The Book Behind MANN… AND WIFE

by Feb 2, 2016

So should you read the book?

By now it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that MANN…AND WIFE is a musical adaptation of Dan Elish’s (Book and Lyrics) 2005 novel, Nine Wives. In my preparation for working on this production, I realized that it would be a “best practice” for me, as the Assistant Director helping in the development of this story, to read the book – so I did and it was a terrific read! Think Bridget Jones Diary meets “Master of None.” But what came as a shock was how different it was from the script/score. In some ways, it is almost as if they are two completely different stories.

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Bridget Jones Diary (2001) & Master of None (2015)

In producing the world premiere of this musical, it is important to understand that we are producing an ADAPTATION of the book. We aren’t putting the story of Nine Wives on stage (hence the reason for the name change); don’t think of this like the relationship between many movies and their preceding novels. Dramaturgically speaking, the book merely serves as “source material” for the musical you are going to see!

Let me explain:

William Shakespeare wrote many plays about the British monarchy –  but are his plays the textbook, literal history of the monarchy? Not at all! He used the real history as a starting point and then made the stories interesting and compelling by adapting them for the stage. Same thing here.

The musical you will see on stage has grown and shifted through the many iterations of this story.

Just as Dan Elish is a different person now than he was 11 years ago, so are the characters. MANN…AND WIFE takes place in the present – but this is it! Period. Done. The words you hear are the words that will be taken with this show through its entire life on stage…but if they decide to make a movie, it’ll be right back to the drawing board!

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Zachary Prince, Mateja Govich, and Liz Shivener. Photo by KO Rinearson.

So get your tickets today to see MANN… AND WIFE, a brand new musical comedy based on the foundation of Dan Elish’s 2005 novel, Nine Wives.

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