Yep, Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho is heading to Broadway. Although left-field adaptations are hardly new, a musical based on the most celebrated (and insistently deranged) novel by the consummate brat-pack writer seems an especially unhinged prospect, if also kind of a brilliant one. The idea of Patrick Bateman, the novel’s face of overextended privilege, breaking into song as he indulges both his daytime and nighttime activities seems somehow fitting in the story’s mad universe.
There’s also a dark contemporary inspiration for the idea given the dour climate on Wall Street. The vicious, gaudy novel, which opens in the late Reagan years, is steeped in the excesses and indifference of the financial elite, a subject that will no doubt invade many mediums over the next several years. The new sting of the novel’s satire is not lost on the fledgling show’s producers, who have said there is now increased pressure for swift development of the production.
The famously reviled (and widely censored) novel was published in 1991 and faced the full length of reactionary backlash, which the cleaned-up 2000 film adaptation (pictured above) largely avoided. Still, though the story’s boundary-shattering backbone may have dulled over the years, the new adaptation certainly won’t attract the stage’s more polite patrons—even if they are the ones who could most benefit from it.
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