The actors in Sting's musical "The Last Ship" have plenty of pressure these days. The show is making its Broadway debut. There are last-minute changes. And Sting is pacing in the darkness.
"I'm at the back there every night, mouthing every syllable, which is an extra burden the poor things have," says the Grammy Award-winner at the Neil Simon Theatre. "They know I'm listening."
Hearing this, one of the stars, Rachel Tucker, nods and laughs. "It's true," she says. "He'll be, 'Where was the 't' in 'light?'"
Sting's tremendous skills as a songwriter — not to mention his perfectionist streak — are both being tested with "The Last Ship," which opens Sunday.
The show marks his maiden voyage into composing musical theater and Sting seems tired, but game. Sitting beside Tucker in the theater's empty seats before a recent preview, he could see the finish line.
"It began as my dream and then became everybody's," he says. His lovely, powerfully voiced co-star mouths a "thank you" and bows in his direction.