Berkeley Rep’s world premiere of Swept Away, a stage production featuring the music of The Avett Brothers, written by Moulin Rouge!‘s John Logan and reteaming Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer and star John Gallagher Jr, has been postponed for a year to summer 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With its high-profile creative team and cast (Kinky Boots‘ Stark Sands will co-star), the new musical’s development has already drawn considerable New York attention. Gallagher himself released a video today announcing the postponement and the reasoning behind it. (Watch it below.)
“This week I was set to begin rehearsals for a brand new musical, Swept Away, with a tremendous book by the great John Logan and featuring the beautiful music of one of my favorite bands The Avett Brothers,” Gallagher says from his Brooklyn home, “and it is with a very heavy heart indeed that I announce to you that the show is going to have to be pushed back to the 2020-21 season at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.”
The cast – Gallagher, Sands, Wayne Duvall (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Adrian Blake Enscoe (Apple TV+’s Dickinson) – will remain intact for the postponed production, Berkeley Rep says.
Swept Away is set in 1888, off the coast of New Bedford, Maine, when a violent storm sinks a whaling ship and the four survivors — 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 — face a reckoning: How far will they go to stay alive? And can they live with the consequences?
Also on the creative team are choreographer David Neumann (Hadestown), music arrangements and orchestrations by Chris Miller (Tuck Everlasting) and Brian Usifer (Frozen, Kinky Boots), music direction by Justin Craig (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), scenic design by Tony Award-winner Rachel Hauck (What the Constitution Means to Me), costume design by Tony Award-winner Susan Hilferty (Wicked), lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kevin Adams (American Idiot), and sound design by Tony Award-winner Kai Harada (The Band’s Visit).
The new musical will mark the third teaming of director Mayer and Westworld‘s Gallagher following Spring Awakening and American Idiot. .