Stephen Merritt Turns His Talents To “Coraline” Play

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt can probably write anything you ask him to.

He’s the one who penned 69 love songs for the Fields’ 1999 triple album, 69 Love Songs, all of which were hailed as modern classics. He also wrote the soundtrack to the Lemony Snicket audio book, Tragic Treasury.

So it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that Merritt has written the music and lyrics for Coraline, based on Neil Gaiman’s spooky children’s novella, the movie version of which is currently in theaters. The 130 minute play will open off Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City on May 7.

The show’s website is streaming three samples from Merritt’s original demo CD, which you can hear here.

Merritt won’t be on hand to perform in the stage version; instead, the music will be performed by a “piano orchestra,” which includes a toy piano, an regular piano, and a piano with tinfoil, rubber bands, and playing cards attached to its strings.


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  1. Is that picture really Stephin Merritt? It’s hard to believe he’d pose for a picture in other than his normal clothes. Does it even look like him?

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