• iheartmusicals

A century of song : 2000s

In preparation for featuring her favourite shows, Lily introduces another decade of the century of song - the 2000s!


Featuring Wicked and Persephone

A brief introduction

As the theatre world entered a new millennium, nobody was quite such what the future would hold for the musical. The jukebox musical came into its own as pop hits were used to tell a story in shows such as Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You. The music of Monty Python reached a new audience with Spamalot while revivals like The Producers continued to flourish.

Notable Musical Mentions

From screen to stage

In the 2000s, musicals based on films were very popular, giving audiences the opportunity to see beloved screen favourites on stage, whilst giving them a new spin. Shows like Billy Elliot, Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels introduced a new generation to the theatre experience through familiar stories and characters.

Blockbuster movies such as Mary Poppins, Hairspray and Sister Act were also reimagined for the stage with great success.

Classics on stage

At the same time, classic novels were an inspiration for shows during this decade. Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein brought to life the American coming of age story written by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, while Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel evoked Wilkie Collin's compelling tale of love and betrayal in The Woman in White.

With the band

In this decade, musicals based on pop music came into their own welcoming a whole new audience of music lovers into the theatre. Alongside biographical stories of how bands came to be like Jersey Boys, based on the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, were new stories told through familiar songs. ABBA's music became the score to Mamma Mia!, whilst Ben Elton shaped We Will Rock You around the music of Queen.

Experimenting with musicals

Several shows during the 2000s broke new ground by exploring small-scale musicals in off-West End or Broadway venues with pared back casts telling personal stories. In direct comparison with the large-scale commercial success of Miss Saigon and Wicked, these intimate shows stretched expectations of the musical form, expanding its range and the way songs were performed.

From these beginnings, shows have found their way into the mainstream - an example being

Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. His unusual and edgy style with complicated rhythms and discordant melody brought a unique feel to a story about the arc of a relationship that has recently played a successful run at the Garrick Theatre and was made into a feature film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in 2014.

Other more experimental shows include Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, and Jonathan Larson's three-hander, Tick, Tick ...Boom! which has recently been made into a feature film for Netflix.

Join me in “my own little corner” of the internet next time as I explore my first featured musical from 2000s - Stephen Schwartz's global musical phenomenon, Wicked. See you next matinee day!