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Broadway Courts the Tweens; Adults Shudder In Horror

Photo: Paul Kolnik/Courtesy of Legally Blond the Musical

Theatergoers across New York City could be forgiven for weeping and rending their garments upon reading this morning's Times piece by Campbell Robertson tracking Broadway producers' attempts to court the tween audience. Driven by Wicked's success, shows like Legally Blonde are trying to get tween girls to come out en masse, but Robertson points out that appealing only to — as one co-worker put it — "the training-bra set" has its perils.

Increasingly, though, some worry that the sugar-and-spice enthusiasm may be misplaced, because while teenagers and tweens may be helpful in creating a hit, they are far from enough to ensure one. For that, you still need grown-ups — lots of paying grown-ups — to want to come to a show.


Nevertheless, the piece notes a number of tween-appealing shows soon to arrive on Broadway, "including 13, about a teenager from New York who is transplanted to Indiana; Princesses, which is basically High School Musical meets Gossip Girl; and a musical adaptation of the movie Clueless." The maybe-it-could-be-as-good-as-the-movie Clueless aside, this list is enough to drive any reasonable theatergoer crazy. What's next? Surely we'll see High School Musical on Broadway in the next three years, right? And then what? Bratz the Muzical!, starring Raúl Esparza? Tiger Beat Live? My Super Sweet Onstage Sixteen? Actually, we would totally watch that.

Tweens Love Broadway, But Can’t Save It Alone [NYT]