The American Psycho musical is now a perfect meld of cult fandom. It was announced today that Matt Smith—best known for playing the Eleventh Doctor on the long-running British series Doctor Who—will star in the show with music from Duncan Sheik, who composed the score for Spring Awakening, the musical that garnered a fervent fan base of angsty teens in 2006. This show is becoming a veritable melting pot of nerd.
The musical is based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel about banker/murderer Patrick Bateman living in 1980s "greed is good" era New York. While not an obvious choice for a musical adaptation, Sheik knows how to handle material that seemingly doesn't lend itself to the format. His Spring Awakening was based on a nineteenth century German play by Franz Wedekind, and yet ended up being a popular Tony-winner that had a fervent following amongst theater kids. (This writer? Guilty.)
Sheik played a song from American Psycho during a concert last month in New York. The New York Times's Stephen Holden described the song, "This is Not an Exit," as "a grim, metaphysical reflection on the annihilation of self, voiced by the novel’s murderous protagonist, Patrick Bateman. The character claims not to exist, so consumed is he is by the trappings of what the song calls 'late capitalism.'" Playing Bateman, famously inhabited by Christian Bale in the 2000 film, will definitely mark a turn for Smith, whose Doctor was known for his childlike trappings. Still, Smith has likely learned from his time as the Doctor how to take an iconic character and make it his own.
The BBC reported that the show, which will run at London's Almeida Theatre, was sold out nearly instantaneously after it was announced Smith had been cast. The frenzy resembles the run for tickets to see the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, play Hamlet in 2008. Luckily there will likely be more chances to see this show. Plays often transfer from the Almeida Theatre to the West End, and we can only imagine that after Sheik's success with Spring Awakening a move to Broadway is in the show's future.