We’re exchanging product cards for playbills in this rankings installment devoted to the reputably beauteous NYC excursion that is Broadway theatrics. If you’re looking for a realm in which to show off your lapel pins and brushed knowledge of falsettos and follies with your duet partner, the 7PM curtain will be pulled promptly at 7:10. Allow us ushers to guide you through what we project to become or remain the accessibly premiere musicals of winter and beyond.
*Note: Besides Nos. 10 and [half of] 5, this is reflective of mine own personal bucket list as well.
If you are anticipating a direct VHS-to-Broadhurst carry-over, then are several omissions from the cherished animated version that will leave you baffled. Nonetheless, Anya and company’s classic costuming juxtaposed by modernizing special effects – plus a score and chorus that stick with you for weeks after – are spectacle enough to drive this performance into your heart even past December.
9. Kinky Boots
Each of these respective runs are sustaining relevancy solely with marquee recasting, so be sure to catch the talents of Kirstin Maldonado team with dashing high-heeled business queens next month, or Jason Mraz serenading you amid pie and pregnancy while you still can!
7. Springsteen on Broadway
From the adaptations of oldie albums such as Donna Summer’s, to the experimental fusion sing-along that will cautiously be Rocktopia, and every “Movin’ Out” or “American Idiot” to come before it…The Boss deserves all benefit of the doubt. Whether or not the ratio between concert and narrative is proved imbalanced, at least enjoy the comforts of Thunder Road away from the rigid conditions of MetLife Stadium.
6. Dear Evan Hansen
It’s imaginable that this is the Hamilton replacement for musical phenomenon you’ve already heard about; on their own either of these epics would be atop most rankings, but consequently they’re likely the current tickets most difficult to procure. If you do luck into seats at the Murphy table sooner rather than later, then be primed for an exemplary albeit heavier emotional experience (and the fact that Noah Galvin is simply still not Ben Platt). Now speaking of mainstream hype…
T-5. The Lion King; Frozen
With the latter film being deemed the Walt Disney canon’s most objectively superior since the former, at face value you should not be steered wrong by the doubling up on Broadway and Mickey Mouse magic. With movies in general, and Disney flicks in particular, the crossover from screen to stage is tricky to execute 100% seamlessly. Regardless, for over two decades now The Lion King can validate enveloping you in its atmosphere from beginning note to end – no matter how many times you go see it, although preferably from orchestra seating – while the leaks from Arendelle appear promising with their own merit.
4. Come From Away
Chords of composition and catharsis equally continue to be struck through this 9/11 perspective performance one year later. The best directed musical of 2017, Come From Away is a humanity reawakening that the unification of theatre and community in all senses through tragedy truly endorses.
For you vocational high school graduates looking to unlock the dusty memories of Rodgers and Hammerstein sheet music and assembly presentations, this is the go-to revival of the season. Early casting complications aside, box offices are officially open for the 1945 barker-millworker romance of the 21st century.
2. The Band’s Visit
Critics are found raving about the emergence of this cultural roller coaster from November. Though the Egyptian Police Band is left to navigate a mistaken town, you’ll be in the right place at an opportune time as Tony Awards buzz steadily accumulates.
1. Once on This Island
This rebooted immersion in Caribbean fantasy insists upon swimming strong for audiences of all ages and walks of life. If such an exhibit of rhythmic star-crossed love doesn’t already suffice for the cost of admission, it’s only one act long, so you’re given the fluttering chance to especially yearn for more shortly afterwards!
Now go iron your khakis, book reservations at a celebrity restaurant on 45th Street and enter some lotteries for the milestone artistic getaway of your gentlemanly education 😉
Mike L. // The Guide