The best (and worst) jukebox musicals


With Cher’s musical opening on Broadway – a look at how some other jukebox musicals have fared.

Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Rock of Ages, Viva Forever and Desperately Seeking Susan..;

4 October 2017 by Alex Simon

Cher, Brian May and Mazz Murray


We Will Rock You

The hit musical, based on the songs of Queen and written by Ben Elton, closed in 2014 after a 12-year run in the West End.

Critics were never kind to the £6m production, in particular its story – set in a dystopian future where music is banned. When it opened in 2002, the Guardian said the plot “really is as sixth form as it sounds“.

But that didn’t stop it being seen by more than 16 million people across 28 countries. “We Will Rock You had terrible reviews, mostly because critics didn’t like Ben Elton’s book (that it was based on), but at the end of the day people love Queen. The audience contained very large numbers of tourists who couldn’t care less about the story, they just loved the songs,” explains Andrzej. It’s actually one of Perry’s favourites. [Theatre vlogger Perry O’Bree]

“It was very futuristic, ahead of its time,” he said. “It was more than just a jukebox musical because of the memory of Freddie Mercury. The really special thing about it was that on the odd Saturday night, Brian May would just rock up, run on stage and play. Having someone so behind it from the original band, that’s what makes it such a successful thing.”