Not long after the Netflix Regency romance 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.



"Bridgerton," a steamy, lavishly produced period piece delivered by Shonda Rhimes, has quickly become the most-streamed series on Netflix. Not long after it premiered over Christmas, two young songwriters ask this question on TikTok.


ABIGAIL BARLOW: OK, but what if "Bridgerton" was a musical? (Singing) What a beautiful party. I'm looking up at the ceiling a lot. The chandelier is so sparkly.

MARTIN: Millions of people wanted to know the answer. The pair has now written more than a dozen songs that have become a hit all over social media. Jeff Lunden has this report.

JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: Abigail Barlow is 22. Her collaborator, Emily Bear, is 19. And they love "Bridgerton."

BARLOW: It came out on December 25, so we, as, you know, teenage girls - we see something...

EMILY BEAR: We're target audience, right here.

BARLOW: Target audience 101. So when we saw it, we both binged it immediately. And right after I finished bingeing it is when I wrote the first song. I just had this feeling (laughter) that what was, like, swimming in my brain - the idea was a good one.


BARLOW: (Singing) Am I the one to blame when we're dancing in the same room, and you're an ocean away?

LUNDEN: The two post bits of songs as soon as they're finished, or even while they're writing them, says Abigail Barlow.

BARLOW: We really saw the response and how quick it was. But we also want to feel like we've done our job in telling a good story.

LUNDEN: In just a month, they've written an opening number...


ABIGAIL BARLOW AND EMILY BEAR: (Singing) 'Tis the season, 'tis the season for elegant ladies. Reputations dictated by the queen.

LUNDEN: ...A musical scene where two characters meet for a duel...


BARLOW AND BEAR: (Singing) Say goodbye. Say good...


LUNDEN: But mostly they've written lots of romantic pop-inflected songs like this one, where the central couple share a tiny touch in an art gallery.


BARLOW AND BEAR: (Singing) Alone together. Alone together.

BEAR: We've all been in that same position when you're, like, in a movie theater or something with your crush in, like, 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, boom, boom.

BARLOW: (Laughter) Yeah.

BEAR: And, like, you're freaking out. But it's the tiniest touch, but it means so - you know what I mean?


BARLOW AND BEAR: (Singing) I want more...

LUNDEN: Barlow and Bear's frequent postings have even been noticed by "Bridgerton" cast members. The team posted a clip of Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony, on Entertainment Tonight.


LAUREN ZIMA: Musical brewing on TikTok...

JONATHAN BAILEY: Which it's amazing.

BARLOW: We're dead. Are we dead?

BEAR: I can't speak.

LUNDEN: And the pair says they've been approached by several people about developing the project professionally. Abigail Barlow thinks one of the reasons these songs have captured the imagination of millions is people have been stuck inside.

BARLOW: People need an escape right now and miss theater, miss being in a theater. 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 gate-kept, and you have to pay $200 for a ticket on Broadway.

BEAR: And that's only if you can get to New York.

BARLOW: Right.

LUNDEN: But, Barlow adds, whether it becomes a full-blown Broadway musical or a concept album or just an incredible moment on social media...

BARLOW: We're just two girls, like, having fun writing music in our bedroom, basically.


BARLOW AND BEAR: (Singing) If this is what you call a honeymoon, facing round in separate rooms...

LUNDEN: For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden in New York.


BARLOW: (Singing) ...We're doomed. Please forgive me, your Grace. Can't even look me in the face. And now I must lie in the mess you made. It was your mistake. You kissed me in the maze. I stole your fate. I stole your fate, no, I stole your fate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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