Um, I’m kinda so geeked about the potential of this idea that I don’t really know how to process and can’t really be blasé-snarky about it. Take one’s favorite band (the Scissor Sisters) and combine with one’s favorite series of books (the “Tales of the City” saga) and it’s, well, kind of a queer wet dream/duh-headslap moment. What am I on about? Well, according to Spinner, in addition to writing a new Scissor Sisters album Jake Shears is collaborating with Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) on a musical version of author Armistead Maupin’s hallowed San Fransisco in the 70’s novel. Herewith:
[Shears] is helping to pen a musical to Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City.’ Since his pal, Jeff Whitty, sent him a note asking him what he thought of the books a year ago, Shears has been coming up with ideas and melodies.
“Over a year ago, I got a note from him saying, ‘What do you think of ‘Tales of the City?’ I’m crazy about ‘Tales!’ I grew up on the books,” Shears enthuses. “They were a big part of my teenager-hood. They’re just great, great books with amazing characters and I love the era. My heart just started racing. I got very excited about it.”
He’s spent almost a year working on the project already, amassing 15 numbers. “It’s poppy and since there’s no arrangement yet, all of our writing is just piano and my voice,” he explains. “As it take shape, it’s gonna even take on more of a style.”
Background: This isn’t the first time the “Tales” characters have been musicalized. Another Jake, with the surname Heggie, composed an opera entitled “Anna Madrigal Remembers” (with libretto by Maupin himself) which revisited the adored transsexual landlady.
And though I kind of to agree with a statement Maupin made in ’04 that he would like to see Rufus Wainwright be the one to adapt “Tales” in the form of a musical, the team of Shears/Whitty is certainly adept. (Side note casting thought: Ana Matronic as Mona Ramsey. Ideal. At the very least for a concert and/or concept album version.)
Fun cocktail party trivia fact: both Shears and Whitty worked as go-go boys before establishing themselves.
Scissor Sisters Hit the Studio to Work on New Album [Spinner via Towleroad]