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Are you into classic Broadway musicals? Do you know all the lyrics from “Oklahoma!” by heart? Do you sing them in the shower?

Even if you answered no to all of the above questions, you might want to check out “Carousel,” being performed tonight with a full orchestra. Oh, and did we mention, it’s free? read more »


broadwayWhere would you go to see “Scalpel!,” a musical about murderous plastic surgery recipients or “Girlfriend,” the story of two boyfriends? Look no further than the Bay Area, which has recently established itself as the birthplace of offbeat musicals, some of which have been going on to conquer Broadway, for example.

You may remember “American Idiot,” the Green Day musical at the Berkeley Rep which transformed scoffs to shock when it made it to Broadway (it opens next Tuesday). Or “Passing Strange,” the bizarre compilation of a singer-songwriter and a rocker, which also recently made its Broadway debut.

The Bay Area has a reputation for being a supportive environment for nonconformity, and apparently the same applies to the theater world. Writers and directors come out here to test out their bizarre brain children away from the prying eyes of industry executives and New York critics.

The world of musicals has long favored “mass appeal over experimentation,” but the recent wave of quirky and successful works coming out of the Bay recently has begun to open a new niche in the musical market and draw in different kinds of viewers.

We don’t mind being musical guinea pigs, so long as we get to see Broadway musicals for cheap before they get big.

Image Source: Dom Dada under Creative Commons
Where Musicals Can Dare to Be Different [NYT Bay Area Blog]