Huey Lewis got his new drug; the American singer is working on a stage musical based on his hits.
The original musical, Heart of Rock and Roll, will feature Huey Lewis and the News’ best known songs, including “The Power of Love,” “Hip to Be Square,” “Stuck With You” and “If This is It.”
Jonathan Abrams wrote the book based on an original story he penned with Tyler Mitchell, while Gordon Greenberg is on board to direct.
Lewis made the announcement in a short video that also features U.S. late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who quipped that he would retire from his regular gig to star as Lewis in the new production. “I’ve waited my whole life for this,” Kimmel says, just as Lewis shatters his dreams. That’s right. There won’t be anyone playing Huey Lewis. The songs will be the star of the show.
“The power of love is a curious thing, Huey. Makes one man weep – and that man’s gonna be me right now,” Kimmel confesses.
Huey Lewis and the News were giants of the mid-‘80s MTV age, rolling out 19 Billboard Top 10 singles and earning Grammy- and Oscar-nominations for their hit “The Power of Love,” which featured in the classic sci-fi comedy, Back to the Future (Lewis appears as the buzz-killing teacher in the official video for Johnny B. Goode).
Their music also got a blast from the unlikeliest of places in American Psycho’s serial killer Patrick Bateman, who found a warm place in his heart for Huey Lewis’ music as he indulged in his grisly work.
A synopsis for Heart of Rock and Roll has not yet been released, nor has a production schedule or tentative premiere date.
Huey Lewis is just the latest in a growing list of stage musicals shaped on artists’ catalogue or careers, with Donna Summer to Tina Turner, Cher, The Go-Go’s, The Temptations and The Bee Gees among those getting a turn in the spotlight.