4:45 pm EST, July 16, 2014

‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’ receives a curtain call: David Levithan to publish spinoff

Hold onto your hats, Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans, Tiny Cooper is not finished with you just yet!

The popular character from the novel written by John Green and David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing, Everyday) in 2010 is set to tell his tale to the world come March 2015.

Announced today, David Levithan is set to unleash Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story starring the character described as “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay.” The musical, originally the backdrop to the novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, tells the life story of the fabulous Tiny Cooper and his search for love as an out and proud gay teen.

Dabbling in the musical and crafting some aspects along with Green, a fully contrived production was something that stuck with Levithan from the moment the novel was released.

But how does one go about writing a musical novel? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Levithan offers up how he transformed the musical that moved the story of the two Will Grayson’s along into a standalone piece. In terms of storytelling, stage directions are going to be a key piece to gaining background information on Tiny’s life.

Levithan explains,

[The musical] is as it would be produced, but obviously, Tiny being who he is, is a little more long-winded with the stage directions and the background material than perhaps Tony Kushner is. So you get some of the story from the directions Tiny is giving about how to portray his own childhood and adolescence.

In terms of getting the pacing and outline accurate, Levithan admits that he is not most knowledgeable in the field of script writing, but excuses any shortcomings by saying that he is writing this as a 16-year-old aspiring actor.

Perhaps the most interesting item of note is the idea of crowdsourcing the musical itself. While an official version with composers and trained artists remains an option, Levithan is open to hearing what readers come up with for the production.

I’m really interested in the idea of crowd-sourcing the musical once the book comes out and really letting the readers make their own versions of the songs and post them on YouTube or send them around, and soundtrack it their own way. I don’t want it to be entirely pre-prescribed. There could be an official version, but I expect that there will be plenty of unofficial versions. I know that some versions of the songs in Will Grayson, Will Grayson already exist out there, and so this is just encouraging readers, especially young readers, to play around with it if they want.

The musical-novel hybrid will contain lyrics from songs originally written in conjunction with John Green, as well as plenty of new material and an entirely original second act. Levithan further adds that although Tiny Cooper began as the best friend to John Green’s Will Grayson, Green has offered his blessing to Levithan to take the character where he needs to go.

An additional tidbit, for all you Tiny fans, is that the Act I finale number will feature Tiny, his lesbian babysitter, and Oscar Wilde. Imagine that?

Set your calendars for March 2015 when Tiny Cooper will live on to steal the spotlight he rightfully deserves. We appreciate you, Tiny Cooper!

Thanks, EW!

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