Broadway has become a summarizing name for American theater. But actually it only refers to theaters with a capacity for at least 500 people. The venues with less capacity are called “off-Broadway”, but this does not mean they present low-quality productions. So if you have a passion for theatrical art, New York has much to offer to you. You can enjoy some of the best Broadway shows or choose the cozy atmosphere of the smaller venues.
Best Broadway shows you should not miss
The Book of Mormon
It is a musical comedy created by the authors of the famous animated comedy South Park – Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez who is one of the co-writers of the music for Avenue Q (musical comedy which won several awards in 2004).
“The Book of Mormon” is a story about two Mormon missionaries who are sent to preach the faith of the Mormon church amongst the inhabitants of a remote village in Uganda. There they face the troubles that the locals have with diseases, famine, political oppression.
The show has won many awards including for “Best Musicalmusical” and “Best Book of a musical”. The scenario is filled with hilarious jokes but it is not recommended for children because of its dirty language and the complex topics it concerns.
Dear Evan Hansen
“Dear Evan Hansen” tells a story of a student (Evan Hansen) suffering from a social anxiety disorder. Evan is trying so hard to get close to his peers that he even creates a story about a fake friendship he had been involved in with a deceased student who has committed suicide.
The musical concerns important topics such as the difficulties that many teenagers face with how to fit in a certain social group at school. It also brings attention to depression, social rejection, and suicidal thoughts which occur frequently amongst teenagers.
“Dear Evan Hansen” may have a strong emotional impact on you but you will regret it if you don’t see it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Here is one play for the fans of J.K. Rowling’s wizard Harry Potter.
It is amongst the best British shows on Broadway. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is written by Jack Thorne which will make you feel a mix of emotions – anger, fear, compassion, happiness. It will take you out of the theater hall straight to the world of magic. If you want to be involved in a magical battle, do not hesitate to see the play. It will leave you deeply impressed.
Best “off-Broadway” shows worth seeing
Based in smaller venues, the best off-Broadway shows provide the same excelent quality like their Broaway counterparts only in smaller, yet cozier, theaters.
Little Shop of Horrors
This is a horror comedy rock musical which premiere was off-off-Broadway (theaters with a capacity of fewer than 100 seats) but now you can enjoy it in Westside Theater Upstairs. Its music is written by Alan Menken – the famous American composer who also wrote the music for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas.
“Little Shop of Horrors” presents the unusual story of the flower shop assistant Seymour who discovers a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. Seymour is in love with his co-worker Audrey but she is in a relationship with the sadistic dentist Orin. Seymour feeds the monstrous plant with dead bodies but in the end, it becomes a threat to the whole world.
The musical is a remake of a film with the same title produced in 1986. If you want to examine the dark side of people, you must definitely see this show. Its dark humor and catchy music will not leave you disappointed.
Frankenstein: A New Musical
This romantic musical is based on Mary Shelley’s novel. Victor Frankenstein, played by Hunter Foster, loses his mother which incites him to examine the secrets of death. He succeeds in bringing back a dead man to life, but this new creature does not look like humans anymore. The ugly appearance does not mean that The Creature does not still have human needs. This is the essence of the show – every creature, no matter how bad it looks, seeks love and companionship.
The Play That Goes Wrong
This play has won the “Best New Play” award and is one of the best off-Broadway shows you can see today. You will not stop laughing until the show is over. It is appropriate for kids.
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is not like any other play you have seen before. The actors act like amateurs, they forget their lines and even involve part of the audience in their play. Everything you see is chaotic and confusing but hilarious at the same time.