There’s nothing like a Broadway show. Seeing a musical on Broadway is a New York City experience that everyone should have in their lifetime. The swell of the orchestra, the rising curtain, the legendary performers and amazing sets… Broadway take you to places near and far from the heart of New York City and you’ll find it difficult not to be blown away by whatever show you chose to see. But there are some Broadway shows that are just little more awesome than the rest. Check our 7 Broadway shows that you definitely should see.
An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow. Notably incorporating hip-hop, rhythm and blues, pop music, traditional-style show tunes and color-conscious casting of non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures, the musical achieved both critical acclaim and box office success.
Hamilton’s story is an extraordinary journey of success in the face of adversity, a life built on a raging passion to do good and create change for the better, as he rose from a Caribbean immigrant to one of the most important men in America.
Born out of wedlock in the West Indies and orphaned by the time he was 11, he arrived in New Jersey in 1772 to begin his grammar school education. From there he played a major role in the American revolutionary war, rising through the ranks to become an aide to George Washington. But that was only the beginning of the great man’s story, with the proceeding chapters in his life taking in everything from sex scandals, fatal duels and the creation of the American Constitution.
See it in Richard Rodgers Theater.
Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winner Bette Midler (Fiddler on the Roof, The First Wives Club) returns to the Broadway stage in one of the greatest musicals of all time – Hello, Dolly! Starring alongside David Hyde Pierce, Ms Midler leads the revival of Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s glorious comedy as the redoubtable matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, in a Tony-winning performance. Bursting with golden age musical charm, Hello, Dolly! is an extravagant slice of entertainment, and includes countless classic Broadway showstoppers, such as ‘It Only Takes A Moment’ and ‘Put On Your Sunday Clothes’.
In 1880’s Yonkers a rich and cantankerous widower by the name of Horace Vandergelder is on the lookout for a wife. To help him on his quest he engages the services of professional matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, but little does he know that Dolly has his perfect match in mind from their very first meeting – herself! Now all she has to do is make Horace realise it as well!
See it in Shubert Theatre.
Aladdin is a musical based on the 1992 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin. Beguelin also wrote the book. The musical includes three songs written for the film by Ashman but not used there and four new songs written by Menken and Beguelin.
The story follows the familiar tale of a poor young man who is granted three wishes by a genie in a lamp, which he uses to woo a princess and to thwart the sultan’s evil Grand Vizier. Set in the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah, the characters and setting are Middle Eastern.The animated version was celebrated as Disney’s first to feature non-white protagonists. However, the anglicisation of Aladdin and Jasmine drew attention to Disney’s lack of authentic representation of ethnically diverse characters.
Aladdin premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in 2011. After several regional and international productions in 2012, the musical was given a Toronto tryout in 2013. It opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20, 2014, to mostly warm reviews and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
Plucky street urchin Aladdin’s life is transformed forever when he ventures into the cave of Wonders and discovers a magic lamp. Out pops a manic Genie, who has the power to grant Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin’s first wish is to be made into a prince, mainly so he can impress the city’s beautiful Princess Jasmine, who he’s sure could never love a pauper. But as love begins to blossom between Aladdin and Jasmine, there’s trouble on the horizon. The nefarious statesman Jafar knows all about Aladdin’s real identity and the power of the lamp, and is determined to secure the Genie’s magic for himself!
See it in New Amsterdam Theater.
The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative telling of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Wicked celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway on October 30, 2013. On December 4, 2016, Wicked performed its 5,462nd performance with a 2:00 p.m. matinee, making Wicked the 8th longest-running Broadway show, passing Beauty and the Beast.A typical performance runs for approximately two hours and 30 minutes, plus a 15-minute intermission.
In March 2016, Wicked surpassed $1 billion in total Broadway revenue, joining both The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King as the only Broadway shows to do so. In July 2017, Wicked surpassed The Phantom of the Opera as Broadway’s second-highest-grossing show, trailing only The Lion King.
Story begins in the hallowed halls of Oz’s Shiz University, where we meet the Elphaba. Born with green skin, she’s has been made an outcast, by everyone including her own father, but deep within Elphaba is a great power that’s just waiting to be set free. Unfortunately, her time at college gets off to a rocky start when she’s given a new roomate – the perky, more perfect-than-perfect Glinda. In the beginning, the two absolutely despise each other, but after a simple act of kindness at a party they realise that they may not be so different after all.
Over the course of their studies they become firm friends, but when Elphaba uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy the whole world of Oz, she must choose between keeping her friend or learning how to become… Wicked!
See it in Gershwin Theater.
SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL
School of Rock is a rock musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes. The musical was announced in December 2014 and opened just under a year later on December 6, 2015. Prior to School of Rock’s debut, staged concerts were held at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan in June 2015. It made its Broadway debut and world premiere at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 6, 2015 following previews that began on November 9, 2015, with direction by Laurence Connor and choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, and starring Alex Brightman and Sierra Boggess as Dewey Finn and Rosalie Mullins, respectively. The musical made its West End debut at the New London Theatre on November 14, 2016.
Rock star wannabe Dewey Finn is down on his luck. He’s just been kicked out of own band No Vacancy for his over enthusiastic on-stage antics, and his landlord is threatening conviction unless he coughs up his overdue rent. Desperate for money, he disguises himself as a substitute music teacher to land a position at a well-to-do prep school.
When he meets his new class, a bunch of smart-talking kids who happen to be more than a little handy when it comes to musical instruments, an idea begins to form. A local Battle of the Bands competition is looming, featuring none other than No Vacancy, and Dewey sees a chance for both revenge and a proper shot at rock stardom!
See it in Winter Garden Theater.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe also wrote the musical’s book together. The play is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux.
The musical opened in London’s West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (in the title role) won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. It is the longest running show in Broadway history by a wide margin, and celebrated its 10,000th Broadway performance on 11 February 2012, the first production ever to do so. It is the second longest-running West End musical, after Les Misérables, and the third longest-running West End show overall, after The Mousetrap.
With total estimated worldwide gross receipts of over $5.6 billion and total Broadway gross of $845 million,Phantom was the most financially successful entertainment event until The Lion King passed it in 2014. By 2011, it had been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries, and continues to play in London and New York.
Underneath the Paris Opera House, there lurks the Phantom. Horribly deformed and mentally unstable, he stalks the building’s cellars, plotting malevolent acts against the Opera’s owners and whichever actors dare to take to the stage. Despite his terrible reign, he is infact blessed with extraordinary musical talent, and when one day he spies the beautiful singer Christine Daae, he knows he has found the star who can truly do his own music justice. Yet Christine is engaged to another, and blinded by jealousy, The Phantom kidnaps her and takes her to his lair in the Opera’s foundations.
Though she’s terrified at first, Christine begins to understand the awful events which have turned the Phantom into a monster. But will Christine empathy be enough to put a stop to the Phantom’s reign of terror, or will the murderous mob, led by Christine’s fiance, get to him first?
See it in Majestic Theater.
THE LION KING
The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
The musical debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre, and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997, in previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997. On June 13, 2006, the Broadway production moved to the Minskoff Theatre to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins, where it is still running after more than 6,700 performances. It is Broadway’s third longest-running show in history and the highest grossing Broadway production of all time, having grossed more than $1 billion.
Play open to the dawn rejoicing of all the animals of the savanna, as a new lion prince is born to the benevolent King Mufasa and his queen Sarabi. The cub, Simba, grows up into a lively and feckless youngster who gets into trouble with his childhood friend Nala, Together the two cubs play and discover their homeland in a series of adventures, until one day King Mufasa is tragically murdered by his brother Scar. Simba is usurped by his evil uncle, and retreats to the jungle to grow up with the sharp-witted meerkat Timon and his big-hearted wildebeest buddy Pumba.
Flash forward to years later, and this trio have become firm friends, spending their time roaming the land and getting into all sorts of hi-jinks. Yet Simba knows that one day he must face up to his destiny, and when he learns of the terrible havoc wreaked by Scar, he sets out to reclaim his throne and restore peace to the animal kingdom!
See it in Minskoff Theater.