Jukebox Musical

A jukebox musical is a stage or film musical that uses previously released popular songs as its musical score. Usually the songs have in common a connection with a particular popular musician or group — because they were either written by, or for, the artists in question, or at least covered by them. The songs are contextualized into a dramatic plot: often the biographical story of the performer(s) whose music is featured, although in some cases the plot does not revolve around the particular group at all. Although jukebox musicals had achieved success for years (for instance Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, the musical about the life of Buddy Holly which ran in the West End for 13 years from 1989 to 2003), their recent surge in popularity was led by the success of Mamma Mia!, built around the music of ABBA.

BBC Discussion about the failure of the John Lennon and Beach Boys Jukebox Musicals that closed on Broadway after just six weeks and twelve weeks, respectively.

Blogcritics Magazine Useful article discussing the Jukebox musical genre for the theatre and its pros and cons.

Blogway Baby Article discussing whether Jukebox Musicals are on the rise and listing several stage shows of the genre.

Off Off Online Interesting article profiling Jersey Boys cast member John Lloyd Young, as he discusses the necessary ingredients of a successful Jukebox Musical and the reason why so many shows of the genre have failed.

Pop Matters Useful article discussing the success of both Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys in the Jukebox Musical genre, the failure of others, and the reason for success being a good storyline and dialogue.

WNYC.org Radio station podcast (introduction and talkback discussion) featuring the 2005 Jukebox Musical about John Lennon and the genre in general. Is the Jukebox Musical good or bad for Broadway?

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