- Title: USA-BROADWAY-THE LAST SHIP Sting sails on to Broadway with The Last Ship
- Date: 27th October 2014
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 26, 2014) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF THEATER
- Embargoed: 11th November 2014 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA9Z2G8XWHNM6PWCUT5VUPJHOP6
- Story Text: Pop star Sting has added Broadway composer to his resume with the official opening of his new musical "The Last Ship" on Sunday (October 26).
The veteran said he was going through a series of emotions 30 minutes before the curtain was set to rise: "Exciting, terrified, overjoyed, all of those fantastic things. But I'm smiling, I'm smiling."
The English native has brought his childhood upbringing to the stage with a story about a ship yard, its workers and the residents who make up the town of Wallsend.
"I was brought up in a pretty extraordinary place in the shadow of a shipyard and it always had a kind of theatrical feel to it. And I thought - I wanted to honor the community I came from. It was about time," Sting explained.
The production is centered around a sailor who returns home after 15 years.
Sting's wife Trudie Styler was beaming with excitement for her rock star husband.
"Off the charts proud, so excited. This has been five year journey and I've been on the voyage with him and tonight we launch, so it couldn't be better," said Styler.
Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming said he admires Sting for stepping out of his box.
"I'm merely here because I like Sting, I of course love his music. But l love when people do something like change the genre that they work in and, you know, he doesn't need to do this. He could just rest on his laurels for the rest of his life. But I really love an artist that just goes into another field. And so I think you should support that," Cumming explained.
Longtime friend and singer Billy Joel didn't know what to expect, but was happy to be supporting his fellow musician.
"I just know he's got a show and it's called 'The Last Ship' and I like stuff about ships and we're friends and we thought we'd come," said Joel.
At the end of the show Sting climbed on stage and thanked everyone from the cast to the theater ushers and even Queen Elizabeth.
"I want to thank her because without her I don't think I'd be here," he said as the audience laughed.
He added that when he was growing up members of the royal family were seen as healers and spoke of an encounter he had with the matriarch as a ten-year-old boy as he watched her ride past his home in a black Rolls Royce.
The Queen had come to his town to christen a new vessel built in the ship yard.
"I'm waiting and she's moving down the hill at a very stately pace. And when she gets near my house I started to wave my flag and she seems to see me. She smiles at me and waves and so I waved my flag a little more vigorously and she waves back and she holds my gaze as she is going by. She is really making contact with me. And I wasn't cured of anything, no it was the opposite, I was actually infected. I was infected with an idea, I was infected with the idea that I didn't want to be in the street, I didn't want to live in this house. I didn't want to end up on the shipyard. I wanted to be in that fucking car," he joked.
Theater goers were treated to one song by Sting before joined the cast on stage for a final bow.
Actor Jimmy Nail plays a ship foreman in the musical and has been working with Sting for the past five years.
"We took a moment in the hallway in the theater to give each other a hug and just think about the journey we've taken. And think about the people we're trying to represent," said Nail.
Actor Michael Esper performs one of Sting's classic songs, 'When We Dance' during the first act and said learning the piece was tricky.
"You have his voice in your head so much. It's such an incredible and iconic voice that just never leaves you. But working on it and attacking it from an acting standpoint really helps," he explained.
Rachel Tucker is making her Broadway debut as the female lead and still can't believe Sting is more than someone she used to idolize.
"I can't just be a fan anymore. So that took quite of a lot of adjusting. I even find it very hard to call him Sting. To begin with I was like 'do I call him Sting?' I was like, Sting," Tucker joked.
Stars from both the world of music, and screen came out for opening night including Debbie Harry, Robert De Niro and Joely Richardson.
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