Off-Broadway powerhouse Second Stage will present the U.S. premiere of the much praised (and much debated) American Psycho, the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel (and 2000 Christian Bale-starring film) about excess, murder and flashing the right labels. The show — with music by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, staging by Rupert Goold and a starring performance by Matt “Dr. Who” Smith – opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season. It still may be.
For now, however, the show will begin performances in February 2015 and open in March at Second Stage’s West 43rd Street home base. It will be mounted in association with Act 4 Entertainment by special arrangement with Edward R. Pressman (who produced the film). Act 4 is a Los Angeles-based film and new media development company founded by David Johnson and committed to projects that “motivate and inspire audiences across the world toward social action.”
That’s a challenge for the Ellis novel, which prompted furious protests from feminist and human rights groups in reaction to its explicit, play-by-play depiction of the brutal torture and murder of women at the hands of protagonist Patrick Bateman, which the book’s defenders insisted was satire of a society gone mad with material obsession and moral vacuity. The musical has inspired almost inevitable comparisons to Sweeney Todd.