New Book IDIOTS, HEATHERS, AND SQUIPS Exlplores the New Golden Age of Musicals
The musical theatre came roaring back in the 1990s and began a new Golden Age for the art form. And there's a new book that takes you on a guided tour.
With his new book Idiots, Heathers, and Squips, New Line Theatre Artistic Director Scott Miller continues his acclaimed and well-loved series of books digging into some of the most original, most interesting musicals ever written.
In this volume, Miller takes you on a short but fantastic journey through the first decade and a half of the new millennium, guided by deep dives into eleven of the musicals that represent the astonishing variety and fearlessness of this new Golden Age, including bare, Urinetown, Sweet Smell of Success, Jerry Springer the Opera, Passing Strange, Cry-Baby, Next to Normal, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, American Idiot, Heathers, and Be More Chill, all shows that opened in this new century, presented in chronological order so you can see how our art form is evolving like never before.
A new kind of musical theatre emerged in the 90s, more artistic, more personal, less conventional, less commercial. For the first time, people were beginning to write new musicals without any expectation of a New York production. They wrote because they wanted to express something. As a result, the art form exploded in the 90s with wild and wonderful experiments in form, content, musical language, movement, and so much more. Amazing new work was created.
Scott Miller is a musical theatre director, composer, lyricist, bookwriter, historian, consultant, self-proclaimed fanboy, and the founder and artistic director of New Line Theatre, an alternative musical theatre company in St. Louis. founded in 1991. He has written eleven musicals, two plays, and eight books about musical theatre, and he also writes the Bad Boy of Musical Theatre blog. For fifteen years, he co-hosted the radio show Break a Leg: Theatre in St. Louis and Beyond on KDHX, and now he hosts the theatre podcast Stage Grok, available on iTunes.
Miller's other musical theatre analysis collections include From Assassins to West Side Story, 1996 (covering Assassins, Cabaret, Carousel, Company, Godspell, Gypsy, How to Succeed, Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, Man of La Mancha, Merrily We Roll Along, My Fair Lady, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, and West Side Story); Deconstructing Harold Hill, 1999 (covering Ragtime, Camelot, Chicago, Passion, The Music Man, March of the Falsettos, Sunday in the Park with George, and The King and I); Rebels with Applause, 2001 (covering Hair, Rent, Oklahoma!, Pal Joey, Anyone Can Whistle, Floyd Collins, Jacques Brel, The Cradle Will Rock, Songs for a New World, and The Ballad of Little Mikey); Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals, 2011 (covering The Wild Party, Grease, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, I Love My Wife, Bat Boy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and High Fidelity); and Literally Anything Goes, 2019 (covering The Threepenny Opera, Anything Goes, The Nervous Set, Zorbá, The Fantasticks, Two Gentlemen Of Verona, The Robber Bridegroom, Evita, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Kiss Of The Spider Woman, A New Brain, Reefer Madness, Bukowsical, and Love Kills).
Miller has also written the books Strike Up the Band: A New History of Musical Theatre; Let the Sun Shine in: The Genius of Hair; and It's a Musical!: 400 Questions to Ponder, Discuss, and Fight About.