AWNY’s Guide to the Best of Broadway

Theater lover? Us too! Some of us Broadway fans are still making up for lost time due to the year-and-a-half closure caused by the pandemic. With the re-opening, there have been quite a shake-ups on Broadway with a number of surprise closures (Phantom!!!), revivals fast becoming all-time favorites (Music Man! – although closing soon too), and plenty of exciting new pieces with their names on the marquee. To help navigate all these fantastic shows and decide on what to see—we’re sharing a list of some of our AWNY team’s favorites and when best to see them!

For a Date Night Out to the Theater

–          Phantom of the Opera: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s all-time classic, also the longest-running show on Broadway, will sadly be closing its doors next year. The good news is that the run has been slightly extended so the final performance is currently planned for April 16th. Get in quickly for tickets though as the demand has been through the roof since the closure was announced.

–          Hadestown: Is one of our AWNY team’s favorite musicals currently on Broadway! It is a contemporary retelling of two mythical tales and through the music of Anais Mitchell it has become a “love story for today…and always”.

Grab Your Besties for a Girl’s Night Out

–          Six: This very creative musical is set as a contest where Henry VIIIth’s six wives compete to see who suffered the most as his wife. The show is short (90min, with no intermission), is very very funny and the music is great! It is the perfect show to see on a gal’s night out. Quick tip, there is a very cute jazz bar next door if you want to keep the night going!

–          Take Me Out: We can guarantee you a very enjoyable girls’ night out at this show! It centers around the coming out of a star player on a major-league baseball team and all the repercussions. Though the play does lose itself a little in the second half, the first half is really interesting and quite well written, and let’s just say, there is a reason they make you place your phones in a Ziploc case before the show.

Photo: @zoewetherall

Aussie Aussie Aussie—A Little Hometown Pride!

–          Moulin Rouge: This musical, based on Baz Lurhman’s iconic movie, has been a success ever since it opened in 2019 even winning the Tony Award that year for Best Musical (one of its 10 Tonys). It stays true to the movie while also updating some of the music to include more recent hits and artists including Adele and Sia. It is definitely one you should not miss, especially starting January 17th when the original Broadway Christian, Aaron Tveit, returns for a limited 12-week run!

 –          The Music Man: There is a reason we all love Hugh Jackman and it comes across very clearly in Meredith Wilson’s classic musical. Jackman plays conman Harold Hill who comes to a small town planning to scam them until he meets the town librarian, played by Broadway favorite (and Younger star) Sutton Foster. It is a fun, feel-good musical and the chemistry between the two stars is so evident during the show. Warning tickets are not cheap for this one but well worth it!

Photo: @zoewetherall

Big Hits To Impress the Out-of-Towners

–          Hamilton: Any of us living in NY pre-pandemic understands the eye roll moment when any out-of-town visitors would innocently ask you to get them Hamilton tickets for their visit the following week or worse, want to buy them from the TKTS half-price booth! Little did they know of our struggle to have the ticket release date in our calendar and be on line first thing to try and snag some horrendously overpriced rear mezzanine seats. Or the disappointment of entering the lottery day after day with no luck!

Since the re-opening though it has been a very different story! Though it has still never been listed at the TKTS, tickets are at least now affordable (currently there are some deals for $99 tickets in January) and it is actually possible to purchase tickets for most shows. So if you’re in the mood to impress visitors, now is the time!

Photo: @zoewetherall

–          Wicked: This musical, set as the prequel to the Wizard of Oz, has become a classic in its own right. It centers around the friendship between Glinda the good witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and made mega-stars of its original cast members, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. It has become a surefire Broadway classic and definitely one that will impress any visitor!

Our Picks for Some Family-Friendly Fun

–          Aladdin: A very fun adaptation of this classic tale is made even better by the stellar performance given by its current Genie, Michael James Scott! All your favorite songs are there, and some new ones—so make sure to get the vocal cords warmed up before the show.

–          The Lion King: This musical just celebrated its 25th anniversary on Broadway and shows no signs of slowing down! Not too easy to get discount tickets for this one but it’s well worth seeing for kids of all ages!

Photo: @zoewetherall

For the Guys That Say They Don’t Like Musicals

–          The Book of Mormon: The one thing you need to know before going to see this musical is that it was written by the creators of South Park. It is definitely NOT a PG show (so do not take the kiddos) but it is one of the funniest musicals around today which the men in your life will definitely enjoy—on the condition they are not easily offended.

–          MJ: For anyone who ever wanted to see Michael Jackson live, this is the musical for you! It delivers all your favorite MJ songs, and the performances and dancers are more than worthy! The current lead, Myles Frost, won the Tony for Lead Actor in a Musical (beating out Hugh Jackman).

Thought-Provoking Plays for Your Serious Side

  • Leopoldstadt: This new play by Tom Stoppard tells the story of an extended Jewish family in Vienna during the first part of the 20th century. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and well worth seeing this holiday season.
  • The Piano Lesson: This revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play stars Samuel L. Jackson and Danielle Brooks. It is a very moving play about family and legacy and is playing for a limited run until the end of January.

Classics to Impress the Parents (And Grandparents)

  • Some Like it Hot: Based on the classic Marilyn Monroe movie, this new Broadway production injects some of that incredible, old-school classic musical magic we haven’t seen in years. Think big, glittery musical numbers, amazing dancing (and choreography from Casey Nicholaw), and an absolutely stellar cast that will definitely be up for Tony buzz. It is very fun and upbeat, and we challenge anyone to go see this and not walk out with a massive smile on their face!
  • A Beautiful Noise: This new musical just had its opening on Broadway and is Neil Diamond’s story told through his music. Starring Will Swenson, it’s jam-packed with hits from Diamond’s legendary career. We can already hear many of our mums packing their bags to come over for this one!
Photo: @zoewetherall

When You Want to Laugh So Hard It Hurts

–          The Play That Goes Wrong: This play tells the story of a small production of an Agatha Christie-Esque whodunnit play that suddenly finds itself on a Broadway theatre and well, everything goes wrong. This is one of the funniest shows around and definitely worth going to see!

–          Titanique: This cult-like comedic retelling of the iconic movie has been so successful that it recently moved to a larger stage and extended its Off-Broadway run. It is not only ridiculously funny but also includes some impressive vocal numbers!

Get Ready for the New Kids on the Block

–          Almost Famous: This new musical is an adaptation of Cameron Crowe’s movie that made Kate Hudson a household name. Though reviews have not been stellar for this musical, those of us at AWNY who have seen it really enjoyed it! Quick update—it was sadly announced that this show will be closing on January 8th, so you only have a couple of weeks left to see it.

Photo: @zoewetherall

–          & Juliet: This new musical tells the story of Juliet had she not died with Romeo. In the vein of Moulin Rouge, it is full of well-known pop songs including hits from Kelly Clarkson, Brittany Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. We recommend getting in quick on this one as it is very likely to be a Tony favorite next year!

Shows Opening in 2023 We Cannot Wait For!

–          Bad Cinderella: Andrew Lloyd Webber will not be away from Broadway for long! His record-breaking Phantom may be closing, but he will be returning in March with this new show loosely based on the Disney classic. The full cast has just been announced and we’re pumped for it to open!

–          Sweeney Todd: A revival of the original musical from 1979 (yet most may know the story from the movie starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter). This revival has already announced its two leads, Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford. With neither a stranger to Broadway—we’re expecting this to be a hit!

With so many shows on offer, it can very quickly feel like it may break the bank, but our AWNY team has you covered! Catch our article on how best to get cheap Broadway tickets.

Author: Australian Women in New York

Australian Women in New York (AWNY) sources stories and guides that will help make you win the Big Apple. We also love to profile fabulous Aussie and Kiwi women.

One thought

  1. Great rundown! As a side note, Moulin Rouge is welcoming aussie David Harris to the role of The Duke in February, Hadestown has aussie Amelia Cormack playing one of the Fates, and Phantom of the Opera has aussie Maree Johnson playing Madame Giry! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!

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