Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool theatre kid or have never seen a Broadway show, you’re in luck in New York City. NYC is the global epicenter for this distinctly American art form, and has so much happening at any given time that there’s bound to be something for everybody. While the word “Broadway” conjures up images of bright lights, sequins, and jazz hands, there’s also a whole lot more to it, especially in the last few years (look no further than Hamilton, the steeped-in-hip-hop-American-history hit).
In any given Broadway season, there will be a slew of brassy revivals, pairing seasoned stars with favorite works (Hello, Dolly! currently stars ageless diva Bernadette Peters), as well as new works and adaptations (Mean Girls is now a musical, with music written by Tina Fey’s composer husband Jeff Richmond), and innovative new pieces (In Transit, an original a cappella work written for the stage).
Here are five hot musicals of all varieties that might tickle your fancy this year:
St. James Theatre, currently running
In case you’d finally gotten award-winning composers Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s 2014 score out of your head, Disney’s newest live theatrical experience features your favorites along with a bunch of new tunes.
What’s especially exciting about this production is the pairing of newly-minted stars Caissie Levy (Les Miserables) and Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones) as Elsa and Anna. It’ll be hard to get a ticket for this week, but with an open-ended run, you won’t run out of time to see this.
Prospect Theater Company, April 4-29
Prospect is well-known for its commitment to producing new musicals, and this year is no exception. One Thousand Nights and One Day features an ensemble of eight vocalists, and combines the traditional story of Scheherazade with a modern love story between a Jewish man and Palestinian woman.
The heavily-female production team features music by Marisa Michelson, composer of Prospect’s acclaimed Tamar of the River. If you’re after something fresh and authentic, get tickets for this limited run!
New York City Center, May 9-13
This delightful 1937 Broadway hit features book revisions by the masterful Stephen Fry. It’s a happy romp about a Cockney who discovers he’s an earl, and it’s getting a limited run featuring contemporary Broadway mainstays like Christian Borle (Something Rotten!) and Laura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland). A treat for the traditional and not-so-traditional Broadway enthusiast.
Vineyard Theatre, May 4-June 10
This innovative and much-anticipated production pairs legendary composer John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago) with legendary director/choreographer Susan Stroman, as well as accomplished international dancers, fusing modern dance and ballet with a dark and epic love story.
October 2018, National Theatre in D.C.; Broadway opening TBD
It’s become common to see film properties adapted into musicals this past decade; they don’t all work, but they don’t all have Eddie Perfect at the helm.
An Australian Renaissance man about to make quite an impact on American audiences (he’s also revising the score for autumn’s King Kong), Perfect is a pianist, composer, actor, singer, and theatre artist, whose wit and exuberance make him the perfect guy for this job.
While the Broadway opening date of Beetlejuice is TBD, this one tries out in Washington D.C. in October of 2018, which makes a New Year opening in NYC likely. In the meantime, D.C. is just a weekend train ride away!
Which musicals are you most excited to catch this season? Let us know in the comments below! Learn more about Musical Theatre by studying with Broadway professionals at the New York Film Academy.