The Best Rock Musicals of 2019

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Contents

It’s that time of year again! Here are our top picks for the best rock musicals of 2019. From classics like Rent to newer shows like Hadestown, there’s something for everyone on this list.

“Rock of Ages”

“Rock of Ages” is a musical with a book by Chris D’Arienzo, arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp, and additional songs by Jason Robert Brown. The musical is built around classic rock songs from the 1980s, especially from the famous hair metal bands of that decade.

The show tells the story of Drew, a small-town boy who falls in love with Sherrie, a city girl. The two meet at the Sunset Strip’s legendary rock club, The Bourbon Room, and their lives are changed forever.

“Rock of Ages” was first staged on Broadway in 2009, and was later made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Julianne Hough in 2012. The show has been staged all over the world, and continues to be one of the most popular rock musicals of all time.

“Rent”

“Rent” is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson. The show was first performed off-Broadway in 1996 and then transferred to Broadway in 1998. The musical is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème and tells the story of a group of friends struggling with poverty and HIV/AIDS in New York City’s Lower East Side in the late 1980s.

The show became one of the longest-running Broadway musicals, closing after 12 years and 5,123 performances. It was also adapted into a 2005 film of the same name directed by Chris Columbus.

“Rent” was praised for its depiction of AIDS as well as its depiction of other social issues such as race, sexuality, drug addiction, poverty, and homelessness.

“Mamma Mia!”

Mamma Mia! is a feel-good musical with a great soundtrack that will have you dancing in your seat. The story follows a mother and daughter as they prepare for the daughter’s wedding on a Greek island. The mother is trying to keep her daughter’s father a secret from her fiance, and the daughter is trying to figure out who her real father is. The music is catchy and upbeat, and the characters are lovable and relatable.

“We Will Rock You”

“We Will Rock You” is a musical based on the songs of British rock band Queen with a book by Ben Elton. The musical tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same.

“Jersey Boys”

“Jersey Boys”, the musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, is one of the best rock musicals of 2019. The show tells the story of how four blue-collar boys from New Jersey became one of the biggest pop music sensations of all time.

The show features hits such as “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”. The cast is incredibly talented, and the music is truly spectacular. If you’re a fan of rock music, then you will absolutely love “Jersey Boys”.

“The Who’s Tommy”

“The Who’s Tommy” is a classic of the rock musical genre, and it’s returning to the stage in 2019. The story follows a young man who is traumatized by a childhood incident and becomes deaf, dumb, and blind as a result. He learns to communicate through music, and the story follows his journey to becoming a successful musician.

“Hair”

The original “Hair” was a game-changer when it first appeared on Broadway in 1967. It was the first musical to feature a rock score, and it changed the way we think about musicals. The 2019 revival is just as groundbreaking, with a new generation of actors and musicians who are bringing the story of “Hair” to life.

“Hair” is the story of a group of young people in the 1960s who are struggling to find themselves. They are trying to find a way to express their anti-war, anti-establishment views, and they are searching for a place to belong. The music of “Hair” captures the energy and excitement of this time period, and it is sure to inspire a new generation of theatergoers.

“Footloose”

“Footloose” is a 1984 American musical drama film directed by Herbert Ross. The screenplay by Dean Pitchford was based on his 1981 musical of the same name. The film tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), an energetic teenager from Chicago, who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a conservative minister, dancing has been banned. The film features Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Christopher Penn, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“Footloose” was Ross’ first venture into directing a feature film; he later directed three more: “The Turning Point” (1977), “Steel Magnolias” (1989), and “Blown Away” (1992). He died in 2000, before the release of his final film “Remember the Titans” (2000).

Pitchford wrote the screenplay for the film after seeing Ross’ work on “The Turning Point”. He also wrote the lyrics for all but two of the songs in the film, which were composed by Tom Snow. The music includes both contemporary songs such as Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose”, as well as older ones such as Sam Cooke’s “Shake”.

The film was generally well-received by movie critics. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its title track, which became a global hit when released as a single.”

“American Idiot”

“American Idiot” is a rock opera that tells the story of suburban teenager Johnny and his friends, who are struggling to find their place in the world. The musical is based on the album of the same name by the punk rock band Green Day. The score features songs from the album, as well as new songs written specifically for the musical.

“Spring Awakening”

“Spring Awakening” is a musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the 1891 German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the joys and sorrows of sexuality.

The original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, including Tonys for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor. The production also garnered four Drama Desk Awards, winning Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Featured Actor and Outstanding Lighting Design.

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