Last evening’s Tony Awards broadcast was historic on multiple fronts, but there is one thing commentators and critics haven’t discussed much in regards to this particular Broadway season: it was the most musically and stylistically diverse season in history. This season’s shows channeled MANY music genres, including pop, rock, traditional musical theatre, hip hop, rap, bluegrass, latin, gospel, soul, jazz, disco, folk, R&B, and more. In fact, it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish what a true ‘Broadway sound’ is when every show on Broadway today sounds so incredibly different. To demonstrate this, let’s explore all the musicals from this past season and the styles featured within each, shall we?

ALLEGIANCE
Primary Styles: Traditional/Legit MT, Contemporary MT

AMERICAN PSYCHO
Primary Styles: Electronic Pop/Rock

BRIGHT STAR
Primary Styles: Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk

THE COLOR PURPLE
Primary Styles: Gospel, R&B, Soul

DISASTER!
Primary Styles: ’70s Disco Pop

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
Primary Styles: Traditional MT, Traditional Jewish Styles

HAMILTON
Primary Styles: Hip Hop, Rap, R&B, Contemporary MT

ON YOUR FEET
Primary Styles: Latin/Hispanic, Pop

SCHOOL OF ROCK
Primary Styles: Rock, Pop, Contemporary MT

SHE LOVES ME
Primary Styles: Traditional MT

SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED
Primary Styles: Traditional MT, Jazz, Ragtime

SPRING AWAKENING
Primary Styles: Folk Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

TUCK EVERLASTING
Primary Styles: Contemporary MT, Folk, Pop

WAITRESS
Primary Styles: Pop/Rock, Folk, Alternative

So I ask, what is a ‘Broadway sound’?

Kevin Michael Jones

 

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