Want to see the best Broadway shows? For tourists (and locals who secretly love acting like tourists!), these are the classics that you shouldn’t miss. While other attractions like visiting the top of a skyscraper and lingering in some of the city’s best museums (especially on free museum days) should be on any tourist’s bucket list, the spectacle and glamour of the best Broadway shows is totally unique to New York and should not be missed. Because visiting New York City without seeing a Broadway show basically doesn’t count as a visit to the big apple at all.
Best Broadway shows for tourists
If spectacle is what you’re craving, this Disney musical with costumes larger than many New York City apartments is your ticket to a performance unlike any other. Fans of the animated movie will certainly enjoy the live songs and seriously impressive staging that make the larger-than-life effects unforgettable.
This take on The Wizard of Oz starts just before Dorothy arrives, telling the story of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda the Good Witch through popular (get it?) and catchy tunes. A winner of 10 Tony Awards including 2004’s Best Musical, this instant classic is in its 13th year on Broadway.
The longest-running show on Broadway, the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical was a fan favorite long before the movie came out. Winner of seven Tony Awards in 1988, Phantom’s romance, drama and passion has lured in audiences for 11,000 performances and counting.
Broadway’s second-longest-running show takes place in the courtroom and the cells of Cook County Jail, where housewife and budding starlet Roxie Hart tries to prove her innocence (and get famous) after killing her lover. Both fans of the Roaring Twenties and Orange Is the New Black will enjoy this glitzy, jazzy musical.
The musical history of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons told almost exclusively through song, this fast-paced musical will have you clapping along as the cast sings through the band’s hits in a quick-paced narrative. Those from New Jersey will especially delight on the Garden State–positive atmosphere.
Looking to see a comedic performance?
Which Shakespeare comedies leave us in stitches, verily? We rank the funniest, from As You Like It to Merchant of Venice.