Andrew Lloyd Webber Is Planning a ‘School of Rock’ Musical

The School of Rock, the Jack Black comedy directed by Richard Linklater and written by Enlightened creator Mike White, would probably make a terrific musical. I mean, it’s a comedy, it’s got precocious kids, and it’s prime for a pop-rock score. Of course, when you get Andrew Lloyd Webber in the mix, things get a little tricky. The British musical theater titan has acquired the rights to bring the movie to the stage, and while he’s no stranger to a good old rock opera (see: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita), he also has the tendency to write pretty crappy pop musicals. There is a reason, after all, that Love Never Dies, the sequel to his record-smashing Phantom of the Opera, never made it to Broadway. Of course, Lloyd Webber hasn’t determined if he’ll actually write any new songs; “There may be songs for me in it," he told CBC radio, "but it’s obviously got songs in it as it stands.” Ah yes, because Broadway needs another jukebox musical.

[via EW]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter

It’s My Fault ‘Enlightened’ Got Canceled

We’ve all heard the terrible news, I believe. HBO has pulled the plug on the whip-smart and arrestingly offbeat existential sitcom Enlightened after just eighteen episodes. And I just want to publicly say: my bad, y’all.

Sorry, everyone who started watching this great show early on and tried to convince me to give it a shot. I’m halfway through season one now, but I know that’s too little, too late. What’s more, I’m watching on HBO GO, which means I didn’t even register as a viewer. Shit! This is totally my fault.

Sorry, people who created, wrote and starred in this: I was afraid to try something different because it was advertised with Laura Dern’s crying face, which made really uncomfortable somehow. I’d blame David Lynch, but in fact this probably says something about how men don’t want to deal with emotion. What a callow fool I’ve been.

Can you ever forgive me, intelligent TV fans of the world? I honestly didn’t think this would happen purely out of my negligence. I feel so rotten about it. If only there were another half-hour HBO series that tackled the bracing realities of 21st-century identity, femininity and society. Oh well. 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Are You Watching ‘Enlightened’? Because You Should Be

Look, I know it’s bad form to compare two shows centered around female characters, but with every think-piece about how Girls is great or terrible or middling or tolerable, there’s one less think-piece about how Enlightened is excellent. I’m not saying that the two should be compared—although Laura Dern herself makes a great point when she said that the behavior on Girls is fun and relatable whereas the same scenarios on Enlightened cause one to say, "She’s so sad and scary and tragic. I hope I’m nothing like her" (which itself is enough for a very long essay). What I am saying, however, is that if you’re already watching Girls, take the time to sit put for the following half-hour and watch Enlightened. It is glorious. And if you don’t believe me, here are three smart women who you can trust who feel the same way.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Mike White Talks ‘Enlightened’ & His Hotel Fetish

Television hasn’t been kind to Mike White. His first writing and producing gig, on the seminal teen saga Dawson’s Creek, wasn’t exactly what he “wanted to be doing.” His next show, NBC’s critically-acclaimed Freaks and Geeks, was unceremoniously canceled. Even his stint as a reality TV star on the 14th season of The Amazing Race had him sleeping on train station floors next to his 71-year-old father, Mel, before getting eliminated early in the competition. But with his newest project, Enlightened, luck finally seems to be on his side.

“The more HBO sees it, the easier it is for them to get behind it,” he says of the series, which was delayed when the 41-year-old writer, producer, actor, and director repacked his knapsack for The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. “When we turned in the pilot, HBO was like, ‘We love it! It’s beautiful! It’s artistic! But it’s not very funny, is it?’”

Enlightened, which White writes and directs, follows Laura Dern’s Amy, a beauty executive who, in the aftermath of a very public nervous breakdown, goes to rehab and tries to piece together the shards of her broken life. As one might expect from White, the writer of deliciously twisted films like Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl, Amy’s every attempt at reconciliation is thwarted. “She reminds me of my friends who’ve gone to AA, and have since seen the light,” he says. “It’s like, Well, you still owe me money, and you crashed my car. Let’s hold off on the advice for another day or two.” Laughing, he adds, “Laura isn’t Amy, exactly, but she does share her indefatigable optimism. The sad-sack part of her character is me. A theme throughout my work deals with people trying to find meaning in their humdrum lives.”

An aversion to routine partly explains White’s decision to compete on The Amazing Race, as well as his hotel obsession. “When I was growing up, my mom would always say, ‘I just want to live in a hotel!’ I guess I got my hotel fetish from her. I was in Barcelona recently—I’d been spending some time in Spain, where my mom happened to visit me while I was deathly ill, so we just camped out at the Hotel Arts. For four days we literally didn’t leave the room, and I’ve never seen her happier,” says White, who’s been a vegan for the past six years. “One of my favorite places in London is the Charlotte Street Hotel . They have great vegan menu options, which is a unique thing—especially in Europe. It’s easy to find in Third World countries, but places like Spain have pigs hanging in the bars for atmosphere. They even put bacon on their salads.”