Back in the late 1970s, when the Gallo Opera House and Henry Miller's Theatre were the nightclubs Studio 54 and Xenon, respectively, disco ruled the airwaves. Thirty-five years ago today, on June 17, 1979, one attempt to bring disco to Broadway began previews at the Minskoff Theatre: a musical called Got Tu Go Disco. It played nine troubled preview performances, opened on June 25 to negative reviews, and closed eight performances later. In his review for the New York Times, critic Richard Eder wrote, "Their message seems to be that disco has no particular character, requires no particular effort and therefore is good for everyone. Not for a theater audience, though."
Happily, the reverse relationship turned out to be a bit more fruitful. Dozens of Broadway's greatest hits were recorded by disco artists, from songs by Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber to George Gershwin and Frank Loesser. In fact, some of them even made it to the top of the Billboard disco chart. So pull out your polyester suit and platform shoes, and join us for a tour through some of our favorite disco-fied showtunes.
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