Michael Bridges (Lost and Found) and I are starting the score for the stage play "Luther the Musical" this morning in LA. IF you want to follow along on the creative process and see it develop before your eyes over then next months before we release, fly this to or repost this for the people in your church you want to be YOUR future cast and crew this morning. (Hey, it's never too early to seed something like this in your church. It could help you get loads of new talent into your doors, build a great bonded theater team, drag new talent into your creative community, teach a great history lesson on the Reformation and your Protestant DNA, and help build the buzz for 2017 500th Reformation Jubilee).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“It’s Hamilton meets Godspell meets Joseph meets Monty Python.” And by this time next year it will leap from a graphic novel’s pages onto stages in time for 900 million* Protestants world-wide to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of a German monk who shook the foundations of the Feudal world with his three words: “Here I stand!”
This morning will begin the process of twenty-five singer-song writers, record producers, historians and artists gathering to create a new Rock Opera - Luther the Musical - celebrating the impact of that one solitary monk who stood up against church and state and started a movement that ended the Medieval Era, birthed the Modern Era.
Funded and founded by playwright/producer/publisher/composer, Dr. Rich Melheim (www.lutherstudy.com), the script is scored by two-time John Lennon Songwriting Award-winning writers Michael Bridges and George Baum (www.speedwood.com) and Minnesota rapper Agape (www.hiphopoutreach.com). Aside from the sizzling and sometimes humorous musical score, Luther the Musical weaves in “Bible Verbatim” songs written, sung, engineered and arranged by Robert Robinson, who the Minneapolis Tribune calls the “Pavarotti of Gospel”; Todd Ernster from the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Country Band, The Killer Hayseeds, and writer/producer/engineer Tony Axtell, House Engineer for A Prairie Home Companion, and twenty other award-winning musicians.
The play began in 2003 when Melheim was invited to help with the guerilla marketing for the Luther Movie starring Joseph Fiennes, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina. Melheim, an ordained Lutheran minister, comedian and writer/producer of 6 comedy stage plays, conspired with nationally-awarded graphic designer Sherwin Schwartzrock (smartermpls.com) and award-winning visual story-teller Jonathan Koelsch (jkArts.com) to create a comic book on the life of Luther for them movie.
As the 500th Anniversary of arguably the most significant event in the last 1000 years of Western history approached, Melheim resurrected the project and turned the comic book into a graphic novel, then approached Bridges, Baum and Agape. “Aside from being a lot of fun, it’s a great sprint through history,” says Melheim. “Starting with the burning of Czech Reformer Jan Hus who predicted Luther’s rise, the story runs to and through the trials and trails of Martin Luther, features the schemes of Henry VIII, the imprisioning of Pope Clement, is influenced by Turkish Sultan Suleyman’s invasion of Hungary and Austria, and ends with the resignation and abdication of the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, and his death alone in a monk’s cell of his own surrounded by clocks.”
For people interested in music, history, and the creative process, the scoring begins this morning in Los Angeles with Melheim and Bridges. Sneak peeks will be released day by day and week by week before your eyes at http://lutherstudy.com/musical and a new “Luther the Musical” Facebook group.