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"A breezy read at around 108 pages, the stories of these musicals are anything but. With wit and craft Purdy tells the woeful tales of ten Broadway shows of this century that went amiss despite having the mighty giants of Broadway at the helm. More volumes are promised. Let's hope so."

-The Journal of American Drama

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Coming in Spring of 2021: More Flop Musicals of The Twenty-First Century: Artistic Triumphs and Guilty Pleasures

Flop Musicals of the Twenty-First Century

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Flop Musicals of the Twenty First Century

Flop Musicals of the Twenty-First Century offers a provocative and revealing historical narrative of a group of musicals that cost millions and that had spectacular potential...but bombed anyway.


Unlike similar books on the topic which have taken a more truncated approach to telling the fascinating stories of these shows, Stephen Purdy chooses instead to examine at length the production histories of these shows which are all bound together by a common thread. In this volume Purdy focuses the lens on several seemingly infallible theatre creatives that weren't destined to repeat their successes with the shows discussed in this volume. 


As such, Purdy grounds the discussion by examining what the legendary creators of Les Miserables, pop superstar Elton John, wunderkind Julie Taymor and many others have in common besides being inspired storytellers of iconic Broadway musicals. The answer is that that also all created shows that, for one reason or a dozen, didn't find an audience. This particular volume shares the story of what can happen when formidable creative teams of sell-out musicals attempt to re-create their success but miss the mark.


This is an engaging book for students, practitioners and fans of musical theatre that contains thoughtful observations about luck and creative differences, botched adaptations and alienated audiences, all of which can determine the fate of a musical.

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About the Author

Stephen Purdy is one of New York’s most in-demand vocal and audition coaches. He is also known as the author of the book Musical Theatre Song: A Comprehensive Course published by Bloomsbury and is at work on two additional major publications. The former was recently cited as a “major contribution to Musical Theatre Scholarship” by the Journal of American Drama and Theatre and has been universally praised in theatre circles. He is on Musical Theatre faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and his international client base of musical theatre professionals have been cast in the Broadway and Touring Companies of nearly every major Broadway musical of the last 15 years and are singing on concert stages worldwide. Stephen conducted and played for the Broadway and touring companies of many popular Broadway and off-Broadway musicals including Disney’s Tarzan, The Full Monty, Peter Pan (Cathy Rigby) and The Fantasticks. He also spent many years in Europe touring with 42nd Street, Grease, and A Chorus Line.

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