Best Broadway Musicals NYC 2018-19
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Best Broadway Musicals in New York City 2018 – 2019 all information & schedule. A great musical production captivates your eyes & ears while an exciting storyline unfolds through lyrics and melodies. Broadway productions offer glitz, glamour, humor, and heart, and a good stage show is truly a spectacle to behold. Generally speaking, musicals are more popular on Broadway, and for good reason. Indeed, whether you’re a huge music fan or you’re just looking for a night of entertainment, going to see a Broadway musical is a fantastic way to experience the magic of theater. Broadway is a must-see if you’re a New York inhabitant or a bright-eyed visitor.
Our guide to Broadway Musicals in New York Ciry will help you find the best prices on show tickets. BroadwayShows-Nyc.com – Guide to Most Popular & Upcoming Broadway musicals.
Broadway musicals include: Waitress, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hamilton and more
Broadway Musicals – overview
Broadway’s musical Waitress is based on the 2007 film of the same name. The show tells tale of Jenna, a pregnant waitress in America’s south. Jenna is stuck in an abusive marriage, and it seems like her happy ending is far away. However, an unlikely release comes in the form of her creatively named pies and a romance with an unlikely new face. Waitress features a bouncy score written by musician Sara Bareilles, and it’s perfect for audiences searching for a happy ending.
Carole King is one of pop music’s most treasured musicians who claims a multitude of illustrious song writing credits. Beautiful follows her career from her early days in Brooklyn as a pregnant teen married to an older lyricist. King wrote a succession of hits in the decade that followed, created lifelong friendships, and charted her personal struggles through her music. The musical features some of King’s best hits like “Natural Woman”, “You’ve Got A Friend”, & “Up on the Roof”. Fans of Carole King and people unfamiliar with her work will find something to love in this heart-warming musical.
Hamilton is a recent production, premiering in 2015, but it has already achieved huge critical and mainstream success. The historical hip-hop musical, written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, is all over the internet at the moment. Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers, almost entirely through clever songs. The show is theatrically vibrant and musically stunning. Overall, it’s a catchy and comedic production that thankfully also includes some truly fantastic music. It’s no wonder that the Hamilton soundtrack is wildly popular amongst people who’ve never even seen the Broadway show!
– Naked Boys Singing
Naked Boys Singing has been one of Broadway’s most tongue-in-cheek musical revues for years now and it’s still going strong! The show does exactly what it says in the tin: the attractive all-male cast are out of their clothes and completely naked before the first song even finishes. Naked Boys Singing is a delightful romp that contains gay themes and a lot of laughter. The eight performers sing, dance, and charm their way through an array of catchy, upbeat musical numbers. The topics focus on the male body so, unsurprisingly, Naked Boys Singing is a huge hit with bachelorette parties and gay men – but a wide variety of critics have lavishly praised it too. Obviously, Naked Boys Singing isn’t suitable for children. However, if you’re an adult with an open mind and a love of camp fun, you’ll adore it.
If you enjoyed West Side Story, you’ll love A Bronx Tale. The relatively new musical is a New York Times Critic’s Pick and has won fans from all over the world. The dramatic musical takes place against the backdrop of 1960s New York, unfolding on the stoops of the Bronx. A pensive young man, Chazz Palminteri, must choose between his father and his potential future as a mob boss. The score is primarily funky, foot-tapping doo-wop music that’ll have you dancing in your seat by intermission. The set and costuming are a delightful complement to this upbeat and heart-wrenching musical masterpiece.
Dear Evan Hansen is a belter of a musical and a real tear-jerker. Evan is a high school senior struggling with social anxiety disorder, encouraged to write daily letters by his therapist. When Evan gets involved in another’s teen’s family tragedy, a mistake threatens to change his whole life. He finally gets the chance to fit in, but at what cost? This clever, tragic musical will make its home in your heart and surely bring you to tears before the final act. However, Dear Evan Hansen also contains pockets of joy, not least through some of its deftly composed musical numbers.
The Phantom of the Opera is one of the most iconic musicals of all time, spawning a flurry of media references and repeat productions. The Phantom, a mysterious musical genius who lives underneath an opera house, is obsessed with the beautiful soprano Christine. The music, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is hauntingly rich and filled with emotion. Indeed, songs like “The Phantom of the Opera” & “Masquerade” are popular far outside their original Broadway setting. One thing is for sure: you’ll be humming the dramatic score long after the curtain falls.
On Your Feet recounts the story of international music sensations Gloria & Emilio Estefan. The musical boasts energetic, inspired choreography and gloriously showy costumes, making it a real visual spectacle. And that’s without mentioning the music! A rip-roaring band and talented singers do a wonderful job of recreating the Estefans’ classic hits like “Conga”, “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”, and “1-2-3”.
Long-time Gloria & Emilio Estefan fans will be clapping their hands and reliving the glory days, while new listeners will quickly find something to love in the catchy music, heart-warming story, and eye-popping visuals. On Your Feet is a real mile-a-minute Broadway production and a must-see for Latin music fans.
Cinematic musicals like Grease, La La Land, & High School Musical have brought newfound popularity to the musical genre. However, nothing compares to seeing a musical unfold live on stage before your eyes. Certainly, going to see a musical production on Broadway is an experience like no other. From the orchestras and the talented musical actors to the dazzling costumes and beautiful sets, Broadway musicals are truly captivating.
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10 BROADWAY MUSICALS YOU MUST SEE
Do you wonder about Broadway musicals, and about musicals as a genre? Are they a thing of the past, associated with the illustrious names of deceased composers such as Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) or Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960)?
The answer, emphatically, is: no. And, should you desire evidence for the continued vitality of the medium, or the enduring centrality of Broadway, here are ten shows you must see.
1. Anastasia, whichopened April 24, 1017 at the Broadhurst Theatre, tells the story of a woman who may or may not be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.
Anastasia stars the remarkable Christy Altomare as “Anya,” an amnesiac woman groomed by con-men to pretend to be the titular princess, who comes to suspect that the con-men chose better than they knew. Derek Klena plays Dmitri, the handsome young man with whom the plot must, of course, pair her, and Ramin Karimbo plays the conflicted Bolshevik General Gleb Vagonov.
This musical isn’t “based on a true story,” and no one of any age will learn anything about the Russian Revolution or the White Russian émigré world from watching it. Anastasia is a romance and a suspense story, very loosely based on a 1950s Ingrid Bergman/Yul Brynner movie of the same name, which won Bergman an Academy Award for Best Actress. And taken in the spirit either of romance or of suspense, this musical is very successful.
2. Bandstand, whichopened on April 26, 2017, at theBernard B. Jacobs Theatre, features the compositions of Richard Oberacker. For the book and lyrics, Oberacker shares credit with Robert Taylor.
This well-crafted show tells the tale of veterans returning home from the Second World War and finding that they can’t fit back into their old lives. They decide they will live their new post-war life will as musicians, and in that spirit they enter a national radio contest. Bandstand stars Corey Cott as the central figure among the play’s veterans, the soldier-turned-bandleader Danny Novitski. His leading lady is a young war widow who becomes the band’s vocalist, Julia Trojan, a part acted and beautifully sung, by Laura Osnes.
Reviewer Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the dancing was spectacular, “not least for its grounding in the social dance of the era,” and for its value in the exploration of the characters.
3. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, opened on January 12, 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, with Jessie Mueller as lead actress. Jake Epstein played Gerry Goffin, who was King’s husband and song-writing partner from 1959 until their divorce ten years later.
As the subtitle indicates, this show traces the career of the prolific composer and performer Carole King, who wrote 118 of the songs that populated the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999, including “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” for The Shirelles, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” for the Monkees, and “A Natural Woman” for Aretha Franklin.
Jessie Mueller received the Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical. Beautiful’s sound designer, Brian Ronan, won the Tony for Best Sound Design.
4. The Book of Mormon opened on March 24, 2011, so it was on Broadway in time to receive extra hype in connection with the candidacy of Mitt Romney, the first Mormon ever to receive a presidential nomination from a major political party in the U.S.
The Book of Mormon is the creation of Robert Lopez, known for Avenue Q and Frozen, in collaboration with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creative team behind the animated television program South Park. The original cast featured Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad as the two elders sent from Utah to a remote Ugandan village in search of converts, Elders Price and Cunningham, respectively.
5. Cats has been around forever, in Broadway years. It opened in London’s West End on May 11, 1981 and on Broadway in 1982. It closed on Broadway in 2000, and was revived there last year.
In the revival of this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Leona Lewis plays Grizabella, the Glamour Cat. Interestingly, “Grizabella” does not appear in the source material, T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” though she may be a feline version of a woman described in another Eliot work, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night.”
The lyrics of the signature song from this show, “Memory,” were written by Trevor Nunn for Webber’s music.
Whether or not one is an admirer of the titular quadrupeds, this re-born show is worth a look.
6. Chicago – here we come to another of the “veteran” shows on our list, newly revived. Chicago first opened on Broadway on June 3, 1975. It was revived there in 1996 and that revival still plays, more than 20 years later.
The real-life fact behind this production was the 1924 trial of accused murderers Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner. Annan became the musical’s “Roxie Hart,” and Gaertner has been creatively transformed into “Velma Kelly.”
Chicago gave the world the songs “All that Jazz,” “When You’re Good to Mama,” “Mr. Cellophane,” and “Razzle Dazzle.” The music was composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. The book is a collaboration of Ebb and Bob Fosse.
7. The Lion King first opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997 three years after the box office success of the Disney animated film which it arose. Though it opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre, it is now showing at the Minskoff.
The carved masks, breathtaking costumes, and innovative puppetry, all made it, and still make it, an extraordinary spectacle, even (or especially) for those parents who brought their children and wrongly expected that the show would be mostly for the entertainment of the latter.
The stage version was directed by Julie Taymor, and it made her the first woman ever to win the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical. In the original Broadway cast, Jason Raize played Simba, John Vickery played the evil Scar, and Samuel E. Wright gave life to Mufasa.
8. Phantom of the Opera, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical derived from the Gaston Leroux novel that had inspired many film and stage adaptations before, opened on Broadway on January 26, 1988. It has never had to be revived because it is still running.
The show’s protagonist, Christine Daaé, a soprano at the Opéra Populaire in Paris in 1881, becomes the pupil of a mysterious teacher she knows only as her “Angel of Music.” For a clue to the identity of this mystery man, refer to the title of the musical.
9. School of Rock opened on Broadway on December 6, 2015, at the Winter Garden Theatre.
This story’s protagonist, Dewey Finn, played by Jack Black in the 2003 movie, was given a new twist on Broadway as of opening night, by Alex Brightman. Brightman continued in the role (winning a Tony Award for Best Actor) for 11 months until November 6, 2016, then returned for a reprise in April 2017. One reviewer, Robert Kahn, has said that Brightman came off as a more sympathetic Dewey than Black’s. Brightman took an “overgrown man-child” inherited from the movie and made him “perfectly likeable.”
The show itself is perfectly likeable, though it may still seem to some like an advertisement for educational malpractice.
10.Wicked opened on Broadway on October 30, 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre, after a try-out in San Francisco.
This musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. Wicked is based on a 1995 novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire, which of course is a revisionist take on the classic L. Frank Baum Oz books and the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland.
The original cast of Wicked featured Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, Idina Menzel as her green-skinned best friend Elphaba, and Robert Morse as the Wizard.
Wicked won three Tony awards: Best Actress (to Ms Menzel), Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee), and Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty). It also broke the Broadway record for the highest-grossing single week.
Critics were (appropriately) enthusiastic. Elysa Gardner of USA Today said that Wicked is “the most complete, and completely satisfying, new musical I’ve come across in a long time.”
5 Classic Musicals Every Theatre Fan Should Know
So you’re a fan of musical theatre? Maybe you were introduced to the genre on a recent trip to New York City where you got to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Or maybe you saw the recent film version of Les Miserables and just loved it. Many modern musicals are great (and some, of course, are not), but the simple fact is that since musical theatre is a relatively young genre, it is very easy to trace its roots. They all lead back to the classic musicals from the “Golden Age” of Broadway, which primarily occurred between 1940 and 1970. If you really want to feel like you are familiar with the great musicals that started the phenomenon, here are five classic musicals you should get to know.
1. Oklahoma! (music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, first produced in 1943) – Choosing one Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to put on a list is like choosing between your children because the names of these composers are synonymous with classic musical theatre. Odds are you are already familiar with The Sound of Music, since most children have grown up watching the Julie Andrews film version. You might not know the original Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, however, which was Oklahoma!. Premiering on Broadway in 1943, it is often credited as being the first American book musical because of the way it wove its songs directly into the plot. Check out the Original Broadway Cast Recording to hear some of the classic songs as they were originally sung, including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “I Cain’t Say No,” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.” Also worth renting is the 1999 video recording of the London revival production starring Hugh Jackman as Curly. This is much truer to the original source material than the 1955 film version. Other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals you should get to know include South Pacific and Carousel.
2. My Fair Lady (music by Frederick Loewe, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, first produced in 1956) – Almost as famous a team as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe broke new ground when they adapted George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion into a musical in 1956. The musical wasn’t a typical love story, was based on pretty heady source material, and starred a relative nobody in the person of Julie Andrews, but it was an instant hit on Broadway. Pick up the Original Broadway Cast Recording starring Andrews and Rex Harrison and see for yourself why it became the bestselling album in the country the year it was released—and not just among musicals, but among music in general. In particular, look out for the classic songs “Wouldn’t it Be Loverly?,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”
The 1964 film version is also a fantastic movie and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Just be aware that Audrey Hepburn didn’t do any of her own singing and was dubbed over by veteran singer Marni Nixon. Other Lerner and Loewe musicals you should become familiar with include Brigadoon and Camelot.
3. Guys and Dolls (music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, first produced in 1950) – Frank Loesser’s first runaway hit on Broadway was also his first classic book musical. Guys and Dolls has been a favorite of regional theatres, community theatres, and high school and college theatres ever since its original run. It has also come back to Broadway for three successful revivals. The musical has something for everyone, from gangsters to showgirls. Check out the Original Broadway Cast Recording and specifically pay attention to such hits as “If I Were a Bell,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and “Adelaide’s Lament.” The 1955 film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra is worth watching, though you should know that it heavily deviates from the original. To get a better idea of the musical as a whole, you’d be better of finding a local production and attending. If you like Frank Loesser, you should also check out How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
4. Gypsy (music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents, first produced in 1959) – One of the definitive musicals of the Golden Age, Gypsy was built as a star vehicle for Ethel Merman. It was one of the first projects for Stephen Sondheim, although Merman insisted he only write the lyrics rather than composing the music as well because he was still an unknown. Listen to the Original Broadway Cast recording to hear Merman at her very best in such numbers as “Some People” and the definitive “Rose’s Turn.” Other great songs include “Little Lamb” and “All I Need Is the Girl.” For different interpretations, the 2003 and 2008 Broadway revivals are worth listening to so you can hear how Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone respectively took on the iconic role of Rose. The 1962 film version starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood is worth watching. If you are a fan of Sondheim’s lyrics and want to check out his music, you should get to know Into the Woods, Company, and Sweeney Todd.
5. Fiddler on the Roof (music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joseph Stein, first produced in 1964) – Ushering in the second generation of musical theatre duos, Bock and Harnick wrote several great musicals together, but none has been more iconic than Fiddler on the Roof. The tale of the milkman Tevye and his daughters dealing with changing traditions and getting persecuted in Tsarist Russia took on some very heavy subject matter for a musical comedy, but it was handled expertly. Listen to the Original Broadway Cast Recording to see how Zero Mostel handled the role of Tevye. Pay attention to several of the songs, including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Tradition,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” The 1971 movie version was a great success and was nominated for three Academy Awards. You should watch it and enjoy the performance of Tevye as done by Topol, who continued to play the role for 40 years in touring productions around the country. Other Bock and Harnick musicals you should get to know include Fiorello! and She Loves Me.