Here’s What ‘The Great Gatsby’ Musical Could Sound Like

Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, is set to write the music for a Great Gatsby musical. Here’s what we think it could sound like, and some other celebrities who have written musicals!

This year F. Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated book The Great Gatsby was released into public domain. And guess what? We’re getting a musical written by the one and only Florence Welch!

Welch is the vocalist of the indie rock band Florence + the Machine. The band first skyrocketed to fame when they released their 2010 summer bop ‘Dog Days Are Over.’ The band is known for being folksy, and we are super interested as to what the musical could sound like!

Thinking about The Great Gatsby (2013)

— ♓︎ (@mlkanderi) April 26, 2021

The Great Gatsby is set in the roaring 20s, during the peak of the Jazz Age (a term that was actually coined by Fitzgerald). Fast, heavily syncopated jazz developed by African American musicians was popular during this time. The Great Gatsby is a larger-than-life book and story, full of massive parties and a life of opulence. It makes sense that the music in the musical would be just as big and powerful and reflective of jazz culture. Shows like Chicago, Anything Goes, and Guys and Dolls all are esteemed musicals that have incorporated jazz into their scores. So it’s easy to picture a standard, jazzy, The Great Gatsby musical with catchy melodies. Enter Florence Welch.

Florence + the Machine is an indie-rock band, but they utilize a lot of folk elements in their instrumentations and experimental drums. They also have some deep and powerful ballads that utilize Welch’s impressive vocal range. Some examples that show off their style include ‘Cosmic Love,’ ‘What The Water Gave Me,’ and ‘Shake It Off.’ They also performed ‘Jenny of Oldstones,’ the ballad from HBO’s Game of Thrones.

So what could The Great Gatsby musical sound like? We anticipate fast-paced music that fits the 1920s vibe paired with dynamic, soulful vocals. Both Florence + the Machine and 1920s jazz are known for being extremely soulful, so that’ll definitely cross over into the show. Some musicians who are known for their folk-jazz style include Norah Jones and First Aid Kit, who respectively lean more towards modern jazz and folk.

While the music will probably rely heavily on big band jazz, we’re hoping Welch will add some of her signatures into the music, like the harp and her use of stringed instruments. It’ll be something unique and distinct, which will set the show apart from other jazzy musicals.

All in all, we’re super excited to find out more as time goes on. But Florence Welch isn’t the only pop musician that has helped write a musical. Here are some celebs who have also worked on popular shows!

Dolly Parton

In 1980, the film 9 to 5 was released. It starred Parton, who wrote and performed the theme song for it! Almost 30 years later, she wrote all the music and lyrics for a musical adaptation that opened at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre! The musical received 4 Tony nominations, 15 Drama Desk Award nominations, and a Grammy nomination.

Cyndi Lauper

In 2012, 80s icon Cyndi Lauper worked on the stage adaptation of Kinky Boots! She is credited with composing and writing the lyrics. The show received 13 Tony nominations and won 6, including best musical and best score!

ELTON JOHN – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles (1975)

by Terry O’Neill

— Michael Warburton (@mikewarburton) April 26, 2021

Elton John

British sensation Elton John is no stranger to the stage! He’s worked on the music for The Lion King, Aida, Billy Elliot, Lestat, and The Devil Wears Prada (which is premiering soon)! He’s had an extremely successful run on Broadway and has been individually nominated for 4 Tony’s!

Sara Bareilles

And of course, Sara Bareilles is the mastermind behind Waitress. The 2007 film was adapted in 2015, with Bareilles composing and working on lyrics. The show was nominated for 4 Tony’s and a Grammy.

Musicals written by pop musicians have done well in the past, and we’re super excited to hear what Florence comes up with for The Great Gatsby! Whether or not she sticks to traditional jazz, or mixes it up with some folk rock, we know it’s gonna be good!

About the Author

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Daniella Baltazar

Daniella Baltazar is a senior at Emerson College currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Media Arts Production with a minor in Global and Post-Colonial Studies. She is a spring 2021 intern for AfterBuzz TV and is hoping to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.