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SXSW Music 2014

Alternative, Rock and Pop Go To Broadway

The worlds of rock/pop/alternative music and the Broadway stage have had a good relationship over the years (The Who's Tommy, Elton John's The Lion King and Billy Elliot) but now with the success of Glen Hansard's Once, Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots and Duncan Sheik's Spring Awakening more songwriters now yearn to tell stories outside the 3 1/2 minute box and Broadway can be their outlet.

The musical score is now left to stand on it's own merits rather than being "changed" for the Broadway audience and this has a whole new breed of fan flocking to the theatre to hear music from their favorite pop/rock/alt artists. It allows for the composer to express their music in a different forum and thus show storytelling and compositional aspects that may not be able to be realized on an album.

This session would be a look back at the successes and failures of those who have tried it, a look forward at what may be forthcoming and how can someone make it happen for themselves.

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  1. What makes for a successful score for the theatrical stage?
  2. How have Jukebox musicals (Smokey Joe's Cafe, Mama Mia, Rock of Ages, Jersey Boys) changed the landscape of Broadway?
  3. What are theatrical producers looking for in a musical from rock, pop and alternative musicians? Wayne Coyne created Yoshi... for the stage at La Jolla Playhouse, Trey Anastasio tried his hand at Broadway (Hands On a Hard Body) and reportedly Colin Meloy and Aimee Mann have designs on a theatrical score. Why were some successful and some not?
  4. Once a score receives interest, what are the steps to realizing a full theatrical production?
  5. How do I get fans who love my music to buy a theatre ticket to see it on stage?



Dave Clemmons, producing partner, StylesFour Productions

Meta Information:

  • Tags: broadway, stage
  • Event: Music
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Other
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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