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Thursday
Jul182019

"It's a Wonderful Life": Paul McCartney's writing his first musical

Jim Dyson/Getty ImagesHe's written a movie, a classical music oratorio and, of course, dozens of the world's most beloved pop songs.  Now, Paul McCartney's writing his first musical.

Unlike his other projects, however, the subject isn't original to Sir Paul.  He'll adapt the 1946 film classic It's a Wonderful Life, writing the music and lyrics, while Tony-winning playwright Lee Hall will co-write the lyrics and also write the book -- that's musical theatre speak for the show's non-musical dialogue.  Hall's best-known for writing the 2000 film Billy Elliot and later adapting it into an award-winning stage musical.  Most recently, he wrote the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

According to the announcement on McCartney's official website, producer Bill Kenwright approached Paul three years ago about the project.

"Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun," said McCartney.  "It’s a Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”

If you've never seen the film, It's a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, played by the late Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart, who's about to take his own life after a run of bad luck.  But then an angel intervenes and shows George how much worse the lives he's touched would be, had George never been born.

Paul McCartney last weekend completed the U.S. leg of his Freshen Up world tour in front of a sell-out audience at Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium, with fellow Beatles member Ringo Starr as a surprise special guest. 

It’s a Wonderful Life is scheduled for a late 2020 debut, though whether that'll be on Broadway or on London's West End isn't yet known.

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