nine livesa book about nine characters in New Orleans spanning the years from Hurricane Betsy in 1965 to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that was later adapted into a musical, has been cast as a potential TV miniseries according to a post Facebook of Chris Joseph, director of Threadhead Recordings, which produced CDs of all 39 songs from the musical.
Nine Lives: A Musical History of New Orleans started as a book written in 2009 by New York Times best-selling author and former New Yorker writer Dan Baum. The nonfiction book follows a cross section of New Orleans between the 40 years of the two epic hurricanes. In 2011, Paul Sanchez and his writing partner Colman deKay turned the book into a musical, which has been staged in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, as well as several shows in New Orleans.
“I can finally announce the good news – Glad to be part of an effort that has been successful in securing the TV and film rights to develop the book nine lives in what is hoped to be a limited television mini-series,” posted Joseph on his Facebook account. “There’s still a lot of work to be done to develop that, and of course there’s no guarantee of success… the first step is to develop a pitch/treatment, and I’m working with Paul Sanchez and Johnny Sanchez on that. I can’t say much more about it at the moment, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas or thoughts.
Baum died on October 8, 2020, at his home in Boulder, Colorado from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. As a staff writer for the New Yorker, he was sent to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where he became fascinated by the people he met.
“He was so impressed with the triumphant spirit of the people of New Orleans in the face of tragedy that he needed it to be more” than a series of articles, Sanchez told the Timetable-Picayune. “He needed it to be a book.”
The nine characters included former New Orleans police officer Tim Bruneau; high school band principal Wilbert Rawlins Jr.; JoAnn Guidos, the trans owner of Kajun’s Pub; attorney Billy Grace, a former Rex; Trumpeter Coroner Frank Minyard; and Joyce Montana, the widow of Indian Mardi Gras Chief Tootie Montana.
In 2009, the non-profit Threadhead Cultural Foundation was launched to promote the cultural heritage of New Orleans through grants and assistance to musicians, artists, and others involved in music and entertainment-related endeavors. other artistic expressions whose work is in the tradition of preserving, promoting and disseminating the cultural heritage of New Orleans and surrounding Louisiana. To date, the Foundation has awarded grants to 163 artists through thirteen rounds of grants and was also the recipient of a grant to help produce the musical adaptation of nine lives.
Learn more about the production of nine lives at the Center d’art contemporain in 2012 in this article by OffBeat contributing writer John Swenson.