50 Years of Broadway Musical Source Material. A By The Numbers Infographic.

One of my favorite questions to ask my writer podcast guests is where they get their ideas for their musicals.  Because whether we like it or not, the Broadway Musical is not an original business.  Absolutely original ideas are rare, as you’ll see below, partly because they are so risky.  What makes them so?  Is it because audiences need some pre-existing brand to help them plunk down their credit card?  Or is it because original ideas are harder to execute and therefore just don’t turn out as good?

We’ll leave those questions for another blog.  Because today we’re here to take a deep data dive into all the material that has inspired Broadway musicals for the last fifty (!) years.  What type of source material inspires the most Broadway shows?  And how has that changed over the years?  And what is the preferred source material for some of our most successful writers?

This one is a fascinating one, my blog-friends, and not only gives us insight on where to get good ideas, but also gives us an idea of what our audiences are craving today, versus yesterday.

Enjoy the infographic!

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50 Years of Musical Adaptations final


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.