London's West End to Get Lightning Rod

updated 06/10/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/10/2003 3:35PM

"Mama Mia!" and "Movin' Out," move over.

Now that ABBA and Billy Joel have their songbooks on Broadway, it's time for Rod Stewart's warblings to take to the stage.

As Reuters reports from London, the gravelly voiced British singer, 58, has high hopes for the upcoming musical "Tonight's The Night," which is due to hit the West End in October and will be based on 22 of his songs.

With a book by comedian and dramatist Ben Elton (who wrote the show "We Will Rock You" which has a score by Queen), "Tonight's The Night " will feature a cast of 36 actors -- extremely large by Broadway standards.

The story will focus on a shy young man who attempts to win over a young woman by emulating Stewart.

"It's going to run for 100 years -- it will still be running when I'm the wrong side of the grass," an optimistic Stewart, who will not appear in the show, tells Reuters.

"It's a great body of songs. I didn't realize till I heard all these songs back, how long and how many songs I've had," added Stewart, as modest as he is optimistic.

Among the songs: Stewart's anthem, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," and "Sailing."

The rocker's manager, Arnold Stiefel, who is also co-producing the musical, said, "It's a boy-girl love story and ... the feeling of Rod purveys the whole thing."

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