So he did whatever he could with music to make a living - accompanying for dance classes, singers, nightclub acts, etc. - all while writing songs and trying to figure out how to get them heard. He had some success writing jingles for TV and radio. He got the chance to write some songs for "Sesame Street." Fortunately, he connected with lyricist Howard Ashman and together they wrote a few off-Broadway shows. After "Little Shop of Horrors" got some notice, Ashman contacted Disney about writing the songs for "The Little Mermaid." We all know what happened next - the trajectory of Musical Theater changed!
During the late 1960's through the 1970's, Broadway was dying. There were very few box office successes on Broadway. Many of the theaters were closing due to lack of business and the businesses were turning into seedy bars and tattoo shops. Once Disney decided to buy a theater on Broadway and start producing shows there, the future for Broadway perked up. Other mighty shows such as "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera" also came in and improved the landscape on 42 Street. Alan Menken has had many shows featuring his music on Broadway. Many of his movies (his "babies"), even the ones that were declared box office flops, got a second life on the Broadway stage. "Beauty and the Beast," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Newsies," and others all started as movies, and are now full-fledged theatrical pieces. They are performed live all over the world by professional companies, community theaters, and even school and children's theater groups.
He said that he is often asked "What is the secret to writing memorable songs?"
Where can I get me some of those?
Alan Menken is such an inspiration to me! I love his music and enjoyed immensely getting to know a little more about him at the concert.