I don’t know whether to be jumping for joy or running for the hills scared to death – Deadline.com is reporting that the 1995 cult classic “Empire Records” is being groomed as a Broadway musical to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary in 2020…(T-T TWENTY F-F-FIVE YEARS?!? ::Gasp:: MY HEART!!)
The film told the story of a harried day in the life of a group of close knit employees of a large mom and pop record store in Jersey, when washed up pop star Rex Manning was coming for a signing after revitalizing his career with a George Michael like career revival. The film barely got a release, and got horrible notices from the snooty film critic community, but the fans embraced it, and time has been very kind to the critics’ reaction as well. At the time I was working in a record store, and ALL of the employees immediately embraced it for its realistic situations, its off the wall sense of humor, and its stellar soundtrack.
The film helped launch the careers of Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry (then known as Ethan Randall), Renee Zellweiger, Robin Tunney, Johnny Whitworth, Debi Mazar, and Rory Cochrane, and also starred Anthony LaPaglia, Coyote Shivers, James “Kimo” Wills, Brendan Sexton III, and of course, Maxwell Caulfield as Rex Manning.
Deadline reports that the film is being developed for Broadway by producer Bill Weiner, who’ll work with the film’s original writer Carol Heikkinen, with new music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak, the 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant winner for her upcoming musical Afterwords.
All I know is that the new music for the show better damn well leave “Sugarhigh” alone…it’s one of the best numbers in the film, it’s a shame the recorded version doesn’t have Zellweiger’s vocals on it as well, as it does in the film…
We’ll keep you posted…I know I can’t wait for this…I think….just don’t screw it up, please…
Also published on Medium.