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
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
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
Very talented performers offer a funky and inventive tribute to spontaneity in this 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 guest appearances during the run—not that the show's core cast needs any help.
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
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.
Having already created goofy musical spoofs of shows including Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, Bob and Tobly McSmith—joined again by composer Assaf Gleizner, who wrote the score for Friends! The Musical Parody—take on yet another TV institution. Donald Garverick directs a cast led by Sarah Mackenzie Barron, in male drag, as paper tiger Michael Scott.
Mark Mauriello and Andrew Barret Cox's queer nightclub musical immerses audiences in a secret future bunker at which culture has been whittled down to "sequins, reality television and the complete works of Oscar Wilde." Shira Milkowsky directs for the Neon Coven.
A tot obsessed with pink cupcakes finds herself turning her favorite rosy hue in this long-running children's musical, with music by John Gregor and book and lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann. Teresa K. Pond directs.
Whether attracting or repelling her audiences, international chanteuse Lemper is never less than magnetic. Her style is perversely polymorphic: One moment she might tear into a song with predatory hunger, then she might purr out a dreamy croon or toss back her head for a brassy squeal of jazz. Her newest set is inspired by a long conversation she shared with languid legend Marlene Dietrich in 1988.
Chris D’Arienzo’s tongue-in-cheek mixtape musical of hair-band favorites opened on Broadway in 2009 and played there for six loud and silly years. Now, following in the footsteps of shows like Avenue Q and Jersey Boys, it is returning for an encore run at Off Broadway's New World Stages complex. Kristin Hanggi returns to direct a cast that includes PJ Griffith, Matt Ban and Dane Biren along with original cast members Mitchell Jarvis and Katie Webber.
Michael Mitnick and Adam Gwon's original musical, commissioned by the Roundabout, reimagines Macbeth as the tale of an ambitious burger slinger in a droopy Pennsylvania burg. Lonny Price (A Class Act) directs the premiere, which features choreography by Josh Rhodes (Cinderella); the cast includes Ryan McCartan, Alysha Umphress, Jeb Brown, Megan Lawrence and Jay Armstrong Johnson.
Mixing whimsy and information, Anthony Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. A cappella classics are performed by a gifted ensemble, and the show's enjoyable lessons can be washed down with thematically appropriate beverages.—Amelia Bienstock
This shrewd garbage heap of clog dancing, prop comedy and chest-thumping percussion spins out impressive (if numbing) variations on vaudeville by way of English punk.—David Cote
Four women perform hits from the past 100 years of pop music, ranging from torch songs to anthems of liberation, in a revue by Dorothy Marcic (Sistas).
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