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Broadway musicals are the beating heart of New York City. These days, your options are more diverse than ever: cultural game-changers (like Hamilton) and raucous comedies (like The Book of Mormon) are just down the street from moving dramas (like Dear Evan Hansen), sweeping operettas (like The Phantom of the Opera) and family classics (like The Lion King). Whether you're looking for classic Broadway songs, spectacular sets and costumes, star turns by Broadway divas or dance numbers performed by the hottest chorus boys and girls, there is always plenty to choose from. Here is our list of every Broadway musical currently running and on their way, followed by a list of those playing in smaller Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway venues.
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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
If nothing else, this musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 film is spectacularly weird: Its designers come at it from all kinds of crazy angles. If only so much of the rest of the show were not a busy mess. The tone varies wildly, and the rules that govern the plot (which veers ill-advisedly widely from its source) are both overexplained and opaque.—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 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
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s path-breaking 1970 musical about love in the big city has had several revivals, but this one has a twist: The commitment-averse main character is now a woman, played by The Band’s Visit’s mesmerizing Katrina Lenk. The American cast of this London transfer, directed by Marianne Elliott (Angels in America), includes Broadway überdiva Patti LuPone as well as Christopher Sieber, Christopher Fitzgerald, Claybourne Elder, Jennifer Simard, Nikki Renée Daniels and Kyle Dean Massey.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a tiara in this new biomusical about Diana, Princess of Wales, whose marriage to Prince Charles came undone in a sea of tabloid ugliness. Reprising the roles they played at La Jolla last year, Jeanna de Waal and Roe Hartrampf play the royal couple, flanked once again by Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II and Erin Davie as Camilla Parker-Bowles. Christopher Ashley (Come from Away) directs; Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, who wrote the 2010 Tony winner Memphis, are the writers.
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
There is too little magic in this lukewarm stage adaptation of the smash 2013 Disney movie about a princess who must save her realm from the eternal winter to which her witchy sister has unwittingly condemned it. There are glimmers of light in the performances and design, but the shaky plot now seems even less secure, and the show feels substantially less animated all around.—Adam Feldman
Upcoming Broadway Musicals
Broadway's love affair with men in drag continues with this musical adaptation of the 1993 movie about adivorced dad turned cross-dressed Scottish housekeeper. Adapted by Something Rotten!'s John O'Farrell and Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick, the show is directed by musical-comedy ace Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!). Rob McClure, more recently seen in Beetlejuice, fills Robin Williams's sensible shoes in the title role, joined by Jenn Gambatese, Brad Oscar and Mark Evans.
James Lapine, who co-created Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, is the director and book writer of this unusual new musical about three prominent figures—the matinee idol Cary Grant, the novelist-philosopher Aldous Huxley and the playwright-politician Clare Boothe Luce—who dropped acid in the 1950s. The composer is Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), and the lyricist is Michael Korie (Grey Gardens). Carmen Cusack, Tony Yazbeck and Harry Hadden-Paton play the central roles.
This profoundly soulful, tuneful and transformative musical about a maid in 1963 Louisiana was ahead of its time in 2003, but times have changed. With a libretto by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and music by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), this is the rare work of musical theater that can truly change the way you see the world. The show's first Broadway revival, directed by Michael Longhurst, stars Sharon D Clarke in the title role, which she played in Longhurst's West End production last season. The supporting cast includes John Cariani, Caissie Levy, Tamika Lawrence and Chip Zien.
Irish playwright Enda Walsh, whose 2011 adaptation of the movie Once was a great success, returns to the well with another new musical about people making music. This one is based on John Carney's 2016 coming-of-age film about hardscrabble youths who form a rock band in 1980s Dublin. Rebecca Taichman (Indecent) directs, and Sonya Tayeh (Moulin Rouge!) choreographs; the songs are by Carney and Gary Clark, who was the frontman for the 1980s Scottish rock band Danny Wilson.
Off Broadway Musicals A–Z
Performer-choreographers Keone and Mari Madrid, who have created dances for Justin Bieber and So You Think You Can Dance, play the lead roles in this immersive dance musical created with Hideaway Circus's Josh Aviner and Lyndsay Magid Aviner. The story, told through West Coast urban dance, is loosely inspired by Romeo and Juliet; the design involves a large amount of yarn.
Blue-collar folk ballads performed live by Steve Earle underscore Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s devastating documentary play about the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 workers in rural West Virginia—and ripped an already unstable community apart. Under Blank’s restrained direction, the performances are gorgeously authentic.
Undeterred by the failures of Frankenstein-themed tuners on Broadway and Off Broadway in 2007 (and Off-Off Broadway in 2016), composer-librettist-scientist Eric B. Sirota ventures back into the mad musical laboratory for his adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic horror novel. Clint Hromsco directs the premiere.
[Note: The review below is for a 2014 version of this show, which was then titled The Imbible. A revised version now plays at New World Stages. A different, brunch-theater edition, titled Day Drinking, plays on weekend matinees.] Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet. That description of Anthony Caporale’s The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking may sound far-out, but the show is both educational and entertaining. (It's also a fine showcase for a cappella classics arranged by Josh Ehrlich and performed by a gifted ensemble that includes the show's director, soprano Nicole DiMattei.) Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. And the show's lessons—on subjects like the drinks served at Prohibition-era speakeasies, the origin of the gin and tonic, and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink—can be washed down with complimentary, thematically appropriate beverages. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.” That makes the show a must-see for anyone who enjoys free booze, which is probably nearly everyone.—Amelia Bienstock
Lynn Nottage's heartbreaking 2003 drama, about a black seamstress in turn-of-the-20th-century New York and her pen-pal suitor in Panama, gets expanded into a chamber opera with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and a libretto by Nottage herself. Lincoln Center Theater resident director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) directs, and Dianne McIntyre choreographs; the central role of Esther is played by classical soprano Kearstin Piper Brown (or Chabrelle Williams at the Wednesday and Saturday matinees).
Musical theater does right by the jukebox with this behind-the-music tale, presenting the Four Seasons’ energetic 1960s tunes (including “Walk Like a Man” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry”) as they were meant to be performed. After an 11-year run on Broadway, the show has returned for a scaled-down open-ended run at New World Stages.—Adam Feldman
Arguably the best musical ever adapted from a movie, Little Shop of Horrors is a weird and adorable show with teeth. Librettist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken brilliantly wrap a sordid tale of capitalist temptation and moral decay in layers of sweetness, humor, wit and camp. To populate this parable, director Michael Mayer has wrangled a marvelous cast led by Gideon Glick, Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle.
Four New Yorkers sing their hearts out in a musical by composer Seth Bisen-Hersh and book writer Mark Childers. This production, directed by Brian Childers, is the latest iteration of a project that has been presented in various forms for the past ten years.
A teenage Star Wars fan, a Blockbuster Video clerk and an activist actress create a musical celebration of the Force in this new musical by Tom D'Angora, Taylor Cousore and Scott Richard Foster, with a score by Billy Recce. Cousore and Foster also costar with the winsomely daffy Emily McNamara.
Eight nice-looking men take it all off and vocalize in this collage of cutesy vignettes on gay themes, recently revamped with new jokes and more up-to-date references. Although sex is central to most of the numbers, the goofy nudism has no erotic charge, and when the show tries to be serious, it's hard to watch with a straight face.—Adam Feldman
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