Complete Broadway Musicals A–Z
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
Deftly adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film, with an expanded score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, this sweeping 20th-century fairy tale concerns an amnesiac who may be the last survivor of the Romanovs. Impressive craftsmanship and excellent singing help make it the richest new family show to hit Broadway in years.—Adam Feldman
David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’s unusually lovely musical has a graceful sense of time and tentative connection. The mesmerizing Katrina Lenk plays a languid Israeli café owner, and Sasson Gabay is a courtly Egyptian bandleader stranded for a night in her desert town. The richness of the writing, the nuances of David Cromer’s production and the continued excellence of the ensemble cast make each return visit a pleasure.—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 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 jukebox musical traces decades in the life of one Cherilyn Sarkisian, who apparently is a singer and actor of some kind. Three women—Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond—play the showbiz survivor at different stages of her career; Rick Elice, who cowrote Jersey Boys, tries to make biomusical lightning strike twice, and Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directs. At the very least, the show is sure to have fabulous costumes: Bob Mackie is designing them.
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 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.—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
Off Broadway Musicals A–Z
Writer-director Peter Rothstein draws from patriotic anthems, war songs, Christmas carols and madieval ballads from multiple countries—as well as texts written by World War I soldiers—in his original musical about the 1914 ceasefires between British and German troops that brought temporary yuletide goodwill to the Great War.
Four actors play forty characters in Jonothon Lyons and Ben Bonnema's harmony-driven musical, set in Coney Island at the turn of the 20th century. David Alpert directs the world premiere at HERE.
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
Two LDS missionaries get an earful when they knock on the door of the great Broadway diva Ethel Merman in this original musical comedy by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro. Carly Sakolove plays the Merm, and Chad Burris and Kyle Ashe Wilkinson are the hapless would-be proselytizers. Joe Langworth directs.
You’ll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, dazzling Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes and advanced technology have been introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance.
Anthony Vaughn Merchant plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the Classical Theatre of Harlem's contemporary update of Charles Dickens's holiday novella about a miser who gets spooked into accepting the Christmas spirit. Steve H. Broadnax III directs Shawn René Graham's adaptation, Scrooge is an uptown New York real-estate vulture; modernized carols helps keep the yuletide high.
In this irreverent original musical by Gary Apple, a desperate father makes a deal with the Devil after his eight-year-old son goes to hell and back. Not intended for kids, Apple's musical has previously been seen in New York as part of the Fringe Festival and the New York Musical Theatre Festival; Bill Castellino (Desperate Measures) directs a fuller production for the York Theatre Company, with a cast that include Scott Ahearn, Elijah Rayman and Gettin' the Band Back Together baddie Brandon Williams as the Prince of Darkness.
You’ll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, dazzling Rockettes. Whatever faults one may find with this awesomely lavish annual pageant—it's basically a celebration of the virtues of shopping—this show has legs. And what legs! The Rockette's offer precision dancing on a massive scale, and they take your breath away.—Adam Feldman
Get ready to shake your asp at Chelsea Music Hall, a new venue in the bowels of the Chelsea Market, in this immersive musical-theater treatment of the tragic love affair between an Egyptian queen and her Roman paramour. JT Horenstein directs and choreographs the show (by Jeff Daye and Laura Kelinbaum). Nya and Christian Brailsford portray the doomed duo, and RuPaul's Drag Race alum Dusty Ray Bottoms plays the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Amy Heckerling adapts her own lovable 1995 movie, a Beverly Hills update of Jane Austen's Emma, into a jukebox musical comedy that repurposes '90s hits into character songs. Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages) directs; Dove Cameron, of Disney Channel's Liv and Maddie, stars as would-be matchmaker Cher.
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