Beloved in London, ignored in New York: Starlight Express and We Will Rock You

Book chapter


Cottis, D. 2023. Beloved in London, ignored in New York: Starlight Express and We Will Rock You. in: The Oxford Handbook of the Global Stage Musical New York Oxford University Press (OUP). pp. 429-448
Chapter titleBeloved in London, ignored in New York: Starlight Express and We Will Rock You
AuthorsCottis, D.
Abstract

Since the 1970s and the rise of the so-called megamusical, it has often been assumed that the British and American audiences form a single market, with shows that triumph in the West End inevitably doing the same on Broadway. However, it isn’t always that simple. This chapter examines two shows, both long-runners in the West End, that failed to reproduce their success in the United States: Starlight Express (1984) ran two seasons, as opposed to its eighteen in London, while We Will Rock You (2002) became the most successful British musical not to open on Broadway since Salad Days (1954). This chapter examines the differing transatlantic fates of these two shows and looks at what this tells us about national attitudes to rock music, spectacle, and to the musical theatre itself.

KeywordsAndrew Lloyd Webber; Richard Stilgoe; Starlight Express; Queen; Freddie Mercury; Ben Elton; We Will Rock You
Sustainable Development Goals4 Quality education
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
Page range429-448
Book titleThe Oxford Handbook of the Global Stage Musical
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Place of publicationNew York
Edition1st
SeriesOxford Handbooks
ISBN9780190909734
Copyright Year2023
Publication dates
Print22 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Jul 2019
Deposited29 Nov 2023
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190909734.013.16
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