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The first time I saw a Twisted Sister poster, I must've been nine or so, hanging out in my older cousin's bedroom in a swampy town in southern Virginia. It scared the shit out of me. Who were these florescent monsters with long tongues and long hair and tortured/sadistic faces? They seemed as remote from our grandparents' records of Rogers & Hammerstein musicals as a bacon burger from a fresh carrot. I averted my eyes, and communed with a poster of a snarling Axl Rose for comfort.

But now, Dee Snyder from Twister Sister wants to be on Broadway. What can this possibly mean? That Broadway has finally realized that heavy metal exists, 30 years after the fact? That Dee is grasping for any attention he can? That metal and Broadway and Dee have all met at the far end of the Kitschy Brick Road?

To begin the answer, please revisit these questions Dan Savage asked NYT theater critic (turned political writer) Frank Rich about how Broadway missed the rock 'n' roll boat:

A love of musical theater used to be a mainstream, even aggressively heterosexual interest—my parents own the eight-track tapes to South Pacific, Oklahoma, Camelot. When and how did musical theater lose its hold on the general American psyche?

It was the advent of rock music—and I was just the right age to witness it happening. I remember when I was 7 or 8, the number-one songs in the country were from My Fair Lady or Camelot and West Side Story. It literally ended when the Beatles happened. I have this vivid memory, I would have been 14 or 15 at the time, when Meet the Beatles! sort of swept through the country and my life. The whole British invasion consolidated the whole rock and roll takeover of American pop culture. That was the end of Broadway musicals as being the pop music of the country, and it's never been the same since.

Why wasn't Broadway ever able to digest and regurgitate rock and roll like it had done so many other forms before?

It's so interesting—my own theory is that it was an incredibly shortsighted industry. You would think the obvious thing to do would have been for a producer to go to Laura Nyro, Simon and Garfunkel, Lennon and McCartney, whomever, and say, "Write a score, write a musical!" No one did it!

They eventually did it to Paul Simon.

Years later, 20 years later. In the past 10 or 15 years, they have tried to catch up, Spring Awakening as an example. Green Day is doing a musical right now on its way to Broadway that's trying out in San Francisco or Berkley, but that's all after the horse is out of the barn. When it would have made a difference, it did nothing. I was startled to read in the Times a piece about Bye Bye Birdie, because it's being revived for the first time on Broadway this week—and Bye Bye Birdie was in 1960, and the authors of it said they could hardly raise the money for Bye Bye Birdie because it was considered this radical rock musical by producers of the period. I thought that was an absolute snapshot of what went on. In some ways, it's like newspapers not figuring out the internet until too late. Broadway thought rock music was a fad and laughable. The last generation of great musical-theater writers, they all started their careers just before rock came in.

Will Broadway embracing rock be the death knell for rock? Which would be delightful, because I hate rock.

[Laughs.] It could be, you know there's always been that joke—when you see a Hollywood actor turn up in a Broadway musical, it's like a way to repent and reform a career that is tanking.

Now Dee and Broadway have embraced each other in the jukebox musical Rock of Ages, playing the songs of Styx, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, et al.—and Green Day and Broadway have cuddled together over American Idiot.

"This rock... it's not corny!" Billie Joe Armstrong insists in the American Idiot internet trailer. The lady doth protest too much.

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So Broadway discovers rock 'n' roll—and not even the best rock 'n' roll—45 years after it rolled into town. Some might read that as a sign of life, but these jukebox musicals are just a few more skulls littering theater's boneyard of the imagination.

(We'll see what happens with Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson—but even that's an ironic riff on emo, which doesn't quite count as Broadway getting/embracing pop music. And the new versions of the songs, up here now, sound too overproduced and slicked-up. As soon as it made the jump to Broadway, Bloody Bloody stopped sounding like something new and started sounding like a reunion tour.)