People We Love 2019: Andrew Barret Cox

Written by | People We Love

andrew barret cox

Photo courtesy Andrew Barret Cox

Andrew Barret Cox [Triple Threat]

The man behind multi-media extravaganza Oscar at the Crown composed the score, designed the costumes, and then choreographed the musical that left NYC audiences breathless throughout last summer. “I’ve always gravitated to what’s underground,” he says with a shrug. “And I don’t want to sell out or pander to an audience. I like being seen as envelope-pushing, different and inclusive. I love queer culture, but it’s something you don’t see a lot of in the entertainment community.”

Even as a child, Cox was drawn to art with an edge that somehow found its way into the mainstream. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to stories about outsiders and the people who tell them,” he says, “so I’m talking about people like Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino and even Alan Menken, who wrote the music for Little Shop of Horrors, one of my first favorite movies.”

Common Cause

Eventually he found allies. “Discovering the club kid scene of the ‘90s was huge for me,” says Cox. “Now I want to tell stories about people beyond the cis white heteronormative culture and use art to push the boundaries and make people think. The positive feedback we got from Oscar was very encouraging — that there was a certain segment who were getting it, who responded well to what we were doing. And that’s very gratifying for me, because those are the people I’m trying to reach, anyway.”

“I think if people are going to be surprised by anything,” Cox concludes, “it’s that we have tapped a well of talent here that has been begging for exposure for a long time. Because of the demands of the show, we’re using a lot of people who are crazy talented but whose talents are rarely showcased in what ‘Broadway’ musicals typically look for. I always want to give uniquely creative people an opportunity to shine in a way that also provides the audience with a show not quite like anything they’ve seen before.”

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Last modified: January 13, 2020