Luke Bryan, Billy Idol, Dolly Parton & Culture Club Songs Among Trove Inspiring Lively McCabe Stage Musicals

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EXCLUSIVE: Lively McCabe Entertainment, a company that specializes in packaging and adapting iconic intellectual property into new stories for theater, film/TV, and book publishing, is teaming with licensing agency Theatrical Rights Worldwide and music powerhouse BMG on three stage works that could bring the songs of country stars like Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney and ’80s New Wavers including Billy Idol and Devo to theaters by 2020.

Lively McCabe Entertainment Co-President Michael Barra unveiled a slate of three new stage musicals under development in the previously-announced  partnership with BMG that would feature select music from the deep BMG catalog.

The three newly announced projects are:

  • May We All, a country music musical with a book by Troy Britton Johnson (The Voice: Neon Dreams) and Todd Johnson (a producer of Broadway’s original The Color Purple). May We All will include music from country artists such as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw and the title song by Florida Georgia Line. Lively McCabe describes the musical as “a story of disappearing small-town America as seen through the hopeful eyes of its youth. Jenna Coates, a fledgling country singer, reluctantly comes home after a rough start in Nashville, ultimately to discover that her roots may take her a lot further than her dreams”;
  • What A Wonderful World. The description: “Set in mid-20th century New York City, this feel-good musical comedy by Jeremy Desmon is the never-before-told story of how our modern-day Santa Claus came to be… and about Mrs. Claus, the surprising woman behind it all. What A Wonderful World features a score of contemporary pop hits arranged in an old-school ‘Nouveau Vintage’-style by arranger and orchestrator Jesse Vargas”;
  • Untitled New Wave Project, a new musical set in the 1980s, conceived and written by Michael Kimmel (The Last Goodbye), with arrangements and orchestrations by Kris Kukul (musical director/orchestrator of Beetlejuice). “In a tiny Suburban NY radio station, two young DJ’s will play a new record for the first time and set off a revolution that will change music forever.” The New Wave-focused song line-up would include artists in the BMG publishing stable including Tears For Fears, Billy Idol, Simple Minds, Devo and Culture Club.

The remainder of their creative teams and premiere production plans will be announced later.

Lively McCabe Entertainment, led by producer Barra and co-founder Katie Dietz, recently announced the development of a new stage musical titled Punk Rock Girl, with a book by Joe Iconis (Be More Chill) and featuring hit songs from artists such as Blondie, Avril Lavigne, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and Gwen Stefani: and a musical adaptation of Mystic Pizza, with a score by Melissa Etheridge and book by Gordon Greenberg and Sas Goldberg.

The company is also behind the development of the Plain White T’s song “Hey There Delilah” as a romantic comedy. Etheridge and the Plain White T’s are actively involved in their respective projects, while the musical line-up announced today would utilize songs in the BMG catalog without the active participation of the original artists.

Lively McCabe Entertainment is represented by Max Grossman and Brad Rosenfeld at Abrams Artists Agency and Adam Cooper at Jackoway Austen Tyerman (TV/film), Jason Aylesworth at Sendroff & Baruch (theater) and Conrad Rippy at Levine Plotkin & Menin (corporate and publishing).

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