Kurt Cobain on Broadway? The very idea sounds like an April Fools’ joke, and maybe it is. But we’re going to tell you about it anyway, because the very idea that the same audiences who flock to Kinky Boots, Wicked, and Newsies are clamoring to see the tragic life story of the troubled Nirvana frontman on the Great White Way is just too crazy to ignore.
Kurt Cobain died by suicide, of a self-inflicted shotgun wound, 20 years ago April 5 at his home in Seattle, Washington. He was just 27 years old.
The story comes from an interview that Courtney Love, the widow of Kurt Cobain, gave — allegedly — to Britain’s venerable music bible NME, that is scheduled to run in the magazine’s April 2 issue.
In the interview, Love, 49, claims that Nirvana fans have deluged her with demands that the Kurt Cobain life story be transformed into a Broadway musical. Which seems rather out character for Nirvana fans. But who knows? It was 20 years ago. That lost generation of kids who found a voice in Kurt Cobain are grown up now. Presumably, at least some of them can afford the $138 average ticket price charged by, for example, The Lion King.
Love told the magazine that both she and Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, are enthusiastic about the idea, if top-level Broadway talent became involved.
“After being swarmed by tons of Nirvana fan mail and social media posts pushing for a musical to become a reality, both Frances and I have thought long and hard and agreed that if we can reach up to the highest shelf and select a team of the greatest and most respected writers, producers and directors, then a Broadway musical is very likely to happen,” said Love.
She said that the musical version of the Kurt Cobain story would not simply tell the same story that fans already know.
“There would have to be a story, and a great story, one that hasn’t been told before. I would devote countless hours with an A-team to create a project that reflects Kurt in the most respectful but honest way possible, so that his story, his music, and his legacy can be resurrected on stage for not only the world to see, but more importantly for our daughter to see,” she said. “I know her father’s spirit will be on that stage, and sitting in that theater with her will be the most emotional experience of our lives.”
Juts two years ago, however, Love declared, “There will be no musical. Sometimes it’s best just to leave things alone.”
A Kurt Cobain musical — assuming this is not one big April Fools’ prank — would not be the first time Broadway has attempted to bring punk rock to the stage. Between 2010 and 2011 a musical based on the Green Day album American Idiot ran for 422 Broadway performances.