SOURCE: Air Supply's Graham Russell

March 31, 2015 12:09 ET

Air Supply's Graham Russell's World Premiere Stage Musical 'Devil and The Deep,' a Re-Imagining of 'Treasure Island' Featuring a Musical Score Co-Composed by the Iconic Pop Star Debuts June 11 in NYC

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 31, 2015) - Currently celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Air Supply (www.airsupplymusic.com), his multi-decade hit making duo with Russell Hitchcock, Graham Russell now ventures into exciting new creative waters, writing or co-writing a musical score for "Devil and The Deep," a fresh, bold musical reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island."

Russell, a recent inductee into the Australian Music (ARIA) Hall of Fame, wrote the first song for the musical, the sweeping "Sail Away," himself and the other pieces with Katie McGhie, his partner in the popular acoustic duo Of Eden. The book for "Devil and The Deep" was written by Melissa Bell, whose plays and librettos have been presented at Theatre East, the Triad Theatre, The Snapple Theatre, Abingdon Theatre and TheatreLab in New York City.

Theatre East will produce the musical adaptation, scheduled for its world premiere on June 11 (Russell's birthday) at Theater 3 on 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in NYC. Lisa Devine will direct. After its initial run, the producers will seek a larger venue for a longer run.

Set in the mid-18th century, the musical follows Jim Hawkins from poverty-stricken Bristol, England, all the way to Caribbean Islands as he embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. A boy who dreamed of adventure will be faced with lurking danger, betrayal, and grave choices. The show examines the parallel desires of Jim and the infamous Long John Silver and the paths they choose to take.

Theatre East began talks with Bell about this ambitious project in early 2013. Bell asked Russell to contribute a few songs and, as Russell says, "it started to open up into something much larger."

"The challenge," he adds, "was to write not just great songs but ones that people will be singing years from now. I'm really proud of the work we did and believe that these tunes would stand on their own merit even if they were not an integral part of telling this great story."

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