10 Broadway Shows You Must See

Most Popular Broadway Musicals and Shows You Can’t-Miss.


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.

Contents

Hamilton

Broadway Musical Hamilton
Hamilton Broadway Musical

An unconventional sung-through show that quickly became one of the most famous Broadway musicals of its generation, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton presents its audience with a very different take on American history. The performance uses an entirely non-white cast and hip-hop soundtrack to tell the life story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, who was George Washington’s right-hand man during the American Revolution.

A historical drama with very modern themes, this must-see show explores the nature of diversity, inclusion, and oppression. The show owes part of its fame to a controversy involving President Trump, who responded negatively after the cast of the show publicly criticized Vice President Pence, who was in attendance.

 Hamilton Musical Schedule 2021/2022


The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon Musical
The Book of Mormon

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.

The Book of Mormon Schedule 2021/2022


Chicago The Musical

Chicago Musical
Chicago Musical

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.

Chicago The Musical Schedule 2021/2022


The Lion King Musical

The Lion King Musical
The Lion King Musical

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.

The Lion King Schedule 2021/2022


Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera
Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical derived from the Gaston Leroux novel that had inspired many films 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.

Phantom of the Opera Schedule 2021/2022


Wicked the Musical

Wicked The Musical
Wicked The Musical

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, a new musical I’ve come across in a long time.”

Wicked the Musical Schedule 2021/2022


Dear Evan Hansen Musical

Dear Evan Hansen Musical
Dear Evan Hansen Musical

Another of the more recent Broadway musicals you must see this summer, Dear Evan Hanson is a refreshing and touching look at the life of today’s misunderstood youth. The eponymous main character is a high school senior suffering from debilitating shyness and an anxiety disorder. Throughout the story, his desire to do good and help people is at odds with his yearning for love and attention. Unlike some other broadway musicals about love, Dear Evan Hanson is especially subtle and nuanced in its approach.

At once dark and comedic, the production explores complicated subjects like teenage suicide and the damaging effect of viral movements based on falsehoods but also manages to include funny and uplifting moments. Overall, the musical is more cathartic than sad and leaves the audience with a feeling of compassion.

Dear Evan Hansen Schedule 2021/2022


Aladdin - The Musical

Aladdin Broadway Musical
Aladdin Broadway Musical

Aladdin – Broadway musicals you must see. An adaptation of a classic Disney movie, Aladdin is still one of the most romantic broadway shows. Taking original inspiration from ancient folktales and One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, the production is a timeless story of adventure, romance, and magic.

The Broadway adaptation includes all the songs featured in the film as well as new original tracks. Revitalizing and expanding the original story, Aladdin is a perfect film for families or for nostalgic adults who want to relive their younger days.

Aladdin Broadway Musical Schedule 2021/2022


Waitress The Musical

Waitress The Musical
Waitress The Musical

Considered one of the best romantic musicals to see on a date, Waitress is a show with a simple name but complex themes. On the surface, it is a story about a talented pie maker who hopes to win a local baking contest and leave her small town. Underneath, it is an examination of the struggles and feelings of captivity faced by women who experience domestic abuse. Waitress is a story about pie, but it is also a story about the courage it takes to make a fresh start.

Waitress The Musical Schedule 2021/2022


Mean Girls the Musical

Mean Girls the Musical
Mean Girls the Musical

Based on Tina Fey’s hit 2004 movie about a teenager that learns what it takes to be in the popular girl clique at a suburban high school, Mean Girls opens at the August Wilson Theatre on April 8, 2018. With the book written by Fey herself, music by Jeff Richmond (3-time Emmy winning composer of 30 Rock), and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), this production is sure to be so, shall we say, fetch.

Mean Girls the Musical Schedule 2021/2022


Video

Do you wonder about Broadway musicals

Review

Here are the 10 Broadway shows and musicals you must see, ranging from complicated stories with political relevance to lighthearted tales of adventure and romance. Some are brand new, others are timeless.