'Thrilling! Hilarious! Tense! Shocking!' Take a Deeper Look At the New True Crime Musical Dead Outlaw | Playbill

Off-Broadway News 'Thrilling! Hilarious! Tense! Shocking!' Take a Deeper Look At the New True Crime Musical Dead Outlaw

The Off-Broadway musical from the team behind The Band's Visit is based on a true story.

Audible Theater's world premiere of Dead Outlaw, a new musical by the original creative team of the Tony Award-winning The Band's Visit, began performances at Audible's Minetta Lane Theatre February 28. It will play the Off-Broadway venue through April 7. Check out interviews with the cast and creative team in the video above. 

Dead Outlaw features music and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit) and Erik Della Penna, a book by Tony Award winner Itamar Moses (The Band’s Visit), and direction by Tony Award winner David Cromer (The Band’s Visit, Prayer for the French Republic). 

The musical follows the true story of Elmer McCurdy, an ambitious, turn-of-the-20th-century outlaw whose death ended a life of failed crime and alcoholism and began a brilliant career as a mummified side-show attraction that travelled the USA for decades.

"I think it's exciting to propose musical theatre that doesn't lie...documentary musical theatre, which is a hilarious term, and also a challenging prospect," movement director Ani Taj says. "There's a realness to this team that I admire so much, and it makes you want to look for a language that's true." 

Yazbek and Penna have collaborated on 14 new songs, with Moses providing the book. The project is the brainchild of Yazbek, who reportedly has been fascinated with the story for three decades.

"I'm just excited for people who don't know this story, I'm excited for people to just come in fairly cold," Cromer says. "The way in which [the writing team has] laid out how the information is received is, I think, tense, and thrilling, and hilarious, and shocking, and surprising."

The cast includes Jeb Brown, Eddie Cooper, Andrew Durand, Dashiell Eaves, Julia Knitel, Ken Marks, Trent Saunders, and Thom Sesma. Understudies include Emily Fink, Austin Ku, George Merrick, and Max Sangerman

"Rock out to one of the most amazing scores ever written for a musical," Sesma says. "It's fun, it's moving, it's totally unexpected—it's quirky, the story itself." 

Sesma's castmate Brown chimes in: "It's Cromer, and it's Moses, and it's Yazbek, and it's a great time. They're funny, funny people. They're intelligent people, so we're being led by a crackerjack team. It's just great to sit back and watch them guide us to something that's actually quite special." 

The production marks Audible Theater's first-ever commissioned musical, and the work will eventually be released globally as an Audible Original audio musical.

Dead Outlaw features movement direction by Ani Taj, music supervision by Dean Sharenow, scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Sarah Laux, lighting design by Heather Gilbert, sound design by Kai Harada and Josh Millican, soundscape composition by Isabella Curry, music direction by Rebekah Bruce, casting by Tara Rubin Casting's Peter Van Dam, properties by Faye Armon-Troncoso, and orchestrations by Erik Della Penna, Dean Sharenow, and David Yazbek. Cynthia Cahill serves as production stage manager, with technical supervision by Hudson Theatrical Associates’ Sean Gorski. Baseline Theatrical’s Jonathan Whitton provides general management.

For tickets and more information, visit DeadOutlawMusical.com.

Photos: The Cast and Creatives of Dead Outlaw Meet the Press

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