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 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 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
The Spring Awakening team of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater reunites for a new musical set in London during World War II and inspired by Lewis Carroll's Wonderland books.
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
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.
The very talented performers of Freestyle Love Supreme offer a funky and inventive tribute to spontaneity in this 90-minute storm of improvised raps stuffed into sketches, directed by Hamilton's Thomas Kail. Notable alums of the show (such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson and Daveed Diggs) may drop by for surprise guest appearances during the run—not that the show's regular cast of six needs any help. Tickets for the whole run sold out in a flash, but you can try your lucky daily in TodayTix's $30 lottery.
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
John Noble, who played the mad Gondor steward Denethor in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, stars as the great conductor Arturo Toscanini in Eve Wolf's solo play. Ensemble for the Romantic Century's production, directed by Donald T. Saunders, also features a chamber ensemble of live musicians: pianist Zhenni Li, trumpeter Maximilian Morel and a string quartet.
The clever and inventive Fiasco Theater, which ventured Into the Woods at the Roundabout's Laura Pels venue back in 2015, returns to the well of 1980s Stephen Sondheim musicals with a production of Sondheim and George Furth's cult-fave 1981 musical, whose brilliant score is melded to a tricky back-to-front narrative about lost ideals. Noah Brody directs a cast that includes his fellow co–artistic directors, Ben Steinfeld and Jessie Austrian.
The York's Musicals in Mufti series, which offers stripped-down concert stagings of Broadway rarities, devoted its 2019 winter season to three little-known works by librettist Alan Jay Lerner: Carmelina (January 26–February 3), The Day Before Spring (February 9–17) and Lolita, My Love (February 23–March 3).
Eight reasonably 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
Rick Crom’s bouncy, ever-changing satirical revue of politics and pop culture returns for an unusually long run at the Kirk Theatre to take more jabs at the headlines. Mark Waldrop directs.
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