Best Broadway shows for kids
Simba's story continues to draw in crowds year after year thanks to gorgeous stage sets, unique puppetry and a moving score from Elton John and Tim Rice. Although The Lion King might enduce a tear or two, you'd be remiss to pass up an opportunity to see the Disney classic come to life on stage. We're certainly looking forward to the live-action retelling that will hit theaters in summer 2019, but experiencing the magic on the Great White Way is practically an unwritten rule. If you're unconvinced, ask the 100 million+ audience members worldwide who've seen the performance. Ages 8 and up.
In the event you haven't heard your little Disney princess belt out "Let It Go" a few thousand times, be sure to catch Frozen on Broadway. Our sister sensations Anna and Elsa have stolen hearts and kept fans captivated since their Disney debut in 2013. Now that the sequel is finally being released at the end of 2019, you need to reacquaint yourself with the tale of friendship, harship and love. The imaginative set, sweet story and musical numbers truly make Frozen a super-cool production (no pun intended). Ages 8 and up.
Based on novelist Gregory Maguire's 1995 adult variation on L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology, Wicked provides a prequel to the children's book and movie. The musical addresses complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, opposition to fascism. Thanks to a witty book by Winnie Holzman (creator of ’90s angstfest My So-Called Life) and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz's robust score, Wicked soars. While children five and up are permitted in the theater, little ones might be afraid of the flying monkeys—we'd recommend this show for kids that are a tiny bit older. Ages 8 and up.
A whole new world has landed on Broadway. This adaptation of the Disney classic tops the rest with its kiddie-crowd-pleasing laughs and upbeat music, which includes songs such as "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me," plus several new tunes. Kids will be dazzled by the color-drenched production and awe-inspiring special effects, like a confetti cannon and fireworks. Before the live-action movie hits theaters in 2019, you'll want to experience the live-action story on the greatest stage in the world—trust us! Ages 8 and up.
It's only fitting that King Kong gets its time in the NYC theater spotlight. In this ape-meets-girl tale, audiences will be treated to a musical with one larger-than-life puppet, a book by Jack Thorne (who has worked on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and songs by Marius de Vries and Eddie Perfect. Ages 8 and up.
The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, the two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. It works: The experience is transporting. Ages 10 and up.
Undeniably the groolest movie adaptation to hit Broadway, Mean Girls brings the Plastics' antics to stage by way of laugh-out-loud scenes, strong musical numbers...and strong personalities (but you already knew that). Journey alongside Cady as she makes her way from Africa to a U.S. high school and tangos with quite an interesting clique. Theater-goers will appreciate the fact that Tiny Fey, who penned the cult classic, also wrote the Broadway rendition of the high school romp. With direction from the SNL alumna and all-around funny woman, it's safe to say that this show is totally fetch. Ages 10 and up.
If you could rid your teenage years of all the angst and humilation, would you? Witness high school drama unfold in Be More Chill, a musical adaptation of Ned Vizzini's bestselling YA novel of the same name. The play feels light-hearted—thanks to high-tech props, a vibrant score and neon-hued sets—but our dorky protagonist, Jeremy (Will Roland from Dear Evan Hansen), grapples with a serious decision: to take the squip and become Mr. Popularity...or not to take the squip. Consider it a sci-fi rendition of Little Shop of Horrors meets Dear Evan Hansen. Ages 12 and up.
In this captivating original musical, Hello, Dolly! scene-stealer Taylor Trensch now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Since the subject matter can be heavy, we suggest saving this one for the older kids in your brood. Ages 12 and up.
Broadway is getting a bit spooky thanks to this imaginative retelling of Tim Burton's beloved 1988 film. Much like the movie, the Beetlejuice musical focuses on ghosts trying to get rid of new mortals who are setting up shop in their home. The darkly eerie yet vibrant set and costumes make the gothic story entertaining, but be forwarned: Some language and subject matter are not appropriate for little ghouls. Ages 12 and up.