The Appeal Of Musicals Based On Pop Music

  • 1 year ago
  • 2025

When many people think of musicals, they think of many of the classics with large ensembles popular from the 1940's through the 1960's. However, musicals like Son of a Preacher Man the Musical featuring the music of Dusty Springfield have helped create new musical fans. Theater genres that feature pop music, known as jukebox musicals or rock musicals, have a broad following even among those who are not typical theater lovers.


Music researcher Timothy Warner said it normally has an accentuation on recording, creation, and innovation, as opposed to live execution; an inclination to reflect existing patterns instead of dynamic advancements; and intends to energize moving or utilizes move situated rhythms. The fundamental medium of popular music is the melody, regularly in the vicinity of over two and three and a half minutes long, for the most part set apart by a reliable and discernible cadenced component, a standard style and a basic customary structure. Basic variations incorporate the verse-tune shape and the thirty-two-bar frame, with an attention on tunes and infectious snares, and a chorale that differentiations melodically, 

Jukebox Musicals: This term first became used in 1962, following the release of movies that used a musical score from a single artist or group. These musicalscould follow a story arc using songs from a single album, feature a fictionalize version of the artist and feature all or mostly new songs, or follow a biographical storyline. Several jukebox musicals have become popular, long-running plays, while others have become films, and some have featured both stage and movie versions.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story had a long run of 13 years in London's West End. One of the most recent examples of a popular jukebox musical was Mamma Mia!, which featured ABBA's music and enjoyed both a popular Broadway run and a movie adaptation. Other examples of this genre include Moulin Rouge!, We Will Rock You, Motown: The Musical and Walk the Line.

Rock Musicals: Many productions of this genre are known as rock musicals. The biggest difference is that a rock musical has more of an emphasis on the music than the acting, making these musicals very similar to operas. Some examples of rock musicals include Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, The Wiz, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. 

A similar production that also featured elements common to jukebox and rock musicals was The Passion: New Orleans. This music TV special featured performances by Trisha Yearwood, Seal, and Yolanda Adams. Many viewers became interested in musicals featuring popmusic after this program.

Musicals that use pop music are now a popular part of the theatrical landscape. The success of such musicals both on the stage and on the screen will likely pave the way for more productions of this type. Musicals that use pop favorites are likely to gain new audiences.



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