For the Kickstarter campaign, I shot a crazy video all over NYC to tell the story of the Periodic Table. It's full of fun musical theatre references and generally ridiculous, so take a look and see how many you can spot!
Videographer: Garth Kravits, cut&dry films
The Periodic Table of Broadway Musicals started as a personal project of mine to pass the time when I was music directing at a summer stock theater in upstate New York. We had no TV and spotty internet (that’s summer stock!), so I thought I’d try to make a master list of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time. I love lists. Reading them and making them, anything that organizes data into fun and easy-to-understand ways can entertain me for hours. Being something of a musical theater geek, and having grown up as an actual geek, the Periodic Table of the Elements immediately came to mind as a blueprint.
The front of your chemistry class
looked like this
I refreshed my memory on that original Table, discovering that it had 118 elements arranged into 10 families (the “Noble Gases” are one of the most well-known). At first, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to come up with 118 musicals that deserved to be included, but how wrong I was! It soon became clear I’d have to make some hard choices, but those that made the cut would be truly the cream of the crop, representing shows from the birth of the form, like “Showboat,” to modern game-changers, like “Hamilton.”
My chart was starting
to look like this
From there, the project took on a life of its own. The shows started to group themselves into families like “The Classics” and “The Leading Ladies Series,” and I added an abbreviation, the opening date and number of performances to each “tile.” Suddenly, it seemed like an actual product that people other than me might get a kick out of, and I decided it needed some fun artwork to make it pop. Wouldn’t it be great if every show had its own little icon to represent it?
I scoured the internet for the most exciting, witty, visually savvy illustrators out there, and I found Tatiana Bischak, a gifted artist from Traverse City, MI, who immediately threw herself into the project.
As we started to collaborate on the designs, it became clear that she’d need some help – 118 is a VERY big number – and she brought in her colleague, the equally talented Nick Matej.
Together, they have created an astonishing catalog of images, full of charm and unexpected details, with references to songs, characters, and moments in the shows that will delight anyone, whether they're familiar with the show or not.