No trip to New York would be complete without a stroll along Broadway. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, an evening in the stalls of one of the many musicals and plays is the cherry on top of a perfect trip away.
So which shows should you check out?
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Finding its roots in the story of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked is the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West, or Elphaba, as you’ll come to know her. It is also one of the best modern musicals around. Even if you’re not familiar with the musical, you’re likely to recognise its iconic track ‘Defying Gravity’ made famous by Broadway (and Glee) veterans Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Both singers were in the original Broadway cast, back in 2003, when it became an almost overnight hit. Thirteen years later and the musical is still one of the most popular in town. Fun fact: The Wicked Witch didn’t have a name in The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum. When Gregory Maguire wrote the novel Wicked, he created Elphaba’s name from L Frank Baum’s three initials.
Wicked is currently showing at the Gershwin Theatre (at the time of publication). There are no shows on Mondays.
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The Lion King
The highest grossing Broadway show of all time, and the third longest-running show on Broadway, The Lion King is based on the Disney animation by the same name. The show features all of the original iconic songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice for the film. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features both actors in animal costumes, and incredible giant, hollow puppets.
The Lion King is currently on at the Minskoff Theatre (at time of publication), showing Tuesdays through to Saturdays.
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The Book Of Mormon
The first musical written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, the Book of Mormon follows two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to share their scriptures with the inhabitants of a remote Ugandan village. The show opened on Broadway in 2011 after almost seven years of development. With storylines that include indulging in carnal relations with frogs to cure AIDS, and the confusion of Mormon doctrine with the storyline of Star Trek, and a character called General Butt F*cking Naked, this is a religious satire like no other! Definitely one for those with a cheeky sense of humour.
The Book of Mormon is playing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre (at time of publication), showing Tuesdays through to Sundays.
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Based on Victor Hugo’s French historical novel by the same name, Les Miserables is a musical tale of politics, religion, family, romance, poverty and justice. The musical has had three runs on Broadway. The first ran from 1987 to 2003. The second ran from 2006 to 2008, and then the show was revived once more in 2014. It has been announced that this revival will close on September 4th of this year.
The musical is on at the Imperial Theatre (at time of publication).
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Another great musical based on a well-loved book, Matilda is based on Roald Dahl’s classic. The story of a 5 year-old girl who loves to read, and can move things with her mind, the musical has fast become a favourite with young theatre-goers and their parents. Matilda first came to Broadway in 2013, and has won five Tony Awards.
Matilda runs at the Shubert Theatre every Tuesday through to Sunday, with two shows on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The Show will end on January 1st 2017.
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Jersey Boys is a documentary-style musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Structured into four ‘seasons’, each narrated by a different band member, the show includes well known hits including ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ ‘Working My Way Back to You’ and ‘December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)’. The show has been running on Broadway since 2005.
Jersey Boys is on every day except Mondays at the August Wilson Theatre, with two shows on Wednesdays and Saturdays (at time of publication).
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The Phantom Of The Opera
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera follows a beautiful soprano singer called Christine, with whom The Phantom (a mysterious disfigured musical genius) becomes obsessed. The show opened in 1988, and is Broadway’s longest-running show. In February 2012 it became the first Broadway show to celebrate 10,000 performances.
The Phantom Of The Opera plays every night except Sundays, with matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays (at the time of publication).
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Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Now in her seventies, Carole King won four Grammy Awards for her 1972 album ‘Tapestry’. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The musical charts her journey from Carol Klein, a Jewish girl from Brooklyn, to a flourishing career writing hit songs, and recognised as a musical legend.
Beautiful is on every night apart from Mondays at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (at the time of publication).
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Notoriously one of the hardest tickets to get in town, Hamilton is a musical about Alexander Hamilton, chief aide to General George Washington, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The show opened at Off-Broadway in February 2015, and moved to the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway in August 2015. It has already won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Hamilton plays every night except Sundays, with matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays (at the time of publication).
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One of the newest musicals on Broadway – American Psycho – opened this spring, starring Hollywood actor Benjamin Walker. A black comedy, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the musical features a number of 80s hits, as well as lots of blood and gore. One for mature audiences, Walker performs much of the show in his underwear.
American Psycho is showing at the Schoenfield Theatre (at time of publication), with shows every day apart from Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays.
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