Top 5 Musical Shows in NYC in 2019
No visit to NYC is complete without a trip to Broadway. See bold new musicals, long-running hits and fascinating dramas.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rap-singing, Founding Fathers-playing show has shaken up both theater and history.
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The Lion King
The Lion King is one of the most popular Broadway shows and has captivated audiences around the world. It is a must-see for any theater lover, and it will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. If you want to save money on your tickets, buy them online and as far in advance as possible. This will avoid long lines at the box office and ensure that you get seats with better visibility.
The musical tells the story of a young lion cub who must defeat his evil uncle to claim his rightful place as king of the Pride Lands. The show has won dozens of awards, including six Tony Awards in 1998, for best musical and Julie Taymor’s innovative concept of using wildlife puppetry to bring the animals to life on stage. It is the third longest-running Broadway musical. Its soundtrack includes classics like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Hakuna Matata”. The Lion King is presented eight times a week at the Minskoff Theatre.
The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a fun, high-energy musical that is all about love, family and diversity. It features all the original songs and a few new ones. The stage production follows the script of the film scrupulously, but adds more zingers, physical comedy and displays of love. The joy of the performers translates offstage and into the audience.
The story follows Dorothy Gale, who is swept away from her Kansas farm by a tornado and into the Land of Oz. In her journey, she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion who are in search of brains, hearts and courage, respectively. The show also includes good and bad witches, talking animals, and a variety of other whimsical characters.
The Wizard of Oz appeals to every age group, from young children spellbound on their first viewing to octogenarians wistfully singing along with the songs. Livi Rose does a superb job of portraying Dorothy, with her lovely voice and charming personality.
Despite the fact that it’s been nearly a quarter century since Disney’s animated classic first charmed audiences, Aladdin feels as fresh as ever. This live-action remake of the story about a street rat who frees a magic lamp’s genie, and his subsequent escapades across Agrabah, is replete with colorful costumes, dazzling sets and familiar tunes. The film also features an impressive cast, although it’s a shame that the film’s new genie doesn’t match up to the charisma of Robin Williams’ original.
The largely brown-skinned cast avoids the ethnic stereotyping that marred the 1992 animated original, with Egyptian-Canadian Mena Massoud bringing a suitably roguish charm to the title role, and Naomi Scott delivering a fiery and cloistered Princess Jasmine. Meanwhile, Marwan Kenzari makes for a convincing evil Jafar and SNL alum Nasim Pedrad is funny as his sidekick Dalia. The songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, including “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World,” hold up well.
The Broadway adaptation of Moulin Rouge is a theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and love. The show opened in 2019 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and features a book by Tony Award winning playwright John Logan (Red, Peter and Alice) and music by Emmy award winning composer/songwriters David Yazbek and Sonya Tayeh. The cast includes Tony Award winner Derek Klena and JoJo, and the production is directed by Alex Timbers, who helmed a string of high-profile shows including Rocky and Beetlejuice.
The musical combines the melodrama of 19th century opera, the Technicolor brashness of a Hollywood musical and the quick-cutting frenzy of a modern music video. The result is a dazzling and over the top spectacle that defies comparison. The lavish set designs by Derek McLane and Catherine Zuber, are a feast for the eyes. But, there’s a strange shapelessness beneath all the eye candy that makes the show feel less like a bold theatrical experiment than a trip through the Kingdom of Pandering.