Who doesn’t love a good cover? For years, “Glee” gave musical theatre nerds everywhere their weekly fix of theatrical-style covers of pop songs. But with “Glee” officially in retirement, there has been a void.
While I’ve had no shortage of alternative listening material, my copy of the “Hamilton” soundtrack could use a bit of a rest. Enter Postmodern Jukebox, the lovechild of pop music and Broadway.
Here are some reasons why theatre nerds will love Postmodern Jukebox:
1. Unique Broadway-Style Covers of Popular Songs
Postmodern Jukebox has done for me what “Glee” used to do. It has taken popular songs I enjoyed and made me love them more — while also taking songs I didn’t care for and making me love them, too. PMJ specializes in reworking popular songs into various classic genres, many of which feel like a throwback to classic Broadway. It has covered everyone from Miley Cyrus to Aerosmith, so there’s no shortage of listening options.
2. Full Band Arrangements
PMJ founder Scott Bradlee plays the piano and acts as the group’s arranger. The rest of the band is made up of a series of rotating musicians. Their talent and Bradlee’s well-layered arrangements make magic.
3. Broadway Guest Vocalists
Much like its musicians, PMJ boasts an impressive set of guest vocalists, some with musical theatre roots. Morgan James, who was featured on its recent cover of “Dream On,” has been seen on Broadway in “The Addams Family,” “Godspell” and “Motown: The Musical.” Sara Niemietz, another member of the professional theatre scene in both Chicago and New York, lends her vocals to Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful.”
The group’s most famous face may be Shoshana Bean, best known for her run as Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked.” She knocks it out of the park with an Amy Winehouse-style cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.”
4. Choreographed Numbers
It’s hard not to dance when listening to these tracks. PMJ keeps the good times rolling with fun dance numbers, including a Gene Kelly-style dance number with umbrellas and a jazz routine on the counter of an old-school malt shop. It’s as amazing as it sounds.
5. Themed Costumes
The costumes are the final element that make you feel like as if you’ve dropped into the audience of a musical or that somehow your dream of spontaneous dance numbers happening in real life has finally come true. Just me? PMJ commits to its theme in every way, including costumes. This ensures the music is more than just a fun YouTube video: It’s a transformative experience.