1st Edition

Flop Musicals of the Twenty-First Century
How They Happened, When They Happened (And What We’ve Learned)

ISBN 9780429056222
Published May 17, 2020 by Routledge
108 Pages

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Book Description

Flop Musicals of the Twenty-First Century offers a provocative and revealing historical narrative of a group of musicals that cost millions, that were created by world-renowned writers and directors, and that had spectacular potential… but bombed anyway.

Stephen Purdy asks the reader to consider what the legendary creators of Les Misérables, pop superstar Elton John, and wunderkind Julie Taymor have in common besides being inspired storytellers of iconic Broadway musicals. The answer is that they also all created shows that, for one reason or a dozen, flopped. This book shares the story of what can happen when formidable creative teams of sell-out musicals attempt to repeat their success but miss the mark. First-hand accounts from the cast members, backstage staff, and the creative team, combined with a wealth of secondary sources gathered from press articles, reviews, and critical commentary, offer an intriguing insight into the factors behind success and failure in the musical theatre business.

This is a fascinating book for students, scholars, practitioners, and fans of musical theatre that contains thoughtful observations about luck and creative differences, botched adaptations, and alienated audiences, all of which can determine the fate of a musical.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; 2 Lestat; 3 Urban Cowboy; 4 The Pirate Queen; 5 Rocky; 6 King Kong; 7 Escape to Margaritaville; 8 Glory Days; 9 Bullets Over Broadway; 10 Dance of the Vampires

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Stephen Purdy is a member of the musical theatre faculty at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, USA, and is the author of Musical Theatre Song: A Comprehensive Course. He regularly delivers master classes and seminars on musical theatre singing and song performance at arts institutions across the globe.