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
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
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
Four driven showbiz underlings clamber up the ladder of success in this original musical by Bryan Blaskie and Manny Hagopian. After a well-received debut at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival, the show now goes bicoastal, directed once again by C. Ryanne Domingues.
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.
A vacationing gay couple stumbles into a free-spirited compound of nudists in a very campy new musical comedy conceived and directed by Marc Eardley. The show is staffed by an all-male cast of seven; the book and lyrics are by Jay Falzone, and five composers have contributed music.
Trumpeter Jones uses the story of bullfrog-cheeked horn star Dizzy Gillespie to explore the complexities of black life in this Afrofuturist music-dance piece, created with choreographer, tap dancer and singer Brinae Ali.
Young bibliophiles and theatergoers alike will be eager to see Dav Pilkey's Dog Man come to life on stage this summer. Theater Works USA mounts Kevin Del Aguila and Brad Alexander's musical adaptation of the bestselling children's series about a crime-fighting canine-human hybrid, with Brian Owen in the title role.
Chen Shi-Zheng's immersive kung fu musical, commissoned by the Shed, imagines twin siblings caught up in the phophesies and struggles of a secret Queens sect that guards an elixir of immortality. Written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, the show incorporates multiple songs by Sia and an original score by the Haxan Cloak. The cast includes David Patrick Kelly and PeiJu Chien-Pott; expect elaborate dances and martial-arts sequences.
How do you make Fiddler on the Roof even more Jewish? Do it in Yiddish! Fans of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s landmark musical about Tevye the Milkman and his shtetl community in early-20th-century Russia will go meshuga for National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's version, which lets the characters speak (and sing) in the expressive guttural tongue they would have used in real life.—Raven Snook
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.
This delightful show written and directed by Nick Brennan follows Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose as they prepare for the Shady Pines Gay Pride Talent Show. That should be enough to convince you it's worth 90 minutes of your time, but if you're still unsure, the evening also boasts a 1980s fashion show and a Golden Girls trivia challenge.
In this original musical, the multifariously talented Grace McLean delves into the early life of the visionary 12th-century German nun, theologist, composer and botanist Hildegard of Bingen. McLean plays the future saint's childhood mentor; three young actresses split the role of her tutee. Lee Sunday Evans directs the world premiere for LCT3.
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