Python star Jones ties up with Steinman
Nutcracked: Monty Python icon Terry Jones
Words: Rob Hughes
Monty Python legend Terry Jones has been talking up his latest project to Classic Rock – a somewhat unlikely pairing with songwriter Jim Steinman, based on the music of Tchaikovsky.
“I’ve got a few things going on at the moment,” Jones says. “We’re setting up a movie called Absolutely Anything, which we’re planning to do early next year. And then I’m directing a show that I’ve written with Jim Steinman, of Meat Loaf fame, which is a new version of The Nutcracker Suite. It’s a musical version and I think we’re going to put that on at a New York theatre at Christmas 2013.”
Retitled Nutcracked, Steinman has written for songs that range from ultra-dramatic love duets to raging metal to hip-hop. The fresh arrangements come courtesy of Steinman’s friend and longtime collaborator, Steve Margoshes. Co-producer is Elva Corrie, who previously helmed the musical version of Bat Out Of Hell.
“It’ll be a mix of rock and classical,” adds Jones, who also penned a book for the show. “The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, for instance, goes ‘Der-Der-DERR!!’ and is very metal. But it’s all based on Tchaikovsky’s tunes, which Jim’s written lyrics to. I directed a reading of it in New York recently and it went really well.”
Steinman began in theatre in New York in 1969, having written rock opera Dream Engine while still at college. His first venture into the recorded field was Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell eight years later, which has sold some 44 million copies. He calls Nutcracked “a source of love and joy and massive creativity for me from the start. I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve ever done. It will have about 15 new songs. I swear at least three are potential number ones.”