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BWW Blog: Is BRIDGERTON THE MUSICAL the Future of Broadway?

Talk about an immersive theatre experience!

Oh, the power of social media! Sure, there are so many bad things attached to it but when used for good, there is nothing stopping the algorithms. The other day I was trying to explain to my Mom how a video goes viral. Although there is much that the platform controls, the simple multiplying factor that goes into sharing content with your friends may help something get millions of views. Now take in consideration Netflix's biggest original series of all time, musical theatre fans and TikTok, and I'd say that's a recipe for success.

Let's begin with the first ingredient, Bridgerton itself. 82 million households have streamed the show in the first 28 days since its premiere, making it Netflix's biggest original series, followed by "The Witcher" (76 million) and "La Casa de Papel - Money Heist," season 4 (65 million).

Enter the scene two incredibly talented young artists, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, only 22 and 19 years old respectively. The duo has only met one year ago when they were introduced to work on another musical project. Needless to say, they clicked! Both grew up as musical theatre fans, but Abigail has a background in pop, while Emily has a diverse upbringing (from her singles, to composing full symphonies, and even Ellen's wedding song). She has also a background in film scoring.

BWW Blog: Is BRIDGERTON THE MUSICAL the Future of Broadway?
Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear

After binging the show, Abigail wrote two songs (Oceans Away and Burn for You). She shared them on TikTok, the most viral of all platforms, and it was an instant success. Artists and celebrities started duetting and sharing their takes on the tracks. Right after that, Emily joined the project with her scoring skills.

From then on, Barlow and Bear have written approximately 15 original songs, including an incredible opening number (featuring Broadway favorites Reneé Rapp and Antonio Cipriano), and solos for the main characters. They are telling a story through music and they strive to pick the character's best moments, when they can no longer express their feelings through words, they have to sing.

BWW Blog: Is BRIDGERTON THE MUSICAL the Future of Broadway?
Barlow and Bear's usual set up on social media

To say that I am obsessed with Bridgerton the Musical is an understatement. I did enjoy the series, but what makes me so interested about this is the way it is being developed. The writers have a completely transparent and immersive creative process, as they go live on Instagram and/or TikTok while working on the music, multiple times a day, engaging more than 1,000 viewers at each live.

A couple of weeks ago I spent over an hour watching Emily orchestrate the opening number. And although I'm a musician and an educated theatre fan, I have never seen what it takes to put a whole number together. Not only it is incredible to see her tuning instruments digitally, but she also takes suggestions from people in the comments! Someone on that live said she should add the sound of a clock ticking, and sure enough she did!

The songs are so catchy, but in a good way! They have hints of classical, jazz and pop all combined. With tunes so unique, it almost feels like they are creating a new style of music theatre. And that's not me saying, it was none other than Justin Paul.

BWW Blog: Is BRIDGERTON THE MUSICAL the Future of Broadway?
Barlow and Bear

In my opinion, they are not only creating a new style of music theatre, but they are also showing what the future of the industry looks like. I always say that one's experience with a show begins even before they get their tickets. It's the process of deciding which musical to see, getting the confirmation email, following the show's social channels, getting to know the cast, etc. Now, we have a chance to see how the music is written, and even chime in with ideas! Talk about an immersive theatre experience!

And just in case you were wondering, no this is not another "Ratatouille the Tik Tok Musical." There's nothing wrong with that, but just because the Bridgerton musical got its head start on TikTok, it most certainly has a more promising future in store!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Isabella Schiavon