The answer to whether you should or should not see a Broadway show when visiting New York is crystal clear: YES, it absolutely belongs on your bucket list! What is not always as clear, however, is which show to pick. In order to help you out, we’ve created an overview of the absolute best Broadway shows in NYC right now.
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Are you looking for the best Broadway shows in New York in 2020, record-breaking shows or maybe the best Broadway shows for kids? Choose your category and dive right in:
The Best Broadway Shows 2020
It’s tough for us to keep the list of our favorite Broadway shows short, but we’ve finally concluded on our top Broadway shows. We’ve enjoyed some of them so much that we have seen them multiple times! We are confident that, no matter what show you go for, it will be an unforgettable experience!
Hamilton holds the record of being the Broadway show with most Tony nominations. It has belonged to the most popular Broadway shows in New York since its opening nights and worldwide. The innovative idea of combining the story of the United States’ founding father Alexander Hamilton with hip hop. Music is incredible and the first of its kind so that even today, all shows are completely sold out. All in all, Hamilton is a true masterpiece by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is hands-down one of the best Broadway shows in New York since its debut. It’s a relatable musical that takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. While it covers some serious topics, it doesn’t fail to incorporate lots of funny moments that have the whole theater giggle. The music will be stuck in your ears long after you’ve left the Music Box Theatre.
When talking about the best Broadway shows in New York, Hadestown cannot be left out. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical 2019. Hadestown retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Euridice. The tragic love story wins over its audience not only by its stage design but also by the songs.
Come From Away
Come From Away truly deserves a spot in our list of best Broadway shows in NYC. The heartfelt musical reminds us of the importance of human kindness. The minimalist stage design helps focus even more on the superb performance of the cast. What else is so special about it? Each of the 12 actors plays 2 different characters. The execution is done in a simple yet extremely clever way. You’ll be surprised!
The Best Broadway Shows According to Critics
Every year, new musicals covet the honor of being recognized as Broadway’s best. The most notable ceremonies praising Broadway shows are the Oscar, Tony and Grammy Awards. These awards, particularly the Tonys, are a great indicator if you are not sure which Broadway shows to watch. Apart from the best musicals below, you’ll find more critics picks (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hadestown) in the other categories.
The Phantom of the Opera
After 30 years on Broadway, the Phantom of the Opera remains one of the best Broadway shows of all time. Even after all this time, the classic musical is seeing sold-out performances on a daily basis. And there is no end in sight. With this level of popularity in mind, it is a must-see Broadway show in New York for everyone.
Hamilton holds the record of being the Broadway show with most Tony nominations. It has belonged to the most popular Broadway shows in New York since its opening nights and worldwide. The innovative idea of combining the story of the United States’s founding father Alexander Hamilton with hip hop. Music is incredible and the first of its kind so that even today, all shows are completely sold out. All in all, Hamilton is a true masterpiece by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Book of Mormon
With 14 Tony nominations in 2011, the Book of Mormon is still one of the most-nominated musicals of all time. On the evening of the ceremony, it took home 9 Tonys. Critics agreed that musical comedy is one of the best Broadway shows in New York. If you decide to see it, laughs are guaranteed.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the best play on Broadway, making it also one of the best Broadway shows. The special effects in the play are unparalleled and involve not only the stage but the entire theater. Even for non-Harry Potter fans, there is some good news: You don’t necessarily need to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy the play. What’s unique about this show is that it’s divided into two parts.
The Best Broadway Shows for Kids
Shows are surely one of the most special things to do in New York with kids. When talking about the best Broadway shows in New York for kids, Disney musicals are almost unbeaten. Yet, there are several more shows in NYC beyond Disney musicals that are geared towards children. So here’s a list of kid-friendly shows in New York.
The Lion King
There’s no denying that the Lion King is one of the best Broadway shows, period. However, especially when you are traveling as a family, the Lion King is a great choice because it’s enjoyable for adults and kids alike. It’s bringing to life one of Disney’s most popular movies and truly immerses you into the heartfelt coming-of-age story.
Another one of New York’s top Broadway shows is Disney’s Aladdin! With a show like this, you can never go wrong! There is no doubt that your kids will love it, too. The stage design is out of this world, giving you so much to marvel at. Keep an eye out for the magic carpet; visitors are still speculating about how it works.
If you are looking for the best kid-friendly Broadway shows right now, you should know that Frozen’s popularity among kids is currently unparalleled. The musical is newer compared to classics like The Lion King and Aladdin and took Broadway by storm upon opening. You’ll be happy walking out of St. James Theatre singing “Let It Go” at the top of your lungs.
Wicked is a prequel to the story of The Wizard of Oz that tells the story of Elphaba before she became the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba and her classmate Glinda are two witches that could not be any more different, yet they develop a profound friendship. The musical Wicked will always be a crowd-favorite and its popular song “Defying Gravity” gives us goosebumps every time.
The musical Mean Girls is based on the teen movie of the same name. Though you don’t need to know the movie to enjoy the musical, you’d surely appreciate the clever references more if you do. Most high school kids will enjoy the “fetch” Broadway show. It stands out due to its catchy tunes and countless hilarious moments throughout the entire performance.
What are your must-see Broadway shows 2020 and why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!