Will Eisner Graphic Novel ‘A Contract With God’ Set For Stage Musical Adaptation

Will Eisner’s groundbreaking 1978 graphic novel A Contract With God is being developed into a stage musical featuring music by Sam Hollander, Lisa Loeb, Matisyahu, Ryan Miller and Jill Sobule.

TEG+, the recently launched venture of Broadway producer Vivek J. Tiwary, has acquired the stage rights, and Hollander, who has composed songs for Panic! At The Disco, One Direction and Katy Perry, will serve as music producer.

TEG+ is currently in the process of securing a book writer for the musical adaptation.

First published in 1978, A Contract With God is considered a pioneering effort in the history of graphic novels, and consists of four interweaving stories revolving chronicling the lives of various New Yorkers — many Jewish and many immigrants — living in a fictional tenement house.

In announcing the project today, TEG+ said “All of the members of the songwriting team are Jewish musicians and composers wishing to honor their Jewish heritage and the Jewish legacy of this masterwork. The team is about to enter writing and recording sessions, produced by Hollander.”

“When Vivek sent me Will Eisner’s A Contract With God, I was instantly floored,” said Hollander in a statement. “Getting the chance to bring this seminal graphic novel to the stage in collaboration with an iconic crew of my talented Jewish pals is just the greatest thrill ever. It’s an amazing way for us all to honor our heritage while bringing this story of the 1930s New York immigrant struggle to a new audience.”

Added Tiwary, “For me, A Contract With God was a formative ground zero for all my creative work. I never met Will Eisner, and still he is one of the great mentors of my life. Like Will, I was born in New York City, a child of immigrants who grew up surrounded by immigrant dreams, both beautiful and frustrating. A Contract with God helped me understand both New York City and myself. I’m thrilled to now work alongside this group of top-notch inspiring Jewish musicians to bring a stage production of A Contract with God to both fans of the graphic novel and to inspire new audiences.”

The new project is the latest Broadway venture from TEG+, joining the recently announced adaptation of classic children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon with original songs by the band AJR. In addition to upcoming Broadway projects, TEG+ previously announced the acquisition of film and TV rights to adapt the story of The Lazy Susans, an unlikely rock band of suburban moms.

TEG+ is also in development for a limited TV series The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story. The Fifth Beatle is the only project about Brian Epstein, and the only non-documentary Beatles bio project, to have secured their music/songs.

A Contract With God, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Lazy Susans adaptation and The Fifth Beatle are part of a TEG+ slate of 10 new projects revolving around high profile music, the rest of which will be announced in the coming months.

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