LOS ANGELES - Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go's has co-written a rock opera about the life of Linda Lovelace. The show opens Oct. 18 at The Hayworth in Los Angeles.
"Lovelace: A Rock Opera" was conceived by Los Angeles writer Jeffery Bowman, a former television publicist who became fascinated with Linda when he read her obituary in 2002.
"Each time that I envisioned writing a feature film about Linda Lovelace I came away with the feeling that it was all just too sad," Bowman said. "And then one morning I awoke to an idea. If I made it a musical I could inject some much needed humor by writing songs that dealt with the making of Deep Throat. I was cognizant of the fact that I did not want to minimize her journey or her pain, only to tell a well-rounded story that audiences could walk away from experiencing Linda's story without being knocked over the head with it."
Bowman originally planned to write the musical with another Go-Go, Jane Wieldin. When Weidlin announced she was moving to Costa Rica, she suggested that Bowman continue working on the project with Caffey.
"Jane had warned me that Charlotte was a bit of a prude, and this turned out to be true, but I discovered that she was a prude with a wicked sense of humor," Bowman said.
Caffey wrote the original music with her sister-in-law, musician Anna Waronker. Charlotte is married to Jeff MacDonald of the L.A. punk band Redd Kross, and Anna is married to Jeff's brother and Redd Kross bandmate, Steve MacDonald. Waronker is the daughter of record exec Lenny Waronker and played the role of Joan Jett in the Germs biopic What We Do Is Secret.
"I was first attracted to the human interest side of Linda's story and then fell in love with the idea of it being a musical," said Caffey. "Most people know Linda as just being 'the Deep Throat' girl, but through songs ranging from delicate ballads to big production numbers, we are telling a bigger story of this woman's life. I have been able to utilize all of my musical experience in writing 'Lovelace.' I loved the challenge of weaving the story through the songs and watching the songs come to life with the acting. This has been a highlight of my professional life, and I believe 'Lovelace' features my best songwriting to date!"
The first staging of "Lovelace" in 2004 starred "Family Ties" actress Tina Yothers in the title role. Newcomer Katrina Lenk plays Linda in the new cast. The songs in the show include "Hide My Soul," "Strange Life," and a number about Throat co-star Harry Reems called "My Cock."
Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, was skeptical about the show.
"Biographical musical theater is almost always laughable except to those who write it, and I bet this will be no exception," Danville told AVN. "Wiedlin, Caffey and Woronker are all wonderful songwriters, don’t get me wrong. But I’d bet just about anything that their interpretation of the Linda Lovelace story will end with her living in cheerful anonymity in Long Island, the doting mother of two wonderful, loving children and not...where it should. Which is somewhere a bit closer to reality."
This year has seen several artistic interpretations of the Deep Throat story. A New York stage play looked at the saga from the viewpoint of Reems. A July episode of the CBS prime-time drama "Swingtown" focused on characters' reactions to the movie and Reems' legal troubles.
Actress Anna Faris announced to the mainstream press she planned to play Lovelace in a Hollywood biopic, but she has since withdrawn from that project.
"The Faris project seemed like a pipe dream from the beginning, with all the usual rumor and speculation that comes with a production that has no script, director or studio but one actress who would be really awful in the part," said Danville. "Ultimately, I think the time to do the Linda Lovelace story is over because those willing to tell the story can’t do it right, and those able to tell the story don’t have the vehicle to do so. Hollywood can’t even get the Jenna Jameson movie done."
For more information and showtimes for "Lovelace: A Rock Opera," visit TheHayworth.com.