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Sting’s "The Last Ship" Musical Docks in Chicago

Frank OckenfelsThe Last Ship, Sting's first attempt at a musical, opened for previews Tuesday in Chicago, a debut that left the singer/songwriter nervously pacing backstage at the Windy City’s Bank of America Theatre.

“I was kind of pacing, and telling the sound guys to turn this up, or turn this down, just to have something to do rather than just sit there,” says Sting.

He was eventually able to relax as the musical progressed and was satisfied when the final curtain dropped. “People were laughing in the right places, and crying, and enjoying the end. So it couldn't have gone better.”

The Last Ship is inspired by Sting's childhood growing up in a shipbuilding town in the north of England.  Set in the 1980s, it tells the story of a man named Gideon, who leaves home and chooses not to go into shipbuilding like everyone else in his town.  When he comes back 14 years later, the shipyard's future is in grave danger, and his childhood sweetheart is engaged to another man.

Sting says the show is very personal to him. “It's a very compelling story for me to tell, because in an allegorical way, it is about me. It's about me leaving a community, exiling myself from a community, and then having to find inspiration by returning. It's about returning home."

The Chicago engagement officially opens June 25 and runs through July 13. The Last Ship then heads to Broadway for previews, beginning September 30, ahead of an October 26 official opening.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio