John Gallagher Jr., Stark Sands Cast In Avett Brothers Musical, Reuniting With ‘American Idiot’ Director

John Gallagher Jr, Stark Sands Daniel King/Drew Wiedemann

EXCLUSIVE The Tony-winning John Gallagher Jr. and Tony-nominated Stark Sands have joined a team of similarly Broadway-familiar vets in the world premiere of Swept Away, the previously announced new stage production featuring the music of the popular folk and roots-rock band The Avett Brothers.

Swept Away is being developed and staged at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, California, and will begin performances on Sunday, June 14, 2020, now with two of the actors who worked with director Michael Mayer on productions of another Berkeley-developed musical American Idiot.

Inspired by and featuring the music of The Avett Brothers, Swept Away is written by John Logan, the playwright (Moulin Rouge!, Tony-winning for Red) and screenwriter (Skyfall, Gladiator). Directing will be Mayer, (American Idiot, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tony-winning for Spring Awakening).

While it’s too early for anything like Broadway plans, the cast and director should ensure that plenty of New York eyes will be looking westward next year.

The Avett Brothers Crackerfarm

Swept Away marks a reunion for Gallagher, Sands and Mayer: Both Gallagher and Mayer were part of Berkeley Rep’s 2009 world premiere of American Idiot, with Sands later joining them in the Broadway production. The Green Day musical broke box office records in Berkeley and eventually won two Tony Awards on Broadway for scenic and lighting designs.

Both Mayer and Gallagher won Tony Awards in 2007 for Spring Awakening.

“I’ve so enjoyed my past collaborations with Johnny and Stark,” said director Mayer in a statement, “that I’m even more excited to make this new show with them next year.”

Berkeley Rep describes the new musical as “the story of a violent storm that sinks a whaling ship, and the four surviving souls — a young man in search of adventure, his older brother who has sworn to protect him, a captain at the end of a long career at sea, and a worldly first mate who has fallen from grace — who each face a reckoning: How far will I go to stay alive? And can I live with the consequences?”

Gallagher will play the Mate. In addition to his stage work, Gallagher is known to TV audiences from HBO’s Westworld, The Newsroom and Olive Kitteridge, Amazon Studio’s anthology series Modern Love, among many more. Film credits include the recent Peppermint, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, 10 Cloverfield Lane, among others.

Sands, who will play Older Brother, most recently appeared on Broadway in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. He was Tony-nominated for originating the role of Charlie Price in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots. Recent film credits include Steven Spielberg’s The Post, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers. He was most recently seen on television as the lead of the Fox series Minority Report.

Swept Away is produced by special arrangement with Matthew Masten and Sean Hudock.

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