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
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.
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.
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!
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.
I saw Matilda on West End in London and 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). 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 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.