Now Playing On TikTok: ‘Bridgerton’ The Musical

Igor Kasyanyuk

Abigail Barlow, left, and Emily Bear are the creative duo behind Bridgerton the musical. "We wanted to be able to tell a stand-alone story and still honor what was created in the books and the TV show," says Barlow. "But honestly, we want to bring something new to these characters as well."

Bridgerton, a Regency-era bodice ripper, produced by Shonda Rhimes, has quickly became the most-streamed series on Netflix. Not long after it premiered on Christmas, two young songwriters asked on TikTok: “Ok but what if Bridgerton was a musical?”

Millions of people wanted to know the answer. The duo, Barlow & Bear, has since written over a dozen songs.

Abigail Barlow is a 22-year-old pop singer-songwriter with magenta hair. Her partner, 19-year-old Emily Bear, is trained in classical and jazz piano and has worked with Quincy Jones. They absolutely love Bridgerton.

“When we saw it, we both binged it immediately,” Barlow says. “And right after I finished binging it is when I wrote the first song, I just had this feeling that what was like swimming in my brain, the idea was a good one.”

“The show has all the elements you would want for a Broadway show …” Bear says. “I was so immersed in the show. … I wanted to be in these characters’ world. And I feel like that is exactly the feeling you want when you go to a Broadway show.”

The two post bits of songs, as soon they’re finished — or even while they’re writing them. In just a month, they’ve written an opening number, a musical scene in which two of the characters meet for a duel, and lots of romantic, pop-inflected songs, like “Alone Together,” where the central couple, Daphne and Simon, share a tiny touch in an art gallery.

“We’ve all been in that same position,” Bear says, “When you’re, like, in a movie theater or something, with your crush in the middle school or something, and you see his hand like slowly come towards you and your heart’s going like boom boom boom boom boom boom! … And like, you’re freaking out. But it’s the tiniest touch, but it means so much, you know what I mean?”

Barlow and Bear’s frequent postings on social media have drawn lots of attention, including from Bridgerton cast members. And the pair says they’ve been approached by several people in the entertainment industry about developing the project professionally. “We’re just sort of getting all of our ducks in a row before we decide a lane to go down,” Bear says.

Barlow thinks one of the reasons these Bridgerton songs have captured the imagination of millions, is people have been stuck inside.

“People need an escape right now and miss theater, miss being in a theater,” Barlow says. “And people are discovering musical theater for the first time that have never been able to have access to it before, because it’s so gatekept and you have to pay $200 for a ticket on Broadway.”

But Barlow adds, whether it becomes a full-blown Broadway musical or a concept album or just an incredible moment on social media, “We’re just two girls, like, having fun writing music in our bedroom.”

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