the band singing in the booth in stereophonic
(Julieta Cervantes)

The Most Tony-Nominated Play in History Is Every Fleetwood Mac Fan’s Dream

Stereophonic, a new play on Broadway, is now the most Tony-nominated play of all time, bringing in 13 nominations. But what makes this show special isn’t the praise it is getting. Rather, it is the show’s brilliant way of bringing a specific history to life on stage.

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The show is about a band creating their album, very obviously a play on Fleetwood Mac, with Simon, (Chris Stack) serving as the band’s drummer as well as its manager, taking on the Mick Fleetwood position in the band. It goes even further by making the bassist and the piano player a married couple (like John and Christine McVie) with the lead guitarist and lead singer being an American couple who are in the midst of a breakup (your Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, if you will).

As someone who loves Fleetwood Mac very dearly, I take stories inspired by the band very seriously. Books and shows like Daisy Jones and the Six took liberties and are more loosely inspired by the band, while Stereophonic feels like a love letter to both that era of rock music and Fleetwood Mac specifically. The show is giving Fleetwood Mac the flowers they so rightfully deserve.

Stereophonic is split between the band hanging out and talking with each other and recording songs for their next album, but where Stereophonic really shines is in its ability to share the brilliance that bands like Fleetwood Mac had while still honoring the characters we’re on this journey with. It’d be so easy to make Diana (Sarah Pidgeon) a caricature of who Stevie Nicks is, but she’s her own character, just as Peter (Tom Pecinka) isn’t exactly Buckingham.

The nuance makes Stereophonic its own thing but still honors the music.

A show for every Fleetwood Mac fan

diana smoking a cigarette and relaxing in stereophonic
(Julieta Cervantes)

I went into this show knowing only that the band was like Fleetwood Mac. I didn’t know the full extent of what the show was doing and was floored by how the music felt entirely unique to this fictional band, but also still reminiscent enough for me to connect certain songs with others off of the album Rumours. It is a brilliant composition by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler.

Diana writes the song “Bright,” and it is beautiful and heartbreaking and oh so “Silver Springs” that I found myself gripping the arm rest, angry once again that a song I love so completely is being shut down by the men in the band. Peter very confidently tells her time and time again that it is too long, and she stands her ground on not cutting anything from it. Diana is right in this situation, but it results in the song maybe being left off the album, much like how “Silver Springs” was left off of Rumours.

Outside of the music, we are watching the destruction of Diana and Peter’s relationship just as Holly (Juliana Canfield) and Reg (Will Brill) are watching their marriage fall apart. It’s so connected to what was happening in Fleetwood Mac that I couldn’t help but think back to the band.

But even if I didn’t have a deep love of Rumours and what happened during its creation, I still think I’d love what Stereophonic is doing. It has managed to balance so many different elements and just works to show why there is a love for bands like Fleetwood Mac to this day.

It is a play about needing each other

the cast of stereophonic all standing on stage looking mad
(Julieta Cervantes)

Holly and Diana rely on each other a lot. They are the only two women in a room full of men, and it’s beautiful to see these two try to navigate everything they need to do while still dealing with their own romantic relationships. Diana is often aloof but is acting naive to hide her own insecurities. Holly is struggling to remain strong as the man she loves continues to push her away.

The two are just as talented as the men in the band but they’ve let themselves be, at times, bullied by Peter and his “genius.” Still, they come to each other and rely on one another, and it makes the show so much stronger, much like Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks and how they made the band better.

This band is getting in its own way, putting songs that absolutely should be on the album on the cutting room floor, and it feels so destructive and yet exactly what we know about Fleetwood Mac. Stereophonic knows what to pull from Fleetwood Mac’s history and what to create for its characters, and I loved every second of it. If I could go back and relive the show, I would in a heartbreat.


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.