Mamma Mia has arrived in Manchester. Are you a fan of jukebox musicals? (2023)

Are you a fan of jukebox musicals? As Mamma Mia opens in Manchester tonight, our senior reviewer Karen Ryder has her say...

When I was just 11, my best friend invited me to London with her family to see them.Friend - The Buddy Holly Story. I grew up in a house that loved music, so I had heard about it.Buddy Hollyand I knew some of their songs, but that's about it. By the end of this weekend I was hooked! Thanks to the long trip, I came home knowing all the words to every song, and to this day I still play their songs and watch countless documentaries.Buddy Holly and the Cricketsand get a ticket to the music tours each time. it's insideManchester Opera from April 26.Carais classified as a jukebox musical: a bad word for some, a lucky charm for others. The musical term jukebox has become a bit "scorned" in some circles, just as Simon Cowell used to pejoratively refer to people as "cruise ship singers". But whether you love them or hate them, they're multiplying faster than Danny Zuko's chills and pulling in audiences more than ever.

Buddy turns 30 and can be seen on stage in April

What exactly is a musical jukebox? Simply put, it's a musical that uses existing popular songs as a score rather than original music. These songs can be linked to a specific artist(ABBA – Mamma Mia at Manchester Opera from January 31)or bound by a time period or genre, like 1980s B. Rock(Rock Of Ages at the Manchester Opera House on March 14).The songs are then linked and contextualized into a story, which can be entirely original and fictional, with no relation to the artist or time period.(We Will Rock You de Ben Elton)or you can follow the life story of the artist involved(shirt boys).

Although musical jukeboxes are by no means a new phenomenon (they've been around since the 17th centuryANDCentury in which comic operas parodied popular songs of the time, such asThe Beggar's Opera), seems to be a growing form of production of new musicals. Many attribute this rise in popularity to the international success ofoh murmurs1999 and his film again in 2008 (which had me dancing several times in the halls of the cinema). The jukebox's popularity was cemented, and by 2010 it was more must-see than all but one.die Tony-AwardsNominees for Best Musical were Jukebox Musicals. The genre reached stages around the world and, in many cases, dominated the traditional musical.

The popular Rock of Ages returns to Manchester in March

I've seen just about every genre of music from my era, from traditional to new, Disney, film adaptations and the jukebox. The jukebox genre has its own in my opinion and there are certainly some that are questionable, but the same goes for all music genres. It's not the genre that makes it work or not, it's the collaborators and creatives behind it, the strength of the song and the book, the economic climate it's released in, etc. A million factors go into the success of a musical, so I'll just chalk it up to some dirty jukebox swearing, as some stereotyped, elitist, intellectual people like to do, and say:'Winner Takes All'and the success ofoh murmurs It just goes to show that a jukebox musical can be untouchable when done right.

It has been suggested that the jukebox musical steals the opportunity to create new musicals with new music. That's actually a point I can understand, to be fair. As an author trying to release a book for the first time, the tendency of “famous authors” to seek out new authors is frustrating, somewhat irritating, and reflects the plot as they are popular and therefore more confident about it Hand against a jukebox . Musical that takes the space away from newcomers. I understand. But I also understand why it's done that way. Musicals (or books) require a great deal of financial investment and risk to get to market, and the financial risk usually falls on the sponsors, not the artist. A jukebox comes with a prepared audience that already knows and loves music. There is one more guarantee of "boom in the seats".

oh murmursis out of print everywhere, its DVD release was their best-selling film, it is a worldwide hit that made its creators millionaires. As mentioned above, this is not just down to the music.ABBABut thanks to the brilliance of the creative team behind it with the best of intentions, one mistake wouldn't keep audiences coming back for more. Also,Benny e BjornThey were involved in the development of the show from the beginning, so all the creatives worked together. This is not always the case with jukebox musicals, where permission is given to use an artist's songs, but the artist or writer of the song is not involved in plot or story development, so the songs sometimes seem more muddy than organic. . that emerge from the scenes and that must express and advance the story because words alone are no longer enough. This can result in compromising the story to "fit a song" instead of writing a song organically to enhance the story.

Oh my God! Taking center stage at the Manchester Opera House from today

That said, I still love a good music jukebox. I will always love and encourage traditional and new musicals, but it doesn't have to be one or the other. I love what a jukebox program can represent. It draws people to the theater who would normally rather burn themselves out than step into our flashy, emotional, sequined, luvvie and darling (as some like it) world of jazz. Welcome new audiences and introduce them to our wonderful world so that the joy of live performance is a gift for everyone. These shows come with die-hard fans. At theAND shirt boysRecently they even had to make an announcement to remind people that this was a concert and not a concert and ask those fans not to sing about the artists! The result of a jukebox can be hysteria! At theThe Osmonds - A New Musical, the atmosphere was crazy! It was a recreation of Osmond's mania, and it might as well have been Donny on stage. At theWe will Rock You,A group of very big, very hairy, tattooed men ended up crying because that particular day was Freddie's birthday and sharing his music once again meant something to them. I love you or I hate you (I love you!), the jukebox musical means something to huge numbers of paying members of the public, and if you take them to the theater, it offers endless new job opportunities for members working the world over. of the music, including the show's cast. , creatives, technicians, producers, admins and everyone in between, why does this have to be a bad thing?

As my 11-year-old self demonstrated, it also introduces us to music that may not be new to the world, but can be new to us as individuals, forming a lifelong love story, forging personal bonds and helping us to overcome the pain and heights and depths of our own stories. Let's face it, we all have songs that conjure up certain memories, so don't we create our own musical jukebox our entire lives? The creative in me listens to playlists, and before I knew it, I had an entire production in mind. Sometimes I rewatch a favorite album likeBon Jovi Crossroadsand dreaming about what this show would be like. Whether you're a rocker, a country fan, a Motown fan, or a '60s kid, there's probably a jukebox musical for you, and if there isn't one, I'd say just bear with me. it's definitely on the way.

The Commitments can be seen at the Manchester Opera in June

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