How to ensure a musical doesn't get to Broadway…

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In light of the Spider-Man implosion now gracing Broadway, it's worth taking a bit to wonder "How did Spider-Man ever even make it to Broadway?" The history of musical theater is awash with better shows that didn't make it to Broadway, for one reason or another. (Why Spider-Man got lucky is a whole other question…)

What might prevent a musical from gracing a Broadway stage?


One of the top ways to kill off a musical is to make it about something distasteful or musically inappropriate.

Consider Prettybelle (1971) - "a lively tale of rape and resurrection" - with book and lyrics by Bob Merrill (who wrote the music and lyrics for Carnival, as well as other pop songs in the 1950's) and music by Jule Styne (Gypsy, Bells Are Ringing, and many other Broadway hits).