Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Three Other Rock Stars Co-Opting Serious Forms of Musical Theater

Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong
Mary Bell/OC Weekly

Rancid's Tim Armstrong is launching a new musical theater series for the web, Tim Timebomb's RockNRoll Theater, Rolling Stone says. The preview for the premiere episode, "Dante," star AFI's Davey Havok and Rancid memeber Lars Frederiksen. It will premiere Oct. 21 on VEVO and will be the first scripted show on the channel. Apparently, it's "a cross between Rocky Horror Picture Show and anthology TV series like Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Armstrong says he's written 50 new songs for the first 12 episodes, and that he  wrote and recorded the music for "Dante" in five days. (Watch out for a Jack Grisham (TSOL) short!)

This news got us thinking: there seems to be a slate of rock stars pursuing other forms of musical theater lately. After the jump...you know the drill.

Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Three Other Rock Stars Co-Opting Serious Forms of Musical Theater
Beth Stirnaman/OC Weekly

Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Karen O's mini-opera, "Stop the Virgens," debuts next month at a cultural and arts festival put on by Vice and Intel's The Creators Project. Described as a "psycho-opera" and an "assault on the tragic joys of youth," the project features nine songs.

Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Three Other Rock Stars Co-Opting Serious Forms of Musical Theater
Storm Thorgerson

Pink Floyd
In 1979, Roger Waters helmed Pink Floyd's rock opera The Wall. It's been staged as an elaborate theater performance by the band in the early 1980s, and by Waters solo in 1990, 2010 and 2011. Waters is currently adapting the story for a Broadway production.

R Kelly

OK, so maybe saying "Trapped in the Closet" is considered a serious form of musical theater is overreaching, but the 22-chapter song set, released from 2005 to 2007, is so epic and so different from the typical hip-hop narrative that it deserves a mention here. The series, about a one-night stand that leads to a long winded series of events, is one of the most ambitious forms of storytelling ever done via music video.


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