🎼10 Music Acts 🎤 That I Want A Broadway Musical From 🎭… Part 1

Some of the Jukebox Musicals from Broadway

Hello Gentle Reader!

I have been on the hunt for a survival job while we all wait for the COVID-19 effects to dissipate and my regular survival job to return. During this time, I have been listening to a lot of Spotify. I mean A LOT! I am certain that I have mentioned that I have an affinity for pop music even though so many of my friends think it is the worst music. 😂 This got me thinking about the subject at hand. Who should take a chance at writing a musical?

While I look forward to the jukebox musical “Oh L’Amour” based on the music of one of my favorites, Erasure, I want to specify that I honestly think the people in this list can create an amazing ORIGINAL musical for Broadway. Not that there is anything wrong with a jukebox musical I love shows like “Jagged Little Pill,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,” “American Idiot,” and “Jersey Boys,” but I like being surprised by the new creativity of the artists. For example, I was REALLY looking forward to the “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” since it was a project featuring music by Bono and Edge from U2.  Turns out the only thing I wanted to “turn off” was the music. 😳 On the flip side, “Waitress,” “Everyone’s Talking About Jamie,” “Memphis” and “Bright Star” are remarkable works featuring the talents of Sara Bareilles, Dan Sells of The Feeling, Bon Jovi’s, Joe DiPietro and the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell team-up, respectively. I know that I am not naming all that have been made. Not to take anything away from “Kinky Boots” or “Spring Awakening” which features music by Cyndi Lauper and Duncan Sheik, the music is good, but I don’t find them as compelling. NOTE: I am not saying those shows are bad, just that I didn’t connect with the music or story on an emotional level. I applaud and support everyone that makes it to Broadway! 

All that being said, Dear Reader, here are some musical acts that I would love to see create ORIGINAL shows on Broadway. Listening to playlists based solely on the artists, I have been able to hear a scope of their work and that is what I am basing this list on. All the acts have incredible storytelling skills that I feel can translate emotionally. 

  1. Billy Joel – While I know there is the musical “Moving Out” based on his songs, I think there could be something like a romantic comedy expanded off the “Uptown Girl” or “The Longest Time” video ideas. 
  1. Of Monsters and Men – I love their sound. Sonically, I feel like a gothic romance, or a ghost story type idea would be amazing for them to create. The way they layer sound is full of energy and really drives the music which I feel could be of service in the show. 
  1. Panic! At The Disco – This is a no brainer. Have you seen their videos?  I say they because they used to be a group, but now it is basically just Brendon Urie. I feel like if the story were to inspire him, he could write for any plot. 
  1. Alanis Morrisette – As one of my favorite songwriters, I think while “Jagged Little Pill” is an amazing show in its own right, she has the potential to write a beautiful score and songs for a show with a strong female lead in the vein of “Waitress.” 
  1. Bastille – I am a big fan of Bastille. I think a big rock musical of a group of disenfranchised young adults e.g. “Rent,” “Hair,” “American Idiot” would best suit the sound that Bastille utilizes. Not to pigeon hole them, as they have some fantastic ballads, but those Act One finales and the 11 o’clock numbers could benefit from their sound. 

Okay, Kind Reader, here is the first half of my list. Is it a good list? Do you think it is a terrible idea altogether? Let me know if there is an idea you would pitch to them on what to write a show about in the comments below.

Part 2 will follow in a few days!

Until next time, stay safe and alert. Don’t forget to go and vote or mail in those ballots early to ensure your vote is counted! Love to you all!

♩♫♪ Don’t Wanna Be An American Idiot…♬♪♩♪

“One Nation Controlled By The Media”

How are you planning to spend your 4th of July? I am going to return to the Orpheum Theatre and watch American Idiot one more time!

I remember back in the day seeing my first Green Day video (I don’t listen to the radio much) and thinking “what in the world is going on here?”  This was creepy visually, but the song is so catchy, I couldn’t change the channel. The masks that the patients wear are just *shudders*…

 I liked the music and have enjoyed watching them try out new sounds over the years.  I think any artist that doesn’t is not growing.  So when I heard there was a musical coming out featuring songs from their American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown albums, I thought this should be interesting…*raised eyebrows*

When I heard the original cast recording of American Idiot, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the same as hearing the actual band playing.  So I gave it a “its pretty good” on the How Much Do I Like This Show judgement. But then I didn’t bother to listen to it again until maybe the beginning of this year.

I was cycling through my ipod music one day and two songs from AI (Green Day version) came on.  I hardly ever get to hear Green Day when I do this.  Then the next day, I read in an email that AI was coming back to the Bay Area.  So I decided to give it another go.   The difference on this listen was that I chose not to distract myself with anything, except knitting.  I fully focused on hearing and feeling the story.

And something struck me.

This was so much better than I originally thought.  Of course it isn’t going to be the same as the band playing because it was it’s own entity.  I should have acknowledged this from the beginning and stupidly I didn’t.

Everyone has had that moment in life where they’ve felt lost or wanted something better but not sure what.  The main characters in this story are living that out in their various ways.  I think what threw me for a loop on that first listen is that some of the voices sound the same if you aren’t really paying attention.  So it didn’t quite sink in that it’s three male characters that are having this “crisis” not just one.  Oh, I think I should also note that I don’t really like to read the liner notes.  I feel that a really good musical will stand on it’s own through the songs and not need explaining.

Then when I watched the show a few weeks ago, I loved it.  The energy on that stage is amazing!  The set reminded me a little of “Rent” in regards of how little there is on stage and the variety of uses each thing has.  The band is fantastic and it’s fun to be able to see them rock out on stage as well.  The cast is incredible! To have to name everyone that was great in the show would be simply to look at the program.  I do have to make a special mention though.  I saw two understudies and they were both outstanding, so when I learned that on the next visit I would be seeing the other cast members, I thought “how much better can they be than what I just saw?”  But during the little after party, the understudies (Jarran Muse and Vince Oddo) swore that the people who will be playing St. Jimmy and Favorite Son are absolutely amazing.

I think the highlight songs in the show are “Holiday” “Favorite Son” “The Waiting” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”  For “Holiday”, it is all about the exuberant excitement of new destinations and adventures that one seeks when they set out on a new path.  The energy just fills the theatre and pulls the audience into the fun.  In “Favorite Son” the character is what makes that number and Vince Oddo had such a commanding stage presence that dancing girls were barely noticeable in their colorful dancewear.  The choreography in “The Waiting” and “Wake Me Up…” was so beautiful that I got choked up watching it.  It wasn’t that the dance itself was technically highly difficult, it was more that it was perfectly able to portray the cold harshness of the military in the first and the disorientation and loss in the latter.

I cannot wait to return to SF tonight and watch the show one more time.  I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to our country than to see a show that wants us to question “What am I doing?” and “Where am I going?”  Both similar simple questions but not so simple to answer.

And in that spirit, I’d love to challenge you, AMERICA!

What are WE doing? I see us being divided by classism, racism and inequality.

Where are WE going?  I see us allowing ourselves to be further and further divided.

How do WE fix this?

P.S. Just for good measure…

Melissa Etheridge takes on Green Day

February 1st marked the debut of Melissa Etheridge taking the Broadway stage as the character St. Jimmy in Green Day’s immensely popular American Idiot!  It’s a one week engagement, but judging from the look on her face during the video, I have my fingers crossed that she will be back for another go round in the future.  Billy Joe Armstrong returns to the role on February 10.

Just wanted to share this little video with you!

videoplay.php?colid=206500 (Go ahead and click on the link)