Adriaan Roets
4 minute read
3 Oct 2019
12:10 pm

Jukebox musicals: Why you’re willing to pay for nostalgia

Adriaan Roets

'Rock of Ages' at Montecasino is a tall cocktail of nostalgia – it boosts your serotonin in a way that feels good.

Rock of Ages. Picture: Christiaan Kotze

In 2014, The New Yorker ran an article in defence of jukebox musicals. The article at first seemed to lament the fact that for every production like Hedwig and the Angry Inch or Book of Mormon or Hamilton that redefines musical theatre, a slew of jukebox musicals is also released. Jukebox musicals feature no original score, they exist rather as a low-art form where established work is used to form some sort of story around music. Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages all follow the structure. Critics often hate them – and the public love them. Yet Sarah...