There’s a silver lining to the pox of jukebox musicals.
Growing up a contrarian asshole, I got off on unleashing hot takes like: all music is overrated.
Well, not all. Only one musical genre was underrated: musicals!
Yeah, I was that kid.
As I aged, a foolproof way to indoctrinate me to tunes beyond the confines of a stage was by giving those tunes the jukebox treatment. There’s a reason jukebox musicals tend to dominate the Tony Award for Orchestrations: voters can easily hear the changes between the famous originals and the compositional, orchestral rearrangements required to merge that original sound with the sound of musical theater (unless you’re deep baseball, it’s hard to separate an original score from its orchestrations; what’s the line between the two? Where does one end and the other begin, aurally?).
Basically, show-tunes were my gateway drug into the wider world of music. Jukebox musicals usually boast Broadwayified versions of legendary song catalogues, splitting the difference between the musical vernaculars of each. Show-tunes were my bread-and-butter, and my comfortable familiarity with the form was the perfect introductory bridge to access other types of tunes. Simply put, a jukebox’s stylistic mash-ups were my way in, and thus, my way out.
Despite my rampant problems with the surrounding “artistry” of jukebox musicals, I must credit them with broadening my artistic horizons.
Did I just talk myself into back-in-the-news Glee?
First Funny Girl, now Write All Nite? What a renaissance week for that turpitude!