'Sing Street' to Become Stage Musical

John Carney's film about Dublin teenagers starting a new wave band in the mid-1980s has been adapted with a book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Carney and Gary Clark.

Irish director John Carney's 2007 film Once became a hit stage musical, winning eight Tony Awards. Now the filmmaker's 2016 feature, a semi-fictionalized retelling of his own youth titled Sing Street, is going the same route. 

A stage adaptation of the comedy-drama with music, about a 16-year-old Dublin lad who attempts to escape his troubled home life and impress a coolly enigmatic local beauty by starting a band influenced by the new wave pop sounds of the 1980s, will premiere as part of New York Theatre Workshop's 2019-20 season. 

That off-Broadway venue is the same theater where Once had its New York debut in 2011, in a sold-out run that propelled it to Broadway. NYTW currently is represented with two productions that bounced from successful downtown runs there to Broadway: What the Constitution Means to Me and Hadestown, both of which are expected to be recognized in this year's Tony nominations, to be announced Tuesday.

Like Once, the Sing Street musical will feature a book by Tony-winning playwright Enda Walsh, while music and lyrics are by Carney and Gary Clark. The latter is the one-time frontman of late-'80s Scottish band Danny Wilson, which had an international hit with "Mary's Prayer." The same team wrote the original songs heard in the movie.

Rebecca Taichman, a 2017 Tony winner for Indecent, will direct the production, with choreography by Sonya Tayeh, who is currently in rehearsals with Moulin Rouge!, beginning performances June 28 on Broadway. 

The creative team includes set and costume design by Bob Crowley and music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe, both of whom won Tonys for their work on Once, with lighting by Christopher Akerlind and sound by Darron L. West. 

Carney's Sing Street movie premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to upbeat reviews, and was acquired by The Weinstein Co. for U.S. theatrical release. It grossed a modest $3.2 million domestically, and $10.4 million overseas.

Dates for the musical at New York Theatre Workshop are to be announced.

Also announced for the 2019-20 NYTW season is a double bill of Nigerian American playwright Mfoniso Udofia's runboyrun and In Old Age, directed by Loretta Greco and Awoye Timpo; and Sanctuary City, the new drama from Pulitzer-winning Cost of Living author Martyna Majok, to be directed by Rebecca Frecknall.