1st Edition

The Jukebox Musical An Interpretive History

By Kevin Byrne, Emily Fuchs Copyright 2022
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is a comprehensive guide to the unique genre of the jukebox musical, delving into its history to explain why these musicals have quickly become beloved for multiple generations of theatergoers and practitioners.

    Providing a concise exploration of the three main categories of the jukebox musical—biographical, genre-specific, and artist catalog—this text is perfect for those wishing to learn more about this relatively recent and unique genre of theater. It identifies the dramaturgical needs that arise in these productions and explains how certain works become critical darlings or fan favorites. How much information needs to be conveyed through song and how much can be left up to interpretation by the audience? What kinds of changes occur when a repertoire of songs is reimagined for the stage? In addition to these insightful explorations, it also reveals how creative teams tackle the unique challenge of weaving together plot and song in order to convey meaning, emotion, excitement, and beauty in these increasingly popular forms of theater.

    The Jukebox Musical: An Interpretive History is written for students, performers, and musical theater enthusiasts alike: this is the ideal introduction to one of the twnty-first century's most popular and successful stage genres.

    Part 1: Historical and Dramaturgical  1. Five, Six, Seven, Eight!: An Introduction  2. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Jukebox Musical  3. Preludes and Predecessors: Vaudeville, Rock Musicals, and Megamusicals  4. Mamma Mia! and the Establishment of a Form  Part 2: Types of Jukebox Musicals  5. Exploring a Discography: Artist Catalog Jukebox Musicals  6. A Life in Lyrics: Biographical Jukebox Musicals  7. Reminiscing about the Classics: Era- and Genre-Specific Musicals


    Dr. Kevin Byrne is a Lecturer at Texas State University in the Department of Theatre and Dance. His monograph, Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age, was published by Routledge in 2020.

    Emily Fuchs graduated from the University of Arizona's School of Theatre, Film, and Television and is currently studying the intersection of popular culture and news reporting. As a dramaturg, they have assisted in developing new work, devising productions, and assisting as a researcher for theater company seasons.