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Max Martin Has Only Ever Seen Two Musicals
Max Martin Has Only Ever Seen Two Musicals,Pop producer Max Martin told the New York Times he had only seen two musicals before his own jukebox project, ’& Juliet.’ They were ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Hamilton.’ ’& Juliet,’ which opens on Broadway on November 17, features Martin’s many pop hits.

Max Martin Has Only Ever Seen Two Musicals

Max Martin has spent his career pretty narrowly focused on pop music, and for good reason. The man has written or produced 25 No. 1 hits for everybody from Britney Spears to Katy Perry to Taylor Swift, putting him only behind Paul McCartney and John Lennon for most No. 1’s written on the Hot 100. But recently, the Swedish super-producer pivoted to the theater world, overseeing a jukebox musical of his hits, & Juliet. (As the title implies, it’s a retelling of Romeo and Juliet — but this time, she lives.) In a rare profile for the New York Times, Martin admits he went into the process nearly clueless, having only seen two musicals before his own. So, what were they?

Mamma Mia! and Hamilton. To be fair, those are two of the most popular additions to the canon of the 21st century. Mamma Mia! especially makes sense — a jukebox musical of hits from Martin’s fellow Swedish pop giants, ABBA. And Hamilton only came after he began work on & Juliet over a decade ago. (The show first premiered on London’s West End in 2019, where it went on to win three Olivier Awards.) The Times noted this shouldn’t be surprising for Martin, who also recently revealed in a filing for a copyright case against Swift over “Shake It Off” that he barely listens to the radio and doesn’t read Billboard. (Don’t expect to hear that song — or any of Swift’s Martin hits — in & Juliet; while Martin said no one turned down their songs for the project, hers are curiously absent.)

While & Juliet, which opens on Broadway on November 17, is a tour of Martin’s hit collaborations, from Spears and Perry to Kelly Clarkson and Celine Dion, the offstage team-ups are just as varied. Spears’s former (and recently criticized) assistant, Felicia Culotta, works on “sparkle maintenance” for the show. Among the executive producers is Martin’s disgraced former collaborator Dr. Luke, whom Kesha accused of sexual abuse in a 2014 lawsuit. Martin has been just as exacting on the project as he reportedly is on music, per his collaborators. Bill Sherman, the music supervisor, told the New York Times that Martin’s worst criticism is comparing something to “a college thesis project.” Wonder what his reviews of Mamma Mia! and Hamilton were.


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