Sting to join cast of his troubled Broadway musical 'The Last Ship'

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[November 24, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sting will join the cast of his Broadway musical "The Last Ship" next month in a bid to push up flagging ticket sales for the $15 million show, the New York Times reported on its website on Sunday.

The rock star will appear in the show, the first Broadway musical he has written, based on his ship-building childhood hometown in northeast England, from Dec. 9 and will do eight shows a week through Jan. 10, the Times said.

The show opened on Oct. 26 to mixed reviews, with Sting's songs winning most of the praise, and it has lost $75,000 a week since preview performances began on Sept. 29, the Times said.

Sting will fill the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White, played by British actor and singer Jimmy Nail, a friend of the rock star's who, according to the Times, said he was making way for Sting "happily" for the good of the show.

"I've been working on this show for five years and been at every rehearsal, every performance, so it’s not like I’ve flown in from Planet Rock Star to save the day,” Sting told the Times on Sunday before informing the cast he would be joining them.

Jeffrey Seller, the show's lead producer, said he had asked Sting to come aboard in part to help give the show a shot at running until June's Tony awards, Broadway's top honors.

“Our goal is to win the Tony” for best musical, the Times quoted Seller as saying. "We need a boost, we need to break through, we need some ammo,” Seller added, referring to the show's superstar songwriter.

Sting previously appeared on Broadway in a production of Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" which was titled "3 Penny Opera" for its brief run.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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