The Curtain Goes up, and the Lights Come Down when "Salvator Mundi" takes the Stage on Broadway...
The drama and mystery surrounding the world’s most expensive painting is set to take the stage in New York in 2022 as a major Broadway musical. “Salvator Mundi” will chronicle the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance-era portrait of Jesus, presumed lost for hundreds of years and only rediscovered this century, and sold for a record-shattering $450.3 million auction price in 2017.
Deborah Grace Winer, the screenwriter, believes da Vinci’s artwork has all the ingredients needed to make a compelling historical narrative for the stage. “There’s an epic quality about this story. It’s almost Shakespearean and operatic in the sweep of it’s history.” It is a story that poses the question: “What makes art, what gives anything value? It’s the idea of following one object through history. It’s about power and symbols.”
Yet art history is a rare subject for theater. The saga of “Salvator Mundi” may seem like a niche topic for a stage production, however, Winer believes some of the most popular musicals have succeeded because they are peculiar stories told in a compelling way, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda's rap musical "Hamilton." Winer adds, “The unlikeliest stories find incredible interest from audiences. The more specific it is, sometimes the more universal it becomes.”