Complete Broadway Musicals A–Z
The Temptations are hard to resist: No matter how much you may chafe at the clunky machinery of Broadway’s latest jukebox biomusical, the hits just keep coming. The workmanlike script gives us Motown the Musical by way of Jersey Boys, but when the show’s lavishly gifted stars (Including Derrick Baskin and the sensational Ephraim Sykes) are moving and singing in sync, the pull of nostalgia is strong.—Adam Feldman
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
Broadway’s latest boomer jukebox musical never achieves the comic zip or dramatic force of Jersey Boys, but it is an appealing and skillfully built vehicle for Carole King’s hit ditties and soulful ballads. It's a lovable love letter to a fine songwriter and natural woman.—David Cote
Tim Burton's well-loved 1988 dark comedy is the latest movie to make the transdimensional leap into Broadway musical territory, with Alex Timbers at the directorial reins. Alex Brightman plays the ooky title character, a demon hired by kindly ghosts to rid their home of its distasteful live inhabitants. The book is by Scott Brown and Anthony King; the original score is by King Kong tunesmith Eddie Perfect.
Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen) stars as a teenager who pops a pill to be popular in this cartoonish sci-fi musical by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz. It’s a comfortingly familiar hybrid: Little Shop of Mean Girls. But the scrappiness that helped make it an online sensation among young adults does not transfer well to the show's larger Broadway digs.—Adam Feldman
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
This campy jukebox biomusical provides what it promises: Cher, Cher and more Cher. The fabulous Stephanie J. Block, in a full-throated impersonation that avoids the trap of the impersonal, shares the titlw rolwe with Teal Wicks and Babe. Zipping through six decades of history—and brief snippets of the star's pop hits—the show doesn’t have very much to say. But Bob Mackie's costumes are sensational and, like Cher herself, the musical has the virtue of never taking itself too seriously. As a delivery system for fabulousness, it’s strong enough.—Adam Feldman
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
Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s swelling heart of a musical tells a true story from the aftermath of 9/11, when 38 flights were forced to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. Under Christopher Ashley’s fluid direction, 12 versatile actors play dozens of roles. The show makes a persuasive case for the value of good intentions; for this kind of uplift you don’t need planes.—Adam Feldman
In this captivating original musical, Hello, Dolly! scene-stealer Andrew Barth Feldman 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.—Adam Feldman
Off Broadway Musicals A–Z
Fetus, don't fail me now! Philadelphia's Lightning Rod Special presents the NYC premiere of this musical satire about abortion, co-created by Alice Yorke and Scott R. Sheppard (who also appear in it) with composer Alex Bechtel and director Eva Steinmetz.
After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery.—David Cote
A Theban king goes to pieces after snubbing the Greek god Dionysus and his pack of wild groupies in this alt-rock adaptation of Euripides's ripping tragedy The Bacchae, with music by Neil Douglas Reilly and words by Austin Ruffer and Maggie Herskowitz. The weekly production unfolds immersively in an East Village bar space.
World collide when a group of nerds and their lady friends are tested by a character from Star Trek in Karlan Judd's raunchy musical spoof of the long-running sitcom. Tristan J. Shuler directs.
Fans of musical theater will get a kick out of watching improvisers shamelessly employ the genres' tropes to create a hilarious new musical at each performance. Have your smartphone charged and handy to submit suggestions; then kick back and watch these top-notch performers go to work.
Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's superb 2003 portrait of a maid in 1963 Louisiana is one of the great musicals of the past 50 years. After a too-brief run on Broadway, the show has had many acclaimed productions since—but not, until now, a revival in New York. Directed by Dev Bondarin for the scrappy Astoria Performing Arts Center, this is a rare chance to see a beautiful work of art on its feet.
The great Montreal contemporary-circus troupe brings its latest show to NYC, performing classic acrobatics and tightly choreographed dance numbers amid lavish costumes and set pieces. This show, written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, is inspired by the culture of Mexico.
John Doyle closes CSC's season with a revival of Marc Blitzstein’s incendiary 1937 allegory of corporate greed, in which a trusty man named Foreman tries to organize a union in the face of the moneybags-lugging fat cat Mr. Mister. The show is now more famous for its defiant original production, which was depicted in a 1999 film, but its anticapitalist cabaret may resonate with modern ears. Tony Yazbeck, Lara Pulver and David Garrison head the cast.
City Center's invaluable concert-staging series offers a fond look back at this 1947 musical comedy. Michael Urie and Kevin Chamberlin play con men who target a New Jersey family in 1913, culminating in a frantic Atlantic City chase scene. John Rando directs a cast that also includes Betsy Wolfe and Chester Gregory; Sarah O'Gleby's choreography includes restagings of two of the show's original numbers by Jerome Robbins.
The York celebrates its 50th anniversary with a revival of the company's 2008 hit: a revision of the 1976 flop musical So Long, 174th Street, adapted by Joseph Stein from his own 1963 comedy and outfitted with music and lyrics by Stan Daniels. Chris Dwan plays the central role of an untalented would-be actor in New York in the 1930s.
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