Complete Broadway Musicals A–Z
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
Go to hell—and by hell we mean Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell’s fizzy, moody, thrilling new musical. Ostensibly, at least, the show is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. But the newness of Mitchell’s score and Rachel Chavkin’s gracefully dynamic staging bring this old story to quivering life.—Adam Feldman
Lin‑Manuel Miranda applies 21st-century musical storytelling to the rags-to-Treasury tale of Alexander Hamilton in this dazzlingly ingenious national sensation. It’s a success story of the best kind, breathtaking but also breath-giving: an inspiration.—Adam Feldman
Broadway goes apeshit in a new musical that is mostly pretty awful except for its giant, marvelous animatronic puppet. The show looks down on its huckster villain for taking an awesome creature and surrounding it with mediocrity for a gawking New York audience—but that’s exactly what this production does itself. In the sad eyes of the second act’s chained and stooped Kong, you see flickers of a show that might have been.—Adam Feldman
The Roundabout’s diverting revival of Cole Porter's 1948 musical, starring Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase squabbling actors in a touring production of The Taming of the Shrew, is nothing if not sensitive to the show's potential dangers:The battle-of-the-exes, war-of-the-sexes comedy has moved a closer to May I Have Affirmative Consent to Kiss You, Kate? But there’s plenty of pleasure to be had in its cautious embrace of Broadway's past.—Adam Feldman
Director-designer Julie Taymor surrounds the Disney movie's mythic plot and Elton John–Tim Rice score with African rhythm and music. Through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with a menagerie of African beasts; her staging has expanded a simple cub into the pride of Broadway.—Adam Feldman
A canny crossbreed of Heathers and Hairspray, this new musical has been adapted by Tina Fey from her own 2004 cult movie about high-school social warfare, and it remains her vehicle: an auto de Fey, burning with bookish anger at the limits young women place on each other and themselves. Where the show shines brightest is in the spotlight it casts on its exciting young performers, including Taylor Louderman as the fearsome leader of the queen-beeyatch trio known as the Plastics.—Adam Feldman
Bartlett Sher directs a splendid, carefully recalibrated revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s sparkling 1956 musical. In Edwardian London, misogynist professor Henry Higgins (Harry Hadden-Paton) teaches flower girl Eliza (Laura Benanti) the manners and speech of a lady.—Adam Feldman
After a hit run at St. Ann's Warehouse last year, this bold, dark, modern-dress revival moves to Broadway. Director Daniel Fish’s vision treats Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 musical with deep respect, shining a hard light on its underlying issues of justice, violence and the autonomy of women. It ventures into rough territory and leaves the show in a brand-new state.—Adam Feldman
More than three decades into its Broadway run, Andrew Lloyd Webber's horror-romance musical continues to draw tourists into its candlelit lair.While the epic synth-rock chords of the title song may ground Phantom in the 1980s, the show’s Puccini-inflected airs are far grander than most of what one hears elsewhere on Broadway, and Hal Prince's production remains a marvel of sumptuous surfaces.—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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