Glee! and it’s bubbly effect on the new Broadway
Every once in a while a TV show comes along that serves as a game changer in the world of television entertainment. This is usually in the form of a show that does not really seem to fit snugly into a specific genre, but which ends up creating a whole new category that subsequent shows try to emulate. Furthermore, it changes the way in which we view other forms of entertainment, often leading fans of said show to seek out something that is in a similar vein, yet which is different in a number of ways.
Such was the impact that Glee! had on the television viewing audience. If you are being totally honest, would you have truly believed that a show featuring a bunch of high school misfits belonging to a glee club would become a success on network television? The vast majority of us would likely have bet on the show failing and being cancelled in a matter of weeks, but it actually went on to capture the imagination of the viewing public, especially among the younger crowd, many of whom quickly identified with the characters portrayed on the show.
There are very few shows, other than the reality variety, that have singing and dancing at their core. While it certainly helped that much of the music being performed on Glee! was current hits done in a very specific style, it was still a surprise that the format took off. What is even more surprising was that it opened up other forms of musical entertainment to a whole new generation, with Broadway musicals perhaps being the biggest benefactor of the Glee! craze. Fans of the show craved more and were prepare to go to other avenues in order to get the entertainment that they loved.
Believe it or not, there are kids out there that have a real interest in the arts, and who would love to act, dance, and sing, but who have felt constrained by peer pressure at the school level. Many of those barriers have been torn down by Glee!, with many schools now adopting new musical programs that mimic those seen on the show. Now that the main barrier has been torn down, younger fans of music and acting are free to discover Broadway singers and shows without fear of being ridiculed when they head back to school.
Scattered among the Broadway standard shows are new musicals that definitely have an appeal that is aimed at a younger demographic. You look at shows like “Rock of Ages,” “Wicked,” and “Once” and you can see that their success is very much dependent on being embraced by a younger audience. The question of whether or not these shows would be the success that they are without the Glee! influence is on that can certainly be argued. What cannot be argued is that the audiences at Broadway shows are now starting to skew a little younger than ever before.