“The Unofficial Bridgerton the Musical” carries on hype of “Bridgerton” series


Photo via Google

Last year, a multitude of people spent their winter breaks binging Netflix’s most-watched original series, “Bridgerton.” Singer-songwriter Abigail Barlow and composer Emily Bear took their interest in the show to another level by composing a fictional “Bridgerton” musical. Both young artists started getting attention by posting behind the scenes videos of their songwriting process on TikTok and revealing snippets of their songs to spark their audience’s interest. 

The musicians wrote most of the lyrics together, while Barlow concentrated more heavily on the vocals and Bear produced all the songs. Almost a year after going viral, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” was released on all streaming platforms Sept. 10, leaving crazed Bridgerton fans in complete bliss. 

My sisters and I were obsessed with the “Bridgerton” series after its release. A couple of months later, Barlow’s draft of one of the first released songs, “Burn for You,” popped up on my TikTok “for you” page. I was automatically drawn in from that moment. 

Barlow and Bear admirably depict the conflict between the two main characters of the series, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), with the orchestral music representing the tension and the lyrics expressing their affections. My love for the song increased when Barlow and Bear performed “Burn for You” as a duet with “Glee star, Darren Criss. Coming from a highly-experienced musical background, Criss and Barlow executed their one-time performance gracefully, and I was disappointed to learn Criss did not sing for the released track.

Photo via Spotify

When I listened to the teaser of the first track, “‘Tis the Season,” on TikTok, my confidence for the album plummeted. I assumed it would be too loud and overwhelming, which is something I typically do not enjoy in music. When I listened to the final product, my original opinion was completely reformed. 

This track explains the entire first episode vividly from beginning to end. It is from the perspective of an anonymous reporter, known on the series as Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews), observing the preparations of all the ladies getting ready to meet the queen. Viewers who have watched the show will experience amplified adrenaline when listening to the song; however, compared to the hour-long episodes, the track was much more fast-paced, flowing from one scene to another. 

After listening to the full album, I discovered each track depicts one or more character’s perspectives, capturing the essence of all the personalities within every song. My personal favorites on the album were “If I Were a Man,” “Penelope Featherington” and “Entertain Me.” 

These three songs each focus on different characters and their experiences in the same society. For example, in the jazzy piece, “If I Were a Man,” Barlow interprets Eloise Bridgerton’s (Claudia Jessie) feelings towards the patriarchy. In the series, Eloise was well-known for her tantrums on not wanting to get married and her desires to explore life outside her confined community. 

“Penelope Featherington,” tells of the character Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) reflecting on her struggles with body image and how this affects her process in finding a genuine spouse. Finally, “Entertain Me,” is told from the perspective of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) who is trying to hide her husband, the King’s, illness that is slowly deteriorating his memory. All three viewpoints show meaningful ordeals in different musical styles. The lyrics of each song reveal aspects from the series that a viewer might not have realized before. Putting each scene with a song allowed me to create a detailed visual that is now constantly replaying in my head. 

I never thought that the recordings of this concept album would ever be released and remain an extremely passionate form of fanfiction. I am ecstatic that they were — I adored the entire album from beginning to end. Being able to convey this much description from two-minute scenes of the show displays the amount of musical talent Barlow and Bear both possess. As two small artists, they have finally made their grand debut into the industry, all thanks to “Bridgerton.”