'Magic Mike' Musical Will Be More About Channing Tatum’s Life Than Movies Were
“There’s an awful lot of beefcake, but it also has heart,” lyricist Brian Yorkey told The Hollywood Reporter at a WGA panel on Thursday night.
Channing Tatum — this is your life!
While the Magic Mike movies may have been inspired by the actor’s pre-Hollywood career as a stripper, the upcoming musical stage adaptation will center around the actor’s real-life experiences taking his clothes off for money.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the show’s lyricist Brian Yorkey on Thursday night at the Writers Guild of America West’s "Groundbreakers: Writers Who Moved Hearts & Mind" event to get some details on the long-awaited stage show (not to be confused with the interactive Magic Mike strip show in Las Vegas).
“We’re doing the prequel,” says Yorkey, who is writing the stage show’s songs with composer Tom Kitt (the two created the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Next to Normal). “It’s like Magic Mike .5, the story of how Mike became Magic Mike, how he got his name, which really is based on Channing’s stories.”
There have already been some readings and workshops of the show over the span of about two years, with more planned for this coming spring and a yet to-be-named director coming on board in the winter, according to Yorkey.
The creative team also includes Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is writing the book. “Channing’s been really involved,” says Yorkey, the showrunner of Netflix’s megahit 13 Reasons Why (whose second season is currently in production). “He’s been at all of the readings and workshops.”
Yorkey teased a couple of the Magic Mike numbers.
“There’s a really great stripping sequence in the first act, which is where you see Mike start off his first strip and it’s a total disaster,” he says.
The show, however is not all naked man muscle and itty-bitty thongs. “There will certainly be hot guys, but we also have a great number of Mike’s girlfriend and her sorority sisters at the top of act two,” Yorkey says. “There’s an awful lot of beefcake, but it also has heart. We want to represent the women’s side of the story as well.”
Yorkey’s friends have asked him if they could sit in one the auditions. “I don’t think they’re going to put me, as the lyricist, in charge of auditions,” he says, laughing. “But if they want me to weigh in, I will certainly be a part of it.
An initial reading two years ago included Curt Hansen in the title role along with fellow hunky song-and-dance men Will Swenson, Nick Adams, Christopher Jackson, Jon Rue and Steel Burkhardt and actress Nikki Bohne.