The up-and-down history of the rock musical

book-cover-theater-will-rockUntil I read Elizabeth L. Wollman‘s The Theater Will Rock (from the University of Michigan Press), I’d thought that the history of the rock musical was a bit larger than it actually is. In her book, Wollman analyzes the the history and impact of the rock musical on “legitimate” theater, and I realized that the sub-genre of the Broadway musical started only in 1967, with Hair, with whose subtitle, “The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” the genre was named.

The book covers most of the major productions that followed, and the ones that have been original concepts can almost be counted on one hand. Such productions as Grease, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, or Rent have been rare, with performances such as Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and Jesus Christ Superstar more the norm.
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