Two of tech’s biggest stars will finally make their way to the Broadway stage this April.
A musical sneeringly titled Nerds will chronicle the ascent and heated rivalry between Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates and Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs. Described in a press release as “a hilarious musical journey from the floppy disc era to the iPhone phenomenon,” the production will also feature an overloaded hodgepodge of tech integrations, including onstage holograms and apps “that allow users to interact with the set, other audience members [and] choose the show’s ending.”
(While this may be in keeping with the show’s themes, encouraging theatergoers to be on their phones seems bound to spawn heated rivalries of a different sort.)
This isn’t Nerds’ first run. The show was first presented by the Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2013, and a video from that production provides a curious glimpse as to what’s in store. In one scene, an actor portraying Bill Gates is seen tangoing with another character, who appears to be his wife, Melinda, singing, “Let’s merge! We’ve got the urge to merge! Let’s merge!”
The show has since undergone some “fine-tuning and re-coding” for its Broadway debut, creators say.
If entrepreneurship and The Great White Way sound like unlikely bedfellows, new research would seem to indicate that live events are appealing to younger crowds. A study by Eventbrite found that 82 percent of millennials attended some kind of live event this year -- 60 percent of whom shared about their experiences on social media. And data from ticketing app TodayTix shows that 70 percent of theatergoers today are millennials -- largely due to phenomenons such as Hamilton and new ways to purchase tickets.
Broadway is the latest venue to capitalize on the illustrious legacy of Steve Jobs, following a slew of books, documentaries and feature films about the business leader.