The wonderful thing about Broadway, is you are bound to find something for everyone. Fun loving stories, historical stories, classics as well as shows with a more adult fan-base. Below you will find a guide to 5 of Broadway’s must see musicals of the moment. Between long running shows, and new musicals that have taken the world by storm, this guide should help to plan a successful Theatre Itinerary for your next adventure to the Big Apple and make sure you see some of the best shows on Broadway!
Hamilton: An American Musical
Written by acclaimed writer, actor and rapper, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton made it’s debut Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in early 2015, Hamilton played to sold out crowds with a twice extended run until May 2015 when it began it’s transition to the Richard Rodgers Theatre (also home to Miranda’s first hit “In the Heights”). Hamilton is the tale of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of America set to and urban style soundtrack.
The hottest ticket on Broadway, Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical for 2016. Hamilton has hit Broadway in a way that no other musical has with the unconventional casting, style and subject matter. Tickets are hard to come by as the show is typically sold out, there is a daily digital lottery as well. The crowds trying to obtain tickets to this show have been unprecedented so be aware of buying tickets off websites like Craigslist as there has been a problem with scammers. So it is recommended that you use a trusted Broadway ticket source.
The Lion King
Presented by Disney Theatrical, “The Lion King” finds its home in the heart of Times Square at the Minskoff Theatre. Based on the 1994 Disney animated film with book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, Lyrics by Tim Rice and Music by Elton John the Musical makes great use of giant puppets to portray animals as well as full-bodied animal costumes for the actors on the stage. The Lion King opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre before moving to the Minskoff where it could have a more permanent home. The show is a wonderfully classic pick for all ages.
The Lion King is Broadway’s third longest running musical and is great for all ages. In 1998 the show won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The theater is rather modern and large, but still manages to sell out performances, so I would plan accordingly if you want this show to make it on your itinerary. After all this time, The Lion King is still one of the best shows on Broadway and is wildly popular. In fact, in 2014 it surpassed “The Phantom of the Opera” to become the top-earning title in box office history on the Great White Way.
Book of Mormon
Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the creators of South Park) you can find Book of Mormon at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. This show is a religious satire with a lot of crude language and a lot of heart. If you are easily offended, this is not the show for you, but if you can see past the surface humor, you will find a show with a strong message of love and acceptance of those around you – even if they come from a different background and may believe in some things that to you, seem silly.
In 2011, “Book of Mormon” took Broadway by storm with sold out shows for months in advance. An obsession the Broadway World hadn’t seen in many years and hadn’t seen since, until “Hamilton: An American Musical” opened in 2015. Winner of 9 Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical “Book of Mormon” is still wildly popular on Broadway. While this musical is not family friendly, tickets can still be difficult to get on popular nights/holidays so if you are planning a trip during peak travel time, I would seek tickets as soon as you can.
The Phantom of the Opera
Written by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Phantom is currently Broadway’s longest running musical by a large margin. Based on the French novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux, the musical originally opened on the West End in 1986. A tale of opera, the theatre, mystery, love and obsession, Phantom is a timeless classic with a score anyone could get lost in.
Homed in one of Broadway’s largest theatres, the Majestic Theatre can accommodate 1,645 patrons for each performance. In 1988 the show won 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical. “The Phantom of the Opera” may be a long running show, but it doesn’t seem to be losing any steam yet. With the theater being so large you have more of a chance of obtaining last minute tickets than you may have for other shows that have more limited runs.
School of Rock
“School of Rock” is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s newest musical, opening December 6, 2015. Based on the 2003 American Musical Comedy film, starring Jack Black, this is bound to be a hit with the entire family. A show full of heart and a ton of super talented kids, as all the kids in the show not only sing and dance, but play all their own instruments too. Homed in the Winter Garden Theatre, which was built in 1896 and has a capacity for 1,526 patrons each performance and former home of the wildly popular musical, “Cats”.
The show was nominated for 4 Tony Awards in 2016, but lost out to “Hamilton” in all 4 categories. Opening to rave reviews the show continues to prosper in its home at the center of Times Square. This show is a bit easier to get tickets for, but if you have a family, it is an absolutely must see to add to your Broadway itinerary.
See The Best Broadway Shows During Your NYC Trip!
New York City is a classic destination for a weekend trip, or even longer. And one of our “must do” activities during your visit is to see a famous Broadway show. These are some of the best Broadway shows currently on the scene, and we highly recommend that you check them out during your visit.
Be sure to check out our New York City Travel Basics for all the details you need to know about planning your trip to NYC. Also to make it easier for you, be sure to check out our sample 3 Days in New York City travel itinerary — and download your own to customize for your trip!