If a little is good, then a lot must be better!

We have favourite scenes in movies, favourite songs from albums and favourite numbers from musicals. And recently, changes have occurred in the way we consume these entertainment forms to reflect this. Well, Broadway is already one step ahead and may have the solution!


The Musical Revue. It is a rather underused form of the American musical on Broadway. Starting with a central topic, the musical revue reimagines a combination of songs, skits and dances to further explore the topic at hand. But there may be an argument for further use of this art form as it is more conducive to audience demands.

iTunes and YouTube have been two driving forces in changing consumption behaviour when it comes to entertainment. YouTube allows us to easily move around videos, skipping over sections that don’t capture our attention and allowing us to solely view the highlights. In fact, often a quick search can bring up the one climactic scene from a television show or a movie that you wanted to see.

iTunes has done the same thing. If consumers only wanted one song from an artist or band’s new album then they either had to pray that it came out on a single or purchase the whole album. Now through iTunes (and a number of other online retailers) we can pick and choose which songs we download rather than forking out cash for an album on which most songs will get very little use.

And this attitude towards consumption of entertainment suits the musical revue rather well. Let me explain . . .

Last week, New York City Encores! and Jazz at the Lincoln teamed up to present A Bed and a Chair: A New York City Love Affair, a musical revue which reimagined Sondheim’s famous songs in a different setting with a jazz band.

Basically these performances crafted a new story about love and relationships in the modern age while employing Sondheim standards to enhance the development and story. But the key idea of importance in this musical revue is the specific combination of chosen songs.

They were all Sondheim standards – those famous songs that you would fast forward to every time if you were fortunate enough to have the musical on DVD – presented one after another in a reimagined setting. Talk about value for money! Where you would have previously been happy to pay the full ticket price to hear a couple of his stand-out songs, now you are paying the same price to hear ALL of his stand-out songs.

And with this approach to a catalogue of music, all the audience members will be leaving on a high ready to purchase tickets to the next Sondheim show that hits Broadway.

So maybe it is time to dust off the musical revue and give it another shot against the new shows and revivals that are currently playing on Broadway. It couldn’t hurt? And it closely suits the consumption patterns of younger generations (like myself) who are in the search for constant exciting stimuli and are occasionally renowned for lacking patience!