Is an Avett Brothers Musical in Broadway’s Future?

"Swept Away" is currently on stage in Washington, DC

Avett Brothers on stage
Scott Avett and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers perform during MerleFest at Wilkes Community College on April 28, 2023.
Jeff Hahne/Getty Images

We live in a world where Broadway musicals have featured the music of artists as wide-ranging as Fela Kuti, Green Day and Carole King. Could the Avett Brothers be next? It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. It’s worth hearkening back to Mike Powell’s review at Pitchfork of the band’s 2007 album Emotionalism, which describes their sound as “messy in sentiment, swooning, impulsive” — all qualities that sound tailor-made for a Broadway stage.

There’s also the matter of the fact that there is, in fact, a musical out there that features the music of the Avett Brothers: Swept Away, which is set to run at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage through the end of 2023. Writing at The Washington Post, Peter Marks explored the musical’s genesis — and pondered its future.

It’s worth mentioning that the Avett Brothers aren’t the only big names involved with the project; the book for Swept Away is by John Logan, whose work for the stage includes the Tony Award winner Red and whose screenplays include Gladiator, The Aviator and Skyfall. Logan drew inspiration from the band’s 2004 album Mignonette, which took its name from the vessel where an unsettling crime took place at sea.

“[I]t had already put in our minds the legend and the great drama of that story,” Scott Avett told the Post. “So to imagine it being retold in this dramatic way does line up pretty well.”

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There’s no word yet on whether the play could eventually move to New York — though Marks does note that some Arena Stages productions have made that move in the last decade, including Dear Evan Hansen. And if you are seeking a rock-inspired theater production in New York City 2004, there is the matter of a Sufjan Stevens adaptation opening at the Park Avenue Armory next spring.

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