BWW Interviews: Counting Crows Adam Duritz on His New Musical BLACK SUN

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Recently, Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz took time out from his successful music career to collaborate with playwright Stephen Belber on a new, original musical BLACK SUN. A reading of the project took place in August of last year as part of the annual Ojai Playwrights Conference and included the all-star cast of Evan Rachel Wood ('Across the Universe'), Rob Morrow ('Numb3rs'), James Carpinello (ROCK OF AGES), Gina Loring and Liam Springthorpe.

BLACK SUN centers around eight New Yorkers - some new, some old, some just returning after having given up - who confront perplexing questions and surprising answers in the wake of a world where the sun has disappeared. At first the Black Sun lasts only 23 seconds, creating havoc and moments of solace. But this upside down world eventually becomes permanent. Everything turns into something totally strange and revelatory.

Duritz chatted with BWW while promoting the Counting Crows upcoming Outlaw Roadshow tour and spoke about his first-time experience composing for musical theater and whether he sees a Broadway staging of BLACK SUN in the near future. 

Thanks for speaking with us today Adam. Are there currently plans underway to move forward with future productions of BLACK SUN?

Yeah, I think we'd all like to do that. Unfortunately, people are doing other things right now. Carmel Dean's been putting together some other stuff on her own, she was musical directing with me, and Stephen Belber is always writing something else. I've been busy with stuff for my band since then. I did the show right in the middle of working on the new record. 

What was it like staging the show at the Ojai Playwrights Conference?

It was really cool, I really enjoyed it. We had a great cast, we had Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Loring, it was really kind of great. And it was interesting because I wasn't sure how it would go because I had never written any songs for anybody else. I wasn't even sure if my songs were good if I wasn't singing them. I mean because I can kind of sing the phone book. So I was wondering if I'd been carrying my songs or if they were okay without me singing them. I really didn't know because I've never seen anybody else play them. I've also never taught anyone to sing one of my songs -that's always been something I did myself, so I wasn't sure how that was going to be. I'd never written for women's voices and I did that on this one too. And I had never written for a musical, or for a voice that wasn't my own. And doing all these things, I wasn't really sure how any of it was going to go.


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Caryn Robbins Caryn Robbins is a Senior Editor and daily contributor to BroadwayWorld, and manages the TV, Film and Music spin-off sites. Her original musical comedy DEAR PROSPECTIVE STUDENT (follow @DearStudent) has been staged in two NYC theater festivals and was performed as an Equity Staged Reading in New York City in 2015. This June DEAR PROSPECTIVE STUDENT won 'Best Ensemble Show' in Chicago's Premier Premieres Festival. Follow Caryn on Twitter @CarynRobbins
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