Radiohead front man Thom Yorke will make his Broadway debut next month as composer for Harold Pinter’s play “Old Times,” but he’s certainly not the first rock and roller to bring his talents to the Great White Way:
Sting, “The Last Ship”
The Police front man wrote the music and lyrics to this 2014 flop, loosely based on his childhood growing up in a shipyard town in England. It ran on Broadway for just three months, with Sting taking the stage before it bowed in an attempt to drum up some sales.
Cyndi Lauper, “Kinky Boots”
The “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” songstress made her Broadway debut writing the music and lyrics for “Kinky Boots,” based off the film of the same name. The show has been on Broadway since April 2013 and won six Tonys, including Best Original Score for Lauper.
Trey Anastasio, “Hands on a Hardbody”
The Phish front man wrote the music to “Hands on a Hardbody,” which debuted on Broadway in 2013 and focused on 10 Texans trying to win a Nissan “hardbody” pickup truck. It closed a month after opening, but picked up three Tony Awards.
Billie Joe Armstrong, “American Idiot”
Armstrong co-wrote this loose adaptation of Green Day’s 2004 album of the same name, and the band composed the music. The musical ran for a year on Broadway, from 2010-2011, and featured Armstrong filling in for the lead role for eight shows.
Bono and The Edge, “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark”
The U2 members composed the music for the controversial 2011 musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” which was met with mixed reviews and plagued by technical difficulties before closing in January 2014.
Duncan Sheik, “Spring Awakening”
The ’90s alt-rock musician made a mid-aughts comeback as a Broadway composer, penning the score for the 2006 rock musical “Spring Awakening,” which won eight Tonys (including Best Original Score) and ran for three years. The musical, about a dozen young adults coming of age in late-19th-century Germany, makes its way back to Broadway this fall for a revival.
Phil Collins, “Tarzan”
Collins wrote the songs for both the film and Broadway adaptation of Disney’s “Tarzan,” which ran from 2006-2007 and garnered mixed reviews.
Elton John, “The Lion King”
The Rocket Man is behind one of Broadway’s biggest successes. “The Lion King,” which features music written by John, opened in 1997 and is currently the fourth longest-running musical in Broadway history, still playing eight times a week. John also lent his talents to the Broadway musicals “Aida,” “Billy Elliot” and “Lestat.”
Pete Townshend, “The Who’s Tommy”
The Who guitarist wrote the music and lyrics to this musical, based on the band’s 1969 rock opera “Tommy.” It ran on Broadway from 1993-1995.