by Andrew Frisicano

The Magnetic Fields @ Loews Theater (more by Chris La Putt)
Stephin Merritt

MCC Theater presents Coraline, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Merritt's delightfully creepy and playful melodies and droll lyrics tell the story of lonely Coraline's discovery of another parallel world that is identical to her own -- with some scary differences. An animated film version of the story, based on the popular children's book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman and 2009 winner of the prestigious Newbery Award) is currently in theaters. The production, which was adapted for the stage by celebrated downtown actor/playwright David Greenspan is the world premiere of Coraline for the stage.

Performances will begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 7 and continue through June 20, 2009. [press release]

Tickets for the show are on sale, as are VIP tickets. (There are also student & under-30 rush tickets available the day of each show). Samples of Merritt's Coraline songs can be heard above.

Spider-Man Turn Off The DarkIn other rock musical news:

Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, featuring direction by Julie Taymor (Across The Universe, Frida, The Lion King on Broadway) with music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy Award-winners Bono and The Edge (from U2) will be holding open casting calls at major cities across the country starting next week. [press release]

The NYC audition is scheduled for Monday, April 13th at The Knitting Factory. Details on the casting call and info for other cities, below.

Advance group tickets are already on sale for Spider-Man, set to open February 18, 2010 at the Hilton Theatre.

Other bands with musicals in the works include Green Day, who are turning their 2004 album American Idiot in a Broadway show. About the adaptation, Billie Joe said to Entertainment Weekly:

It's about coming of age in a really politically-driven climate. It's pretty chaotic, and it's not by any means a conventional way of [doing] a musical. And that's why I liked [American Idiot director] Michael Mayer so much because of what he did with Spring Awakening. When I saw that for the first time I was like, this is not your grandparents' musical. He's going for it. He has a sense of anarchy in the way he approaches his craft.

Will the show have dancing?
Not "dancing" dancing. I don't know how to really explain it. It's got physical and violent moves. It's not like a Lion King thing. It's dirty and it's got a lot of heart and it's got a street mentality. There are no singing cats. No little girls with big curly red hair. It should be pretty cool, man.

Those aren't the only acts making the switch: Yeasayer guitarist Anand Wildeis working on a musical as well. And Amanda Palmer is in the process of producing an Airplane Over the Sea-themed high-school play, opening May 7th at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA.

Full Spider-Man press release below...

SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK ANNOUNCES OPEN CASTING CALLS

DIRECTED BY JULIE TAYMOR, MUSIC & LYRICS BY BONO & THE EDGE

SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark, featuring direction by Julie Taymor (Across The Universe, Frida, The Lion King on Broadway) with music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy® Award-winners Bono and The Edge, will be holding open casting calls at major cities across the country starting next week.

SPIDER-MAN is looking for performers with dynamic rock/pop voices including those with experience in bands and as solo performers. Regardless of experience, anyone who thinks they might be qualified is encouraged to audition.

Open casting calls are being organized by Telsey + Company (Rent, Across The Universe, Sex & The City, Wicked) and will be held in the following cities:

CURRENT SCHEDULE OF OPEN CALLS

Orlando, FL (Thursday, April 9; 10 AM - 5PM)
Orlando Marriott World Center
8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

New York (Monday, April 13; 10 AM - 5PM)
The Knitting Factory
74 Leonard Street
New York, NY 10013

Los Angeles (Saturday, April 18; 10 AM - 5PM)
Hollywood United Methodist Church
6817 Franklin Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028

Seattle, WA (Monday, April 20; 10 AM - 5PM)
Location to be announced

Chicago (Thursday, May 7; 10 AM - 5 PM)
Location to be announced

Austin, TX (Wednesday, May 27; 10 AM - 5 PM)
Location to be announced

The production is looking for candidates to fill the following roles (both principals and understudies):

PETER PARKER - Male. 16-20's. Must have a great rock tenor voice. Can be nerdy with understated sex appeal and a good sense of humor.

MARY JANE - Female. 16-20's. Beautiful girl next door. Strong pop/rock singing voice required.

In addition, SPIDER-MAN is looking for a

LEAD FEMALE VILLAIN - Female. 25-35 years old. All ethnicities encouraged. Must have an amazing rock voice. Think Sinead O'Connor with a Middle Eastern/Bulgarian/Greek twist. Foreign and/or world music types are great. Foreign accents are great.

WHAT TO BRING:
All interested people should bring a snapshot or photo of themselves and a brief pop/rock or rock song to sing a capella.

For more information, updated casting call information, or if you are not able to attend any of the above casting calls, please e-mail: SpiderManCasting@gmail.com or visit www.SpidermanOnBroadway.com. [press release]