Adam Schlesinger stage musical ‘Traffic and Weather’ premiering this week
A new musical based on the songs of late Fountains of Wayne songwriter Adam Schlesinger makes its debut tonight as part of the Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls, NY. Taking its title from FoW's 2007 album, Traffic and Weather will run through August 14.
Martha Banta, the Broadway producer (Mamma Mia, Rent, more) who cofounded ATF, says the project has been in gestating for years. “I fell in love with “Traffic & Weather” and couldn’t stop listening to the album. Being a director, I was always staging the songs in my head," Banta told The Saratogian. They met and discussed ideas but other projects kept Traffic & Weather on the backburner. When Schlesinger died from COVID in 2020, Banta saw it as a way to pay tribute. "I want to honor Adam, but I have no ownership in his creativity. I expect Traffic & Weather to be fun for audiences, a tribute to his talent, his warm personality and his wonderful humor.”
Unlike Mamma Mia, Banta says Traffic and Weather doesn't try hard to tell a single story with the songs. “I keep referring to it as a concert, which it isn’t," Banta told The Saratogian. "There’s a temptation to think of it as a jukebox musical, which it isn’t. The best I can come up with is it’s a series of songs with a narrative undercurrent that is both funny and touching.”
Banta says she hopes Traffic and Weather has a life beyond the Adirondack Theatre Festival but there are no plans beyond it as of yet. Tickets are on sale now and you can watch a video preview of the musical below.