Must-See Broadway Musicals You Need to Check Out When Visiting NYC
When traveling to NYC, a visit to the city’s iconic theater district is essential. No matter when you’re planning a visit, there are always dozens of great shows to experience—Broadway is the heart of the American theatrical industry, after all. Home to 40 large professional theaters, Broadway, also called the Great White Way, is considered one of the best live performance communities in the world. We’ve assembled a list of our favorite must-see Broadway shows to check out during your next visit to the Big Apple.
1. Award Winning Broadway Musical: Waitress
Experience the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker and waitress bound by the confines of a loveless marriage and small town living in Waitress. Jenna journeys to regain her sense of self after winning a baking contest in a nearby town. The win opens her eyes to a dream long lost: escaping the doldrums of her life to find new adventures out in the world. Her once-abandoned dream is rekindled through the support of an unexpected romance and her fellow waitresses.
2. Classic Off-Broadway Show: Little Shop of Horrors
Whether you are a fan of the film or not, you’ll delight in the weird and wonderful world of Little Shop of Horrors at the Westside Theater Upstairs, 407 West 43rd Street, New York, NY.
Meet Seymour, a shy plant shop attendant, his co-worker and crush, Audrey, and the people-eating plant named Audrey II that threatens Seymour’s moral compass...and everyone who falls into its path. Experience thrills, chills, and a whole lot of laughs in this long-running stage romp.
3. Best Returning Play to Broadway: To Kill a Mockingbird
Literature buffs and historical fiction lovers will certainly enjoy Broadway’s rendition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Like most Broadway productions, ticket sales to this super popular show were suspended amidst the COVID-19 shutdown, but are again available for fall performances in New York. The show will also make its West End premiere in London next year.
Reimagined for the stage by Academy Award winning screen and playwright Aaron Sorkin, To Kill A Mockingbird brings to life the story of Atticus and Scout Finch. Originally penned for the page by Harper Lee, you might recall that the Pulitzer prize winning novel follows young Scout Finch as she navigates her coming-of-age. With a shift in perspectives, the stage show more closely follows Atticus, a 1930s Alabama lawyer who fights to save a black man’s life in the Jim Crow south.
4. Best Kid-Friendly Musical: Wicked
If you loved The Wizard of Oz, you cannot miss out on its prequel, Wicked.
This long-running Broadway show, based on L. Frank Baum's classic “The Wonderful World of Oz” is well loved by theater goers far and wide. Long before Dorothy landed in Oz, the iconic story’s two witches, Elphaba and Glinda, were dear friends working through personality changes, a love triangle, and a corrupt government—the makings of a good dramedy. Find out how the notorious Wicked Witch of the East and Glinda the Good Witch came to be through this beloved musical.
5. A Classic Broadway Experience: The Phantom of the Opera
Even if you’re entirely new to the world of theater, you’ve probably heard a song or two from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic The Phantom of the Opera. Broadway’s longest running show of all time, The Phantom of the Opera is based on a horror novel written by Gaston Leroux, originally published in 1910.
The show has won multiple Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and follows a dark, mysterious composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House. The Phantom shelters himself in a secret chamber underneath the stage, away from most of the outside world, appearing only before Christine, his beloved and favorite singer.
6. Best 2020 Tony Nominee: Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Baz Luhrmann’s wild ride of a jukebox musical, based on the hit 2001 film of the same name, hits the Great White Way once again this fall! The musical’s score weaves together original songs and classic pop hits, and tells the story of the Bohemians and performers that made the iconic Parisian cabaret club a place where all its guests “dreams come true.”
Follow the tragic tale of Montmartre’s famed Satine and Christian. Then, dance in your seat to all the hits you know and love from the film, and many more written in the years since its release.
7. Best Magical Experience: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
From flying brooms to enchantment spells, any fan of JK Rowling’s beloved books will be dazzled by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Experience Ron, Hermione, and Harry—all grown up and joined by their determined offspring in a race through time and dimensions to brave yet another epic battle with mysterious forces that are looking to upend the magical world.
Just remember, after you see this winner of six Tony awards and nine Olivier awards, you’re asked to #KeepTheSecrets, preserving the wonders of magic, the store, and all its twists and turns for future theater goers!
If you’re visiting New York for the first time or are a long-time theatergoer, any show you see on Broadway’s iconic stages is sure to impress. Even if you don’t get to a show at all, a walk through the theater district, with all its dazzling lights and giant marquees, will put you square on the set of your NYC film-like experience. 30 Rock is just steps away. Whether you are a musical theater lover, or stick to classic stageplays, Broadway offers something for everyone. Get your tickets at broadway.com.
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