HELP! What Show Should I See on Broadway?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn

It’s a question a high percentage of travellers are sure to ask when they see the overwhelming options put before them. You’re about to fork out a tonne of cash to see a show whether it’s good, bad or great, so you’re bound to want a recommendation or guide to point you in the direction.

Fear not! Here’s my complete guide to…

What Show Should I See on Broadway?

I’ve been to most Broadway shows. I’m a bit of a theatre geek. I make it my mission to see and review a bunch of the new shows each time I’m in New York City, plus I’m always hunting down tickets on West End or travelling shows in Australia.

Here’s a list of the shows I’m going to give you a brief overview on to help you make the right choice when choosing which Broadway show you should see:

The Best Broadway Musicals to See in 2015

Key word: musicals. Broadway is a lot of fun if you choose the right show. There are a great range of Broadway plays if that is more your thing, but if you want something upbeat, fun and lighthearted, you’re gonna want to see a Broadway Musical. Luckily, this is my area of expertise:

Hint: The shows are listed in order of my personal preference

The Book of Mormon Eugene O'Neill Theatre Cast List: Josh Gad Andrew Rannells Nikki M. James  Rory O?Malley Michael Potts Scott Barnhardt Justin Bohon Darlesia Cearcy Kevin Duda Asmeret Ghebremichael Brian Tyree Henry John Eric Parker Jason Michael Snow Benjamin Schrader Michael James Scott Brian Sears Lawrence Stallings Rema Webb Maia Nkenge Wilson Tommar Wilson Production Credits: Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (Direction) Casey Nicholaw (Choreography) Scott Pask (Set Design) Ann Roth (Costume Design) Brian MacDevitt (Lighting Design) Brian Ronan (Sound Design) Larry Hochman (Orchestrations) Stephen Oremus (Music Supervision) Other Credits: Lyrics by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Robert Lopez Music by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Robert Lopez Book by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Robert Lopez

Book of Mormon

Lets start with arguably the best. If you’re up for a laugh, this is without a doubt the funniest show you’ll find on Broadway. As such, everyone wants a ticket. When I Saw BoM a few years ago, I left it to the last minute and ended up paying $300 for a last minute ticket. If you don’t want this to happen to you, be sure to book in advance. I’m talkin’ waaaaaay before you arrive in NYC. In fact, I’d go so far as to recommend you book the ticket as soon as you know your flight dates. Its still likely to be the most expensive show on offer, but it is without a doubt worth every penny.


Something Rotten!

You’re probably surprised to see an unknown Broadway Musical name ranked so highly on the list. It’s okay, I was surprised, too.

This show is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S in capitals, all the way. Just when you think there might be time to give your cheeks a rest, you’re half way out your seat laughing again. It’s a laugh a minute, and then some. There are tonnes of theatre references, so it is particularly enjoyable for the thespians and Broadway regulars.

Aladdin, Toronto 2013


This unlikely newcomer has quickly become one of the hottest shows on Broadway. Although it opened to some scepticism, the critics have been proved wrong, as you’ll soon find out when you attempt to land yourself a ticket at the last minute. Be sure to not leave it too late, the show is a sell out nearly every night of the week! When I was walking to the theatre on show night I heard a scalper selling last minute tickets for $290…. I mean…. do I need to remind you again to secure those tickets in the early days!?



This classic has been one of the highest selling shows on Broadway for years. The talent is out of this world, along with an incredibly extravagant budget for an amazing set, costumes, and fantastic lighting. There’s no way I couldn’t include Wicked in my top three ‘must see once’ shows. Its a great choice for the dreamers!


The Lion King

As one of the most popular shows on Broadway and subsequently one of the shows with the highest ticket prices, I had high expectations of The Lion King. I went to see a Sunday matinee show in London’s West End and while it was certainly enjoyable, but perhaps I just enjoy shows with a little more comedy and witty charm. Still, it is a fantastic show and very popular worldwide. The costumes are worth going to see alone!


Jersey Boys

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this show half as much as I did (I had this very incorrect perception that it would be for an older generation). But this would have to be one of my favourite lighthearted shows on Broadway. If you’re on a date night or night our with the girls, this is a really fun show to see on a Friday or Saturday night.

Matilda Ripley Sobo


I saw Matilda on West End in London andΒ thought it was a great show. It sits somewhere in the middle spectrum of good-great shows, but is highly entertaining for the young and young at heart. If you love the film you’ll undoubtedly love the show.


A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

This show is fantastic – ask anyone. The lead actor plays a number of characters (7-10? I lost count), so there are many quick costume changes and its almost hard to keep up. But that’s what makes this show so fantastic – it is fast paced and will leave you in stitches (its funny, very funny, in case you haven’t heard the reference before). Β I would highly recommend this show to everyone and anyone, but especially those who want to have a fun and memorable night at the theatre.


Phantom of the Opera

Because this show has been running on Broadway for a quarter of a century, I understandably had high expectations. The show was all-round quite enjoyable with a talented cast, but before you book your tickets you must understand that this show is sad, serious, and kinda draining at times. I almost fell asleep in my chair, considered leaving at intermission (its a looooong show), but stuck it out in the end. A great show, but not the pick if you want something fun or lighthearted.



I have mixed feelings about this show. When I went to see Chicago in Sydney, Australia, I had an absolute blast. The cast were fantastic, the show was witty and engaging, and all-around I thought it was a hit show. Then I went to see the show on Broadway and it was entirely underwhelming. A few of my theatre-going-friends were of the same opinion and tried to discourage me going to see the show, but I forked over the $70 or so dollars for a last minute ticket from the TKTS stand (selling last minute show tickets for a discounted price). I walked out of the show at intermission feeling completely deflated by the lacklustre performance and terrible seats that felt as if I was viewing the show from Mars. Sadly I cannot recommend this show on Broadway.


Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia tells the story of Sophie, a bride to be who’s only wish is for her father to walk her down the aisle. Of course, she doesn’t expect it would be quite so difficult to ascertain who exactly her father is. I went to see this show with my mother and sister in Melbourne, Australia, and in this sort of setting, it was a good ‘girls night out’. However I wouldn’t say it was nearly close to one of my favourite shows and we all left feeling a little deflated. Maybe one for the older generation!? Jokes!!!


Shows I haven’t seen but have heard are fab: Gigi; On the Town; Finding Neverland; Les Miserables; Kinky Boots; and An American in Paris.

Shows I have seen that are no longer on Broadway: Billy Elliot; Cats; Newsies; Cinderella; a bunch of others that aren’t as memorable.

Thanks to The Broadway Collection for arranging tickets to the above shows on Broadway.

Over to YOU! What are your favourite Broadway shows you can recommend to WOW readers?

You Might Also Like

  • danzergal@optonline.net'
    June 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Hi! I’ve seen 43 Broadway musicals, and out of the list you posted- “Something Rotten!” and “Phantom of the Opera” are my favorites. The others are fantastic too though. Have fun if you haven’t gone yet!

  • kazy@roadrunner.com'
    May 28, 2015 at 3:05 am

    I’ve seen The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Newsies (twice), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with Neil Patrick Harris), and If/Then on Broadway as well as the touring shows Les Mis, Wicked (twice), The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Book of Mormon regionally. Wicked is absolutely my favorite! The music gives me goosebumps every time. Hedwig was also fantastic and I would HIGHLY recommend it if you’re in New York.
    If you’re going to New York on a budget, research the shows ahead of time and see what shows offer rush tickets and standing room. I saw If/Then at normal price, Hedwig standing room, which was still phenomenal viewing and the short show made it easily bearable, and Newsies rush tickets (which ended up being in the first few rows!). I saw all three shows in 2 days for under $150 TOTAL! My list of shows I want to see keeps growing and growing!

    May 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    […] Broadway and Grand Central Terminal Photo by Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust […]

  • clgoyette1211@aol.com'
    April 24, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I’m planning to see a broadway show this weekend while my mom is visiting so this was really helpful! Some shows I really want to see are Wicked, Book of Mormon, Gentleman’s Guide, Jersey Boys, and the Heidi Chronicles. My favorite show I’ve seen so far was Kinky Boots. The costumes, songs, choreography, etc were so amazing! It’s Only A Play was also really good and funny (it made a lot of pop culture and broadway references), and anything with Idina Menzel ia always great! I saw her in If/Then a couple months ago, but that show ended unfortunately!

  • info@brambleberry.com'
    Anne-Marie Faiola
    April 22, 2015 at 6:11 am

    A vote for β€˜Wicked’ for sure; loved that on Broadway!

  • courtneynobody@gmail.com'
    April 22, 2015 at 2:21 am

    I went to NYC twice to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch–first with Neil Patrick Harris, then with John Cameron Mitchell–and both were amazing.

  • niknnay@westnet.com.au'
    April 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    This is exactly why I love WoW guides! Recently I was feeling very overwhelmed by all of the show choices. Now I can happily choose one, THANK YOU!
    We are visiting NYC over the xmas/new year period and I noticed those dates are not available to buy tickets… Any suggestions why that might be? I was hoping to take your advice and book tickets in advance.

  • sparklinh2o@gmail.com'
    April 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I adored Chicago when I saw it in London and was also so excited to see it on Broadway. Worst show ever! It was slow paced, the actors looked bored and there was zero excitement. I should have left too.. I stuck it out and wish I didn’t.

  • charactersandcarryons@gmail.com'
    April 21, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Wicked was my absolute favorite, I definitely would go see it again! I also heard that Pippin is great, and is on my list of shows to go see.

    Characters & Carry-ons

  • kaylahart7@hotmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Do yourself a favour and all go and see Wicked! I’ve seen it twice and loved it both times! It just gets better. Wicked is my fav musical of all time! I saw the lion king and phantom of the opera in London and they were great! Phantom of the opera was amazing – I was sceptical but it was 300 times better than the lion king! You’re right – the costumes are sensational. I’ve also seen (in Aus) chitty chitty bang bang, Mary Poppins jersey boys (love frankie valley) and strictly ballroom (Aussie movie). Each one has been fab too!! Love musicals – worth every cent for the experience alone.

  • share@flyingthenest.tv'
    Jessica Valentine
    April 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    What did you think of Mamma Mia? Its the number 1 show I have been dying to see on Broadway!

  • drinkingandblogging@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Informative post I will keep these in mind because one day I do hope to make it to NYC. Wicked is at the top of my list to see, Lion King would be awesome too. Great post!

  • charlottejane321@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I absolutely suggest Matilda and/ or Wicked. They are AMAZING

  • talktomyshoes@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Great post! I’m headed back to NYC this Summer and am thinking of seeing Jersey Boys and/or the Lion King.
    I totally agree, the Book of Mormon is hands down the funniest broadway ever. I saw it a couple years ago and am STILL laughing about it. I’d see it again in a heart beat.
    I know Wicked is hugely popular and there seems to be many people in the comments here that love it too; when I was in university, all the singers I studied alongside were crazy over it. But I have to admit, I was totally bored when I saw it. I didn’t feel the hype and found most of it tedious. There were a few funny lines here and there but it truly took everything in me to keep my ticket from turning into an expensive nap.

  • redsg@walla.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 3:43 am

    WHAT????? Phantom Of The Opera is AAAAAAAAAAAAMAZING!
    there’s a reason it’s been running for over 27+ years!

    if in doubt -go see it. go see it. just do.

  • kristin.saling@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 3:36 am

    When we lived in New York, we would usually opt for the short run shows. They were less publicized and cheaper than the large productions, because the stars were usually doing them more for fun and love of the craft than anything else. We saw Hugh Jackman’s show when he was performing for three months between movies, Alan Rickman in Seminar, Matthew Broderick in Nice Work if You Can Get It, and Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette in How to Succeed in Business {Without Really Trying}. Out of the large long-run productions, Wicked is my absolute favorite.

  • mrsjasminbecerra@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 3:33 am

    My absolute favorite is Wicked! I have seen it twice and it makes me love it even more. The Lion King and Chicago are also really good. I reeeaally want to see The Beauty and the Beast for the music – crossing my fingers that it comes to my area soon!

  • nilindberg@hotmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 3:28 am

    I LOVE Musicals! I’ve seen Mamma Mia, Chicago, Motown, The Phantom of the Opera, Rock of Ages, Les Miserables and Wicked. Wicked and Les Miserables are my favorite! I really recommend Motown if you like “oldies” like Jackson 5 and Diana Ross.( I was actually in France for holiday and a young french/american woman recommended it to me and I was unsure if I would like it, but who doesn’t like songs like ABC πŸ™‚ ) I really want to see the Book of Mormon!!! I saw a sneak peak of it at the Oscars πŸ˜‰ Really like your blog! πŸ™‚

  • alejandra@the-wham.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I love broadway shows! I’ve seen Mamma Mia, Chicago, and Wicked. Mamma Mia was my favorite because of its light-hearted fun spirit. Wicked was also fun and I enjoyed Chicago but not as much as the other two. I really want to see the Lion King!!! It was my favorite movie as a child πŸ™‚

    Alejandra | http://www.the-wham.com

  • megantsangsecret@gmail.com'
    Dream & Scheme
    April 20, 2015 at 1:05 am

    The first show I watched was Les Miserables, a favorite of my Dad but I was too young to understand all of its nuances and darker tones. I’ve also had the pleasure of watching Wicked (my favorite for all ages), Matilda (I actually saw this on my most recent trip to NY), and the Phantom of the Opera. I’m hoping to get the change to see some of your recommendations at some point!

  • dhsauers@gmail.com'
    April 20, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I’m going to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch in May because Darren Criss (my fave!) is now playing Hedwig and I can’t wait! This will be my first time seeing the show but I’ve heard it’s excellent.

  • theblondetouristblog@gmail.com'
    The Blonde Tourist
    April 20, 2015 at 12:19 am

    The Lion King and Jersey Boys are my favs! I saw Matilda as my first NYC show and the set and everything was so colourful and fun. So much to choose from through including all the smaller shows too. BT x


  • karen@littleblackshell.com'
    Karen Farber
    April 20, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Great post!! I’m not going to see a broadway show anytime soon, but will definitely be saving this for a later occasion! So informative


  • vannadee37@yahoo.com'
    Vanessa Wood
    April 20, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Last year, my friends and I went to NYC. They had been there before, but it was my first time in the Big Apple. At first I didn’t want to spend the money out time to see a Broadway show (mainly because Les Mis was not showing yet), but one of the doctors I work with said that I would regret going to NYC without seeing a show. And boy was he right. My friends didn’t care which show we saw, so it was my decision. We saw Mama Mia! and we left the theater singing the songs! It was go go go with some heartwarming spots that tugged at your emotions. So I would recommend Mama Mia! Then you can go out for some cheesecake!

  • laura@mylifebeats.nl'
    April 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Wauw I saw the Lion King! It was expensive but so worth it! It was amazing.

  • astateofautumn@gmail.com'
    April 19, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    I want to see them all! I still haven’t crossed Wicked off my list so I think that will be next. Thanks for the insightful post.