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The Lost Boys stage musical is 'nearly done' and got input from the late Joel Schumacher
Last week, we brought you an exclusive update on The CW's The Lost Boys TV series. With the reworked pilot unable to film amid the pandemic, the project remains in stasis. However, it's not the only adaptation of the 1987 film currently in the works. Musician G Tom Mac (aka Gerard McMahon) is also spearheading a Broadway musical entitled A Lost Boys Story, which is "nearly done," he tells us.
All of the music is written and available to the public via Spotify. To help boost awareness of the supernatural stage play, Mac shot some promotional music videos (see below).
The production fills in the backstory of Kiefer Sutherland's character, David, who starts out as an orphan from Lithuania before immigrating to America, where he learns English and is adopted by loving Jewish parents. An exceedingly bright child, he somehow ends up at an orphanage run by head vampire Max (played by Edward Herrmann in the movie), is turned into a member of the living dead, and guides the story toward the events of the movie.
"At 17-18 [years old], he hits the road, and that’s when he picks up the other vampires and basically creates a family with the three other guys," Mac explains. "They all come from different walks of life in Middle America, the Midwest, Arizona, and then they head to California. That’s when all the good stuff starts. We tried to take a twist, whereby we know the story of the movie, but we don’t know how it all got there. And in the musical, we do. It’s very much a story of immortality, but it’s also a story about how people in their 20s think they’re immortal, anyway. It kind of runs that parallel of pop culture."
Casting is underway, and Mac discloses that JD McCrary (young Simba in Jon Favreau's Lion King remake) is set to play the smallest member of the blood-sucking brood, Laddie. The character was originally portrayed by Chance Michael Corbitt in the film.
"I auditioned 48 singer-actors for that part and he just pulled it out," Mac tells us of McCrary.
A Clockwork Orange's Malcolm McDowell is currently in talks to play Max. Even with actors coming aboard, though, the play is on hold amid the global health crisis. Mac and his team were just over "the halfway mark" when everything shut down; Broadway won't reopen until the start of 2021 at the earliest.
"We were looking at late 2021, like the fall. But [now] we’re looking at 2022," he says. "Last summer, I went to England with one of my producers and met with various choreographers. It was my producer's idea to search the London theater world for some fresh talent [choreographers, set designers, etc.]. It was about three weeks to a month of just finding the right people and, of course, there are incredibly talented people in New York as well, which we had brought on."
When A Lost Boys Story finally does open, it'll have benefited from the input of Joel Schumacher, director of the 1987 movie, who passed away in June after a battle with cancer. Mac characterizes the late filmmaker as the musical's biggest champion. In particular, he was a big fan of the opening number, "Once Upon."
"There was nobody more engaged with my musical over the past few years," Mac says. "He understood musical theater and we would have many conversations. I knew he was ill, but he’d get on the phone for two to three hours and go over notes and various things. He was just a wonderful human being. Intense, but that was part of his incredible personality. Great guy, I certainly miss him."
Despite his terminal condition, Schumacher could always be counted on to lighten the mood.
"There was always an ongoing joke at the end of every phone call," Mac recounts. "He said, ‘You do remember our deal, right?’ I said, ‘What’s the deal again?’ He said, ‘Three seats, fourth row back, middle.’ I’m going, ‘Yeah, Joel, I know. You don’t have to f*** with me anymore about that. I do know what those three seats are.’ And he said, ‘And I want four nights, not in a row.’ He kept building upon it and I said, ‘Do you want dinner served to you as well in your seats?’ He had a great sense of humor."
When it came to giving advice, the director nurtured Mac's vision rather than hijacking it.
"When you’re a director like he is, he had producers saying, 'It’s too long or too this or too that,' and he had to obey," the songwriter explains, adding that with the musical version, Schumacher wanted to bring an objective eye instead. "He said, ‘I’m not gonna get in your way. I don’t wanna get in your way. You’ve already set the tone here.’ He said, ‘The soundtrack is brilliant.’ It’s a matter of a really good creative objectivity, and that’s what he was always able to provide."
Here's a statement Schumacher provided to a documentary being made about Mac's life and career (the musician was kind enough to provide us with it):
"The masterful genius of Gerard’s creation of the theme song to Lost Boys, ‘Cry Little Sister,’ was otherworldly upon first listen of just the demo alone. To have created this theme that I asked him to do without instructions and only he reading the script as we were still filming, was absolute genius. He created yet another character as the voice of my film, I’m forever grateful for his large talent and contribution, as that song truly made Lost Boys that much more important of a film — pure synchronicity as its best."
During our conversation, Mac broaches the idea of a possible crossover with The CW show, which was pitched by a Warner Bros. Television executive. Think "My Musical" on Scrubs or "Wicked Little Town" on Riverdale.
"We’re interested in finding ways to tie into the TV show, cross-pollinate," he adds. "There was talk about, maybe at some point, once the musical is up and running, that we could take the whole thing with the cast of people and do a whole [musical episode]."
When we recently spoke with Tim Cappello (aka the oiled-up saxophone player from the movie), he mentioned that there might be a place for him in the musical. G Tom Mac confirms this.
"Definitely, there’s been talk about that," he says. "Whether he comes back as the original muscle-man guy in the form of his character, it could be. It’s a little too soon for that to go down. I had an idea that he should do a version of 'Still Believe' with Nick Jonas — that they should do a duet together because Nick Jonas is a massive fan of The Lost Boys."
As he wraps things up, he muses on the fandom that the film has created.
"There are so many people who are massive fans of this movie, I can’t even begin to tell you. Eminem became a huge fan of mine as a result of my song and he had never seen the movie. I said, ‘Well, mate, you need to see the film. It’s really good.’ So he watched it and, of course, he loved it. I actually worked with him on the Recovery album back in 2011 on a song called 'You’re Never Over' and we took a sample of my 'Cry Little Sister' choir stuff and put it in that."