With both new and old musicals hitting Broadway every year, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on onstage. Whether you are hitting up the Theater District in New York City this summer or simply heading to your local performing arts venue, here is the lowdown on what’s popular on Broadway this season.
As one of the biggest animated movies of the 1990’s, Aladdin is the latest Disney movie to hit Broadway. With a few additional brand new songs added to the musical line-up, Aladdin is accurately based on the same story line as the original Disney film. The story focuses on Aladdin, a young street kid, and his monkey Abu. Aladdin uncovers a magical lamp and the musical tells the tale of the adventures of the three friends as they unearth dreams and desires as they ultimately run into plenty of problems along the way. With a stunning on-set display of oriental and Arabian fabrics, bright colours, and semi-realistic props, Aladdin has been criticized in comparison to one of Disney’s favourites: The Lion King. While Disney’s The Lion King was arguably one of the most impressive Broadway musicals of the decade, Aladdin is suited more for a younger audience and does not feature the same energy, atmosphere, or storyline as the former Disney hit. With that said, Aladdin is still an exciting and action packed musical to see on Broadway regardless of your age, especially if you were a big fan of Disney!
Set in 1927 in Leningrad, Russia, Anastasia is based on the original 1956 Ingrid Bergman film which was later adapted into a children’s animated film in 1997. Anastasia is an incredible Broadway musical that tells the story of a young orphaned girl who has amnesia and is trying to discover who she once was in order to understand who she is and who she will become. With two crooks who become her friends, Anastasia is led on a sweeping journey of self-discovery as they try to turn her into long lost royalty. With excellent sets, catchy tunes, and a captivating storyline, Anastasia has received incredible reviews from critics and viewers. Although the original film has been adapted to suit different media over time, the story remains the same and is equally as captivating time and time again.
The Book of Mormon
Back for another round on Broadway, The Book of Mormon has to be one of the most entertaining, yet equally offensive and inappropriate, musicals to ever set foot on stage. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the hit t.v. show South Park, The Book of Mormon is about two Mormon missionaries who are sent from Salt Lake City to a remote tribe in the Ugandan bush to preach their beliefs. With tales of disease, poverty, and religion, The Book of Mormon pushes the realities of society and beliefs in the same way that South Park does over and over again. This musical takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and laughs, until you start to question everything that you thought was appropriate to discuss at the dinner table. Time and time again, The Book of Mormon is rated as one of the best and most entertaining musicals on Broadway by critics and viewers. If you haven’t seen it, you should!
The Wizard of Oz
Since it’s sister production Wicked has done so well on Broadway, it was time to bring The Wizard of Oz back to life. With Dorothy on her dreamy mission through the magical land of Oz, The Wizard of Oz is an incredibly well created musical that has critics and viewers raving. Meeting many friends along the way, The Wizard of Oz tells of Dorothy’s journey through the mystical land of Oz as she tries to navigate her way back home, while helping friends and discovering herself and the land of Oz along the way. With the same classic tunes that has captivated audiences of all generations, decade after decade, since the original film was released in 1939, the Broadway rendition once again captivates viewers with its storyline and well presented sets. If you have had the chance to see Wicked on Broadway, perhaps re-watching The Wizard of Oz will have you switching teams once again.
There are many, many more musicals on Broadway this season including old hits like Cats, Chicago, and Wicked. Other popular new musicals include Indecent, Kinky Boots, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the much loved Hamilton. What are you looking forward to seeing this season on Broadway?