Over the course of history, there have been many different Broadway shows that have taken place within the confines of a prison or in jail of some kind. Why is this something to take notice of? If you are looking for a popular production that your local theater group can reproduce costuming for jail or prison is quite easy! Everyone wears the same exact thing.
A short list of some of the most popular (or less than popular) musicals and plays that deal with the subject of prison and jail are:
Chicago – One of the most iconic songs from this show “Cell Block Tango” otherwise known as Pop, Six, Squish, Uh-uh, Cicero and Lipschitz, takes place inside the all female prison. In this tune, the girls lament over being in prison for crimes again men who “had it coming.” Lucky7, a bail bond company, believes if they didn’t kill all their men, they would have maid bail and not be stuck in prison while waiting trial. If that were the case we wouldn’t have this amazing song!
Reefer Madness – the entire second half of the show, Jimmy, who has been hooked on reefer, gets sent to Jail. Here is eventually pardoned by FDR and then vows to help spread the word on the evils of Marijuana. Of course there’s a big song and dance number within the prison.
Les Miserables – The opening of this long running musical opens with prisoner 24601 on a ship with other convicts. Jean Valjean is under the mercy of the ruthless Javert. This starts a lifelong fued between the two and the rest of the show follows their stories.
Another thing that all these shows have in common other than their setting being in jail is the fact that the audiences wishes that the heroes of the story will escape the clutches of the iron clad. And in some cases they do and in some cases they don’t. Either way, there’s nothing like a good prison drama!
There are people all over the world who marvel at the idea of attending a Broadway play. While this is supposed to be a sign of culture and refinement, there are some shows that have caused quite a bit of controversy. Here are three Broadway shows that still have tongues wagging.
In 1926, actress Mae West, who was using the name Jane Mast at the time, penned a play called Sex. This was a play about a prostitute that lived in Montreal. The New York Times panned the play and described it as being “poorly acted” and “cheaply produced.” Even so, people loved it and continued to buy tickets. At one point, there was a raid during one of the showings and the entire cast was arrested!
The Children’s Hour
This is a play about two teachers that were falsely accused of being lesbians. At the time the show was released, it was against the law to discuss homosexuality on stage. The show was raved about, so no one was placed in trouble. With that said, there were several places around the nation that refused to allow the play to be shown.
Jesus Christ Superstar
This rock opera is well-loved by fans all over the globe, but religious leaders did not like this show at all. The fact that Jesus was depicted as a human led them to believe that the play was nothing short of blasphemous. There were protests done on many nights when the show was scheduled
Most Broadway plays are loved all over the world, yet sometimes people have a problem with them and controversy arises. Whether it is because of a risque topic or the idea that someone is poking fun at religion, it’s amazing how people can have very different views of the same show.
We don’t want to be one of those blogs that just assumes that you already know what Hamilton is! Not everyone has a countdown to the Tony Awards. Here’s a great news feature on the show that explains how this show seamlessly blends Hip Hop and Broadway Tradition while also telling us a great historically accurate story.