’m sure the cast will be all new but I would love a cameo or two from some of the original Bon Temps residents. We know Beeel can sing!




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14 Responses to “A True Blood Broadway musical is in the works: could be fun or dumb idea?”

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  1. grabbyhands says:

    Seems like a dumb idea, but god knows I have been wrong about what will be successful as a musical before.

    All it does is really make me miss the early days of TB when it was fun to watch before it became an annoying, rudderless mess of too many useless characters and pointless story lines that made no sense and contributed nothing. Before Alan Ball’s Beel boner got so out of control that he gave the impression that he would rather torpedo the show than admit that he’d created an even more annoying, whiner version of him than existed in the books.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Agreed, Alan Ball’s obsession with Beehul ruined that show. Damn shame he didn’t take a fancy to Skarsgard. 😉

    • Lucy2 says:

      It really went off the rails when they gave an independent storyline to every single character. And I agree a out Ball/Beeeel too. Bill was practically phased out of the books, and for good reason. I know the show couldn’t do that to one of its stars, but having Sookie break up and get back together with him every other episode got really old.

      A Musical might be fun, but I can’t see it lasting long-term once a novelty has worn off.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Singing through vampire teeth? I don’t think so.

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    Oh lord. I loved that show for 3 seasons and then they lost me because the writing was a mess and the performances were all over the place. They ranged from glorious and delicious to offensively campy and downright terrible. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if everyone was even doing the same show. But if you eliminate the problems, this could be fun on Broadway.

  4. Joss RED says:

    If they focus only on the first 3 seasons, maybe it doesn’t suck that much (no pun intended). After that, the show became a mess, a really hate-watching experience…

  5. RuddyZooKeeper says:

    Banshee is amazing. Love that show.

  6. Kimbers says:

    Pretty bad

  7. Jana says:

    Strangely, no one seems to remember that “True Blood” originated from a wildly popular series of novels from Charlaine Harris. The series veered wildly from the books, but I wonder what Charlaine is thinking of this latest development? She already publicly stated that Anna Paquin (although a talented actress) was really not the embodiment of her character, Sookie Stackhouse. In her words, “No, that’s not my Sookie.”

    But maybe Charlaine sold all of the rights away, so it’s a moot point.

    • Mr. Stinky-FishFace says:

      Exactly this. Though I hated the last 2 books, the storylines in the first few were awesome. I was so disappointed at how they just said screw it and decided they could do whatever they wanted.

  8. Clucky says:

    Only if they don’t forget to include werepanthers. ‘Cause it’s just not a story about the integration of vampires (and faeries and werewolves and witches and ghosts and demons, etc., etc., etc.) into society unless there are some werepanthers involved.

  9. Mata says:

    I would totally see this. Of course, one of my prized possessions is a dvd of David Hasselhof playing “Jeckyll and Hyde: The Musical” on the London stage that I found for $2.99 in a grocery store bin, so you know I raise the bar high.

  10. MerlinsWife says:

    Isn’t Banshee done now? I thought the 4th was the final season.