“Red Roses, Green Gold,” a new musical featuring the music and lyrics of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, has set the dates for a fall opening Off Broadway. MWM Live, the company (formerly Relevant Theatricals) behind Broadway’s “Million Dollar Quartet,” produces.
Garcia, who died of a heart attack at the age of 53 in 1995, was the iconic frontman of the Grateful Dead, and Hunter served as the band’s longtime lyricist. The exact songs to be featured in “Red Roses, Green Gold” haven’t yet been announced.
Michael Norman Mann pens the book for the 1920s-set show, which tells the story of Jackson Jones and his family of swindlers as they gamble their way to love and riches. Rachel Klein directs and choreographs, with additional music and lyrics written by Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir (all members of the Grateful Dead), and Greg Anton. Jeff Chimenti, the keyboardist who toured with the Grateful Dead, is the music arranger and supervisor.
Commercial Off Broadway is a tough market, but “Red Roses, Green Gold” can capitalize on Garcia’s high profile and the Dead’s enduring fanbase in the hopes of turning theatergoers’ heads.
Previews kick off at the Minetta Lane Theatre on Oct. 11 with an opening night set for Oct. 29.