Sting is going on tour next year -- but not to perform concerts.
Instead the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Police alumnus is hitting the road in a production of "The Last Ship," his musical about the shipbuilding yards in his native Newcastle, England.
The run begins Jan. 14 in Los Angeles and hits four more cities -- San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and St. Paul, Minn. -- before five-day run April 22-26 at the Detroit Opera House. Tickets will go on sale Nov. 29.
Sting will reprise his role as shipyard foreman and elder statesman Jackie White, who he portrayed on Broadway and in Newcastle and earlier this year in Toronto.
"I'd like to think this play could live without me," Sting -- who released a new album, "My Songs," during May -- said during an interview in Toronto. "I don't want to be tied to the mast for the rest of my life, but I will take it to the next stage to see what happens. I'm more than happy to take it to (these cities) and then see where it goes.
"I agreed to do it because I realized the real politics of being a name and how effective that is. But I do think it could survive without me -- you know, with good actors."
"The Last Ship" premiered in Chicago during the summer of 2014 before moving to Broadway that September, closing after a little more than four months. It was subsequently staged in Salt Lake City during the fall of 2016, in Finland during the fall of 2017 and in the U.K. and Ireland during 2018. "The Last Ship's" U.K. tour and the Toronto production also unveiled a new book by current director Lorne Campbell, which has streamlined the narrative and removed some characters that some felt took attention away from the socio-political crux of the story.
"I think it was maybe too ambitious at first," acknowledges Sting, "but we learned our mistakes in the full glare of publicity, and I don't regret that. For me it's never finished. I'm constantly tinkering with it and looking at ways it can be modified."
Updates about "The Last Ship" will be posted via thelastship.co.uk and at broadwayindetroit.com.
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