It has become a tradition for my siblings and me to go see a lot of Broadway shows every year. Last year we almost saw a musical every single month of the year. I've seen over twenty shows so far and plan to see many, many more. I have decided to rank my favorites from the shows that I've seen so far.
1. "The Color Purple," 2016 Revival.
We did not plan to see "The Color Purple" but actually went into New York to see "Les Misérables" for a matinee. After talking to one of the workers at TKTS, a place where you can get discounted tickets, we decided to go see this show. I usually know general information about the show and some songs before I go and see it with my family, this was not the case for "The Color Purple."
I went in completely blind. This show was life-changing. It was filled with female empowerment and the only musical I've seen that has had a standing ovation before curtain call. Cynthia Erivo, Cynthia Erivo, Cynthia Erivo. She went on to win the Best Lead Actress in a Musical at the Tony's even when she was up against the cast of "Hamilton." She is incredibly gifted and truly took my breath away.
2. "The Great Comet"
I was lucky enough to see "The Great Comet" twice when it was on Broadway. Based on the novel "War and Peace," this musical tells the story of a Natasha and Pierre following the lives of their family and friends through scandals and chaos in Russia. This show is all over the place, and I love it.
First of all, the set is beautiful and allows for the audience to sit on the stage and in normal seats. The entire theater is the stage and the cast is running around dancing to all of the songs. It is exciting, fun, and has good songs. An added bonus are the pierogies that they give out before the official start of the show.
If you haven't heard about "Hamilton" then you must be living under a rock. Not only did the show win a ton of awards but is known for being very expensive due to its popularity. When I was finally able to get tickets to see this show, most of the hype was gone and I had moved on to other musicals. I still loved the show and thought that it was an amazing production but I didn't have the same reaction to it as I did to the above-mentioned shows.
4. "Falsettos," 2017 Revival.
"Falsettos" was only on Broadway for a short period of time but I still was able to see it twice. This is a show discusses the tough topic of AIDs and how it affected people who were gay. I laughed and cried during the show which means that they must be doing something right. Even though "Falsettos" can seem to be a little all over the place, it is still an entertaining and uplifting show. I would see it again if it was still on Broadway.
5. "A Band's Visit"
"The Band's Visit" is the most recent musical that I have seen. It is nominated for Best Musical in the upcoming Tony Awards. This show is only one act but still tells a beautiful story of a band who accidentally end up in the wrong city but use their time to get to know the locals. The music in this show is extremely calming and if you need help falling asleep just put their album on replay. "The Band's Visit" has so much representation and culture that makes the show so inspiring. The cast is also super friendly and loves the support shown by their audiences.
6. "Dear Evan Hansen"
"Dear Evan Hansen" is another very popular musical and also won Best Musical at the last Tony Awards. The show follows Evan Hansen as he tries to find his place in the world. This musical talks about hard topics like suicide and mental illness but also is very relatable. The music is also very catchy and, at points, very moving. As someone who has struggled with mental illness, this show hits close to home and allows me to relate to it on many different levels.
7. "The Book of Mormon"
I saw "The Book of Mormon" with one of my best friends for her birthday a few years ago. We left the theater laughing because of the amazing cross between humor and show tunes. This is not a show for the light of heart but if you're up for it, this show will leave you begging for more. There isn't a big overall message but it is definitely entertaining.
8. "Kinky Boots"
Brendon Urie played the lead role of Charlie Prince when I went to see "Kinky Boots." I should have waited till after his opening night to go see the show because the audience was very disruptive and many people left before curtain call to go to the stage door. All theatergoers know that you can't hoot or holler during a performance. Nonetheless, the show was very upbeat and fun. I love the music and the characters were brought to life on the stage.
9. "Miss. Saigon," 2016 Revival.
"Miss. Saigon" is another show that I went into not knowing much about the production or the song. I was taken back in time to the Vietnam War to not only see some of the aspects of the war but the aftermath. The people in Vietnam were suffering and attempting to pick up the pieces to their home country. There was sacrifice, love, and loss. I am forever changed by this production.
"Bandstand" won a Tony Award in 2017 for its outstanding choreography by Andy Blankenbeuhler, who also choreographed the popular musicals "Hamilton" and "In the Heights." The story about a band of war veterans was entertaining and interesting, and the score was fun. The two leads gave wonderful performances. Sadly, the show is no longer on the Broadway but you can still listen to the cast album on iTunes.
Broadway has been a huge part of my life these past few years. I always walk away from a show changed because of the way the actors and stage crew are able to immerse the audience into the lives of the characters. I can't wait to see my next trip to New York.