David Bryan calls his wife a "theater widow" for good reason. For the past decade much of his attention has been focused on "Memphis," the Tony Award-winning musical that begins a two-week engagement at the Pantages Theatre on Tuesday. He spoke to Pop & Hiss about how he balances Broadway with his day job as keyboardist for Bon Jovi.
What sparked "Memphis"?
[Playwright Joe DiPietro] was looking for a composer and he wanted a real rock 'n' roll guy, and not a theater composer that was going to write a rock score. I got a script in 2001 from an agent and I was immediately drawn to it.
Musicals take years to get to the stage. Was that frustrating, especially for someone coming from the rock world?
It took us eight years to get to Broadway, and [that span of time is] two rock 'n' roll careers (laughs). It's such a long, painful road. Every time you put up the production you learn from it. You make it better.
You're currently working on another musical?
Our next one, about the '60s and the Brill Building songwriters, is called "Chasing the Sun." We've started that process which is, once again, a long one. Hopefully, it's a little shorter because I have three Tonys on my mantelpiece.