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Best Broadway shows: musicals, plays and revivals to see now

So you want to catch a few Broadway shows? Time Out New York's theater critics offer the perfect short list of the most exciting plays, musicals and revivals on Broadway.

Photograph: Jeremy Daniel

Each year, about 13 million locals and tourists take in Broadway shows at the city’s 40 Broadway theaters. Not all those venues are located on Broadway or even in the theater district—roughly, 41st Street to 52nd Street and Sixth Ave to Eighth Ave. For example, Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater can be found a little north on 65th Street. But by and large, Broadway is home to some of the New York’s most historic, gorgeous houses. Many of these lavish jewel boxes were built around the turn of the last century, with some more contemporary ones springing up in the 1970s and ’80s.

Each Broadway season brings a new wave of megamusicals, plays and starry revivals. Some might boast gold from the Tony Awards. At the height of the fall and spring seasons, be sure to bookmark our Theater homepage and check regularly for reviews and ticket deals. Broadway tickets do not come cheap, of course. Nosebleed seats at Jersey Boys might go for $62, but premium seats at The Book of Mormon go as high as $477. The savvy consumer can find discount tickets, or you can purchase seats directly through Time Out New York. As far as getting there, check the venue information with each show below. Now hurry—the curtain’s about to rise!


Disney's latest toon tuner is a tourist-family-friendly theme-park attraction, robed in the billowing fabrics of orientalist Arabian fantasy. As in the 1992 film, the Genie (a charismatic James Monroe Iglehart) steals the show from its eponymous “street rat” hero (Adam Jacobs). Stuffed with glitz, the musical is a carpet with little texture but colorful patterns aplenty.—Adam Feldman

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New Amsterdam Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Saturday December 31 2016


Star Trek vet and LGBT activist George Takei stars in a new musical inspired by his Japanese-American family's dramatic history, including stateside internment during WWII. Stafford Arima (Carrie) directs a cast that includes Lea Salonga and Telly Leung.

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Longacre Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Sunday September 25 2016

An American in Paris

Ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon makes his Broadway directing debut with this lavish and classy reimagining of the 1951 Gene Kelly musical. There's plenty of gorgeous ballet to admire, but the overall effect is of a dance concert with a semiserious book musical squeezed into the cracks.—David Cote

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Palace Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Saturday December 31 2016

Beautiful—The Carole King Musical

Critics' pick

Broadway's latest boomer jukebox musical never achieves the comic zip of Jersey Boys, but the phenomenal Jessie Mueller carries this love letter to songwriter Carole King with grace, verve and a warm, burnished voice. When Mueller lets loose on those glorious pop hits, you feel the earth move.—David Cote

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Stephen Sondheim Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Saturday December 31 2016

The Book of Mormon

Critics' pick

If theater is your religion, and the Broadway musical your particular sect, it’s time to rejoice. This gleefully obscene and subversive satire is one of the funniest shows to grace the Great White Way since The Producers and Urinetown. Writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, along with composer Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), find the perfect blend of sweet and nasty for this tale of mismatched Mormon proselytizers in Uganda.—David Cote

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Eugene O'Neill Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Saturday December 31 2016


This John Kander–Fred Ebb–Bob Fosse favorite—revived by director Walter Bobbie and choreographer Ann Reinking—tells the saga of chorus girl Roxie Hart, who murders her lover and, with the help of a huckster lawyer, becomes a vaudeville star.—David Cote

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Ambassador Theatre , Midtown West Until Saturday December 31 2016

The Color Purple

Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo star in this revival of the hit musical based on Alice Walker's bestselling novel. Director John Doyle tries the minimalist approach for this gospel and blues-driven tale of self-respect and sisterhood.

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Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre , Midtown West Until Sunday May 1 2016

China Doll

Not every actor can handle David Mamet's exacting language, but Al Pacino has the touch. The raspy-voiced celebrity headlines Mamet's latest piece, which the secretive author has said is about "a wealthy man, his young fiancée and an airplane." Expect baroque tirades about money, privilege and sex.

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Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Sunday January 31 2016

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Critics' pick

In Mark Haddon's 2003 best-seller turned play, 15-year-old Christopher (Alex Sharp) wants to find out who killed his neighbor's pooch. Since the boy is clearly on the autism spectrum, his investigative journey to London takes a sense-barraging, terrifying turn. Marianne Elliott's dense multimedia production is equally touching and eye-popping.—David Cote

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Ethel Barrymore Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Saturday December 31 2016

Dames at Sea

With initial versions dating back to 1966 Off-Off Broadway, this parody of Busby Berkeley–type movie musicals finally makes it to Broadway. Choreographer Randy Skinner directs the frothy fun, in which Broadway starlets get mixed up with sailors as they try to save a sinking show. The bubbly score is by Jim Wise, George Haimsohn and Robin Miller.

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Helen Hayes Theatre , Midtown West Tuesday December 1 2015 - Sunday January 3 2016
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