Musical Theatre Essay

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A rising art form in popular culture today is none other than the American musical theatre. An array of factors have emerged and collided over the past decade to bring what was once a niche staple of American culture to the forefront of the media and culture around the world. The sum of an evolving variety of music genres within the form, an increased interest and engagement by A and B list celebrities, an increasingly globalized Western culture, among other influences have allowed for the growth and current peak prosperity of the musical theatre genre across many platforms and international lines. The reintroduction of the live television broadcast of musicals on major television networks, the most coveted and promoted major holiday season …show more content…
They should exist as mediators between realism and romanticism - with a mind for both the art and the business of it all. This is unfortunately not the case within the current musical theatre market. Producers of new Broadway musicals have been engaging in pattern-like behaviors as their interests are placed in the immediate monetization of the art, rather than the prosperity and artistry of the genre. This holds true for the rest of the musical theatre world outside of Broadway, as the top-down model of the industry suggests that musicals will most often only get produced around the world if they find some level of success on Broadway first. The shift in focus of musical theatre producers from artistry to monetization is evidenced in their decisions of which shows to develop and invest in to be produced on Broadway, a theatre complex that is widely viewed as the peak and center of the musical theatre world. The pattern that has become increasingly obvious in today’s market is the adaptation of famous films into musicals. If one looks at the list of shows currently running or expected to open in the near future on Broadway, the ratio of original stories and concepts to shows based on Hollywood movies is outrageously weighted to the latter (Viagas, …show more content…
Musical theatre endeavors see their greatest successes in trendsetting and breaking the molds currently in place. This is congruent with the entire notion of creativity, which is about breaking boundaries and introducing new forms to solve problems and make progress. New discoveries and initiatives in the musical theatre industry and the success that follow can be seen in the recent phenomenon of Hamilton: An American Musical. This show is an exception to the current creative rut and is a prime example of musical theatre finding its success in breaking current barriers. It has found itself at the center of this outbreak of musical theatre from its once niche market to popular culture. The show introduced completely diverse casting, the musical genres of Hip-Hop and R&B, and the adaptation of an unlikely story into an unlikely medium. These introductions to the musical theatre community were an important step in the way of becoming a more inclusive, accessible, and innovative art form for the population. However, Leslie Odom Jr., one of the stars made famous by this production, stated in a recent interview that even though Broadway has just finished arguably its most diverse, innovative, and game-changing season in history, he does not see the future of musical theatre reflecting these advents at all. He fears a future series of Broadway seasons where producers

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