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Pop Stars on Broadway: Hits and Misses with Ricky Martin, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nick Jonas, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, Etc.

by Jon Sobel   Apr 22, 2014 13:01 PM EDT

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Jukebox musicals are big business and they keep coming. Shows about legendary pop stars and their music, like Dreamgirls, Jersey Boys, Motown, Beautiful and Lady Day, draw tourist crowds to Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway and regional stages year after year. The same goes for fictional shows that feature classic rock, pop and rap, like Rock of Ages, with the upcoming Holler If Ya Hear Me about to enter the ring.

But when active pop stars put themselves through the Broadway ringer, the results are decidedly less certain.

After a critically ill-received turn in Cinderella on Broadway, Carly Rae Jepsen of "Call Me Maybe" fame, is, well, pretty much still just Carly Rae Jepsen of "Call Me Maybe" fame.

Ricky Martin's reviews in the 2012 revival of Evita with Elena Roger were for the most part no more than decent. I thought he was very good, but I also remember Kevin Kline in the original production, and being expected to measure up to Kline can't be easy for any actor, let alone a Broadway-green pop singer. The revival closed after less than a year despite three Tony nominations.

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