Seeing a show on Broadway is a must when visiting New York. Here are five of the best.
The Last Ship
The Last Ship was written by Sting, the internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician from rock band The Police, and is a reflective drama set in the English seafaring town of Wallsend. Directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello alongside British choreographer Steven Hoggett, The Last Ship is a touching new musical about community, family, tradition and moving on. Based on Sting’s childhood, it tells the story of a close-knit community centred on the local shipyard. When main character Gideon Fletcher (played by Michael Esper) breaks the mold and sets out to travel the world, it triggers a series of events discovered upon his return 14 years later.
“A seductive, haunting beauty of a score that ranks among the best composed by a rock or pop figure for Broadway. The Last Ship explores with grit and compassion the lives of a shipbuilding town’s disenfranchised citizens, left behind as the industry that gave them their livelihood set sail for foreign lands.”
– The New York Times
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W 48th S, New York
Winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical 2014, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder tells the story of Monty Navarro, who discovers he is both part of an English noble family and a distant heir to the family fortune. The only complication is there are eight other predecessors. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder features 111 costume changes as a sole actor transforms into each of the eight predecessors eliminated by Navarro in creative and side-splitting ways.
“Gentleman’s Guide restores our faith in musical comedy!”
The Hollywood Reporter
The Book of Mormon
Eugene O’Neill Theatre, 230 West 49th Street (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue) New York
From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Bobby Lopez, co-creator of Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon blasted onto Broadway in 2011 and won a staggering nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Sacrilege and sanctity (and a large serving of colourful language) blend seamlessly in this show that markets itself as “God’s favourite musical.” Joking about everything from buttoned-up Mormons to AIDS-riddled Africa takes guts, but the cast pulls it off with great aplomb. Add in theatrical know-how from co-creator Robert Lopez and co-director Casey Nicholaw, and you get the holy grail of Broadway: a musical comedy that is actually funny.
“The perfect Broadway musical. Behold The Book of Mormon. An exhilarating Broadway musical at once revolutionary and classic, hilarious and humane, funny and obscene, uncompromising in production standards and unafraid of just about anything.”
Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W 45th St New York
Kinky Boots is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world. Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Come join the sold-out audiences who’ve discovered why – sometimes – the best way to fit in is to stand out.
“The most talked about show on Broadway. So much fun, you’ll dance of the theater. You’ve got to see it. Cyndli Lauper delivers the best Broadway score in years.”
The Phantom of the Opera
For over 25 years, The Phantom of the Opera has been the Broadway musical all others are measured against. The timeless story, the unforgettable score, the stunning spectacle – all magically combine to bring this unforgettable tragic love story to life each night. Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist. The musical opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the leading roles, and there have been dozens of productions worldwide since then. Now in its 26th record-breaking year, The Phantom of the Opera continues to captivate audiences on Broadway, and since May 2014, stars the incredible Norm Lewis as the Phantom.
“The Phantom of the Opera,” the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber tale of obsession and murder, remains a grand, lavishly decked-out galleon of a show.” New York Times