The jukebox musical is a noble tradition; tying together the greatest hits of a certain artist (or in some cases, genre), and try to fit them all into some kind of plot. It usually is light in the plot department, but, in a surprising number of cases, it works. In fact, Mamma Mia, based around, of all bands, ABBA, has been running on Broadway for over twelve years, and has been running on the West End since 1999, with no sign of slowing down on either side of the pond. However, not all jukebox musicals fare so well. Take the recent example of Viva Forever, based around the songs of The Spice Girls, because the first time they tried it, it worked out so well.
The musical, with a book written by Jennifer Saunders, creator of Absolutely Fabulous, the plot tells the story of a girl named Viva, who is a member of a band who competes on an X-Factor style show called Starmaker, and how she manages to achieve success, and the bad times that results. It contains a grand total of 21 Spice Girls songs (out of a total 33 songs the band released total).
The original plans were for it to run until early 2014, but after the show was massacred by the critics, and with even Judy Craymer saying “Despite the wonderful audience, extremely positive feedback and the standing ovation at every performance from an audience of families and friends all enjoying a great night out, we just can’t make it work,” the show will close on June 29, after a total of 6 1/2 months.
The members of the Spice Girls were devastated at the loss, as they said on Twitter.
Quoth Mel C: “Absolutely devastated our wonderful show is closing. Thank you to our brilliant cast.”
Quoth Emma Bunton: “I am totally gutted that our wonderful show @vivaforever is coming to an end. Thank you to all our amazing fans for your constant support!”
In the comments thread, feel free to give us links to any Joy Division-styled versions of “Viva Forever” you can find or produce (because, deep down, it really sounds like it could be a Joy Division song), or, failing that, guess what other bands you think might have their work made into jukebox musicals.