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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Musicals of the 2013 - 2014 Season By Type

As the season heats up, I thought I'd take a look a where all the new musicals come from.  What are their sources?  Will this season be different than others, or will it just be more of the same?  Previously, I looked at the Tony nominees for Best Musical over the past decade (HERE). So I thought I'd look at the whole season of announced new shows and their sources, and then, later in the season, dissect them as I did in the other blog.

Here are the "types" and the shows from this season that fit them:



Completely Original: A new idea, not based directly on anyone or anything.

  • First Date
  • If/Then
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch




Based on the Book: A  musical based on a novel or other literary source.

  • Big Fish
  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • The Bridges of Madison County
  • Les Miserables
  • Cabaret




Based on the Film: A "new" musical based on a movie.

  • Big Fish
  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • The Bridges of Madison County
  • Aladdin
  • Rocky: The Musical
  • Bullets Over Broadway





It's My Life: A musical based on the life of someone famous.

  • Soul Doctor
  • A Night with Janis Joplin
  • Beautiful




The Jukebox: A musical that uses the canon of songs of an artist or artists, not written for the stage specifically.

  • Let It Be
  • Forever Tango
  • A Night with Janis Joplin
  • After Midnight
  • Beautiful
  • Bullets Over Broadway


As you can see, there are several shows that fit more than one category.  As has been the trend for the last several years, the majority of "new" shows are based on films or are jukebox musicals.  But within those categories, there is something interesting to note.  Three of the six "Based on the Film" shows are based on movies that are based on books.  And two of the six "Jukebox" shows - After Midnight, and Bullets Over Broadway - use those canons of songs completely out of their original contexts.  Is this an improvement in the sub-genre?  So far, given the raves for After Midnight, it looks like a definite possibility. I mean, look at Mamma Mia!

Jeff
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