THE TALON

10 Shows You Should See on Broadway in 2019

Broadway makes everything better

Broadway musicals and plays have been dazzling audiences in New York City and around the world for decades. Whether you have the opportunity to see a show when it tours around the country or in the Broadway capital itself, New York City, you are sure to see a fabulous performance with some of the most talented performers in the world. I recently visited the Big Apple over spring break and had the opportunity to see Anastasia, Pretty Woman, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and Wicked. All of the musicals were fantastic, and I cannot recommend them enough to any audience. Unfortunately, my favorite show I saw, Anastasia, had their final performance on March 31, but there are plenty of incredible shows still coming to Broadway in the place of those leaving. So without further ado, here is a list of shows to check out if you find yourself in “the greatest city in the world” during 2019.

Dear Evan Hansen

This 2017 six-time Tony Award winning musical follows the story of Evan Hansen, a high school senior struggling with social anxiety, as he navigates his last year of high school and finds himself stuck in a never ending pool of lies following the death of a classmate. Although this musical features very heavy subject material, it still implements moments of humor and catchy tunes to ensure that the tears aren’t flowing the whole show. The current cast is stunning and lead by Andrew Barth Feldman, the show’s first actual teenager to play Evan Hansen.

 

Andrew Barth Feldman (Evan Hansen) signs playbills after the show.

My playbill after the cast signed it at the stage door.

Alex Boniello (Connor Murphy) signing playbills at the stage door.

Bonus Tip! Following any of the shows on this list, you can visit the stage doors for a chance to get your playbills signed and take pictures with the actors you just saw performing!

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Based on the popular 1990’s film by the same name, Pretty Woman: The Musical follows the life of a prostitute and businessman in California who fall for one another. This musical spin off of the cult classic film gives a fun, rock edge to the already lovable romantic tale. The original cast, which is still currently on, features beloved broadway stars Samantha Barks, Andy Karl, Orfeh, and more. Compared to all other broadway shows, this musical is truly just a light hearted and fun show that is certain to have you singing along and tapping your feet by the end of the performance.

Moulin Rouge

Although not out on Broadway in New York City yet, this adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s lavish 2001 film already debuted in Boston and received spectacular reviews. The film and upcoming stage adaptation follow a young man in Paris at the turn of the 20th century as he becomes infatuated with the Moulin Rouge and one of their main singers. Filled with glitz, glamour, and a decent amount of absurdity, Moulin Rouge was spectacular 18 years ago as a film and will fly even further as a live production. Moulin Rouge will begin previews in New York on June 28 and officially open July 25 in the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Aladdin

What’s even better than watching a Disney movie? Watching a Disney broadway show. Disney has had many stories make it to Broadway over the years, but currently it is showcasing The Lion King, Aladdin, and Frozen. Although all shows are wonderful, I chose to spotlight Aladdin as Disney is also releasing a live action film version of the story this year too. Aladdin follows the tale of a man who finds a magic lamp with a genie inside as he decides what to spend his three wishes on and figures out how to impress Princess Jasmine. This show is perfect for any Disney fans or theatre fans!

Aladdin was incredible! My favorite part of the show was the insane special effects and elaborate costumes”

— Janie O'Shea (12)

Jagged Little Pill

The theater and opening date for Jagged Little Pill have yet to be announced yet, but it is expected to take its place on broadway sometime in Fall 2019. Although little is known about the New York production of this show, the show’s premiere in Cambridge, Massachusetts was a huge success and led by a stellar cast. Hopefully some of these seasoned performers will transition into the Broadway cast of the show as well, although nothing has been officially announced yet. The show itself uses the songs from Alanis Morissette’s Grammy winning album by the same name to tell the story of a multiracial, multigenerational suburban family as they navigate life and all its hardships.

Wicked

For all you Wizard of Oz fans out there, Wicked is the perfect production for you as it follows the lives of Glinda and Elphaba prior to the events in the 1939 classic film. The true extravagance of the show never gets old, and the costume design alone will have you sitting on the edge of your seat way before the actress playing Elphaba even belts out those high notes in “Defying Gravity.” Although Wicked has been on broadway since 2003, it is still certainly worth watching.

In eighth grade I knew every word to every song in Wicked. It is the only musical that matters.”

— Graham Inabnett (12)

Waitress

Sara Bareilles’ musical adaptation of the 2007 movie has been serving pies and laughs (and tears!) on broadway since 2015. The show follows Jenna, a pregnant waitress, who is trapped in an abusive marriage, as she finds a new romance with an unlikely person. Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block is currently in the show until April 7 playing Dr. Pomatter. He will be followed by seasoned musical performer Jeremy Jordan. Check out this incredible show this year!

Hamilton

Did you really think you could make it through a list about the top shows on broadway and really not hear about Hamilton? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenon has been stunning audiences since 2015, but the Richard Rodgers Theater still remains packed every evening. The innovative musical that combines traditional show tunes as well as rap and R&B elements details the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton as he rises and falls from political fame. Hamilton is certainly a bucket list item show that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

I have the entire Hamilton soundtrack memorized, but seeing how the cast put their own personalities into the characters was really cool”

— Rachel Walmet (12)

Hillary and Clinton

One of the few non musicals on this list, Hillary and Clinton is housed in the John Golden Theatre. Although I have not seen this show for myself, I passed the theater every day during my recent stay in New York and have heard nothing but wonderful reviews since the show debuted. Seasoned actors, Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, play Hillary and Bill in this stage adaptation that is set in an alternate universe during the 2008 primaries. The play showcases American politics, gender roles, and the effect marriage can play in the world of politics itself.

Burn This

Another non musical to grace this list, Burn This tells the tale of two strangers brought together by a mysterious death. This passionate story of unlikely lovers is led by veteran actors Adam Driver and Keri Russell and is directed by Tony award winner Michael Mayer. Definitely check out this show to see this spectacular cast carry Lanford Wilson’s 1987 play about tragedy, self identity, and love to success.

So maybe you’ve never been a theater person before or maybe you’re a lifelong Broadway fan like me, but any one of these shows are certain to leave you feeling wowed or at least appreciating this vital part of New York City a little bit more. There is something so special about live theater that is certain to create long lasting memories in your travels in 2019. Overall, you truly cannot go wrong with any play or musical on Broadway. Because everything is magical when you’re in the “greatest city in the world.”

Everyone should have the experience of seeing a broadway show because they will 10/10 give you chills and make you cry even if theater isn’t your thing”

— Rachel Walmet (12)

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