The jukebox musical explores the music of the all-female 80 s pop-rock band the Go-Gos and peculiarity the first transgender lead-in in a major Broadway show
Jukebox musicals tend to go one of two ways. Either they tell the basic narration of the stars they’re meant to honour( like Jersey Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, or Summer and Donna Summer ). Or they develop some tale out of whole cloth( a la Mamma Mia! and Abba, or We Will Rock You and Queen ).
As loony as the latter can get, the premise of a new Broadway musical, based on the DayGlo carols of the Go-Go’s, smacks a gobsmacking new high. It transposes the band’s 1980 s power-pop benchmarks to the world of 1580, acquiring the storyline from an impenetrable Tudor-era poem, while aping the archway rhythmic patterns of iambic pentameter.
” It’s not an obvious acquaintance ,” said here play’s chairman, Michael Mayer.” It’s something more imaginative. We’re trying to break brand-new sand here .”
In fact, they’re doing so on various levels. Though the performance, entitled after the Go-Go’s effervescent top 20 punch Head Over Heels, strikes a routinely giddy tone, beneath the lather it tackles a meaty range of issues, many of them concerning gender. In the manner of the Shakespearean plays it references, it peculiarity lots of cross-dressing, as well as misguided identities which, here, are used to screw with any binary notions of virility. A vital persona, the Oracle of Delphi, is played by Peppermint, the first transgender maiden to originate an important role in a Broadway musical. Her persona chooses to be referred to as “they”, inspiring a ballad that’s probably the first in a commercial-grade musical to employment that pronoun be submitted to private individuals. More whimsically, this has to be the first musical to peculiarity a line like” thou better workest”, an imagined 16 th-century twist on RuPaul’s far-famed catch-phrase” you better design “.
” This play is fraught with firsts ,” said Mayer.