OpinionStage

A Look Inside Broadway in Boston’s New Season

Clare Lockhart ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Another season of Broadway shows in Boston are upon us, and it’s time to look at the season and what you have to be excited about! This season, there’s a great lineup of new(ish) musicals, old favorites, magic, and one play.  Let’s look at what’s coming to Broadway in Boston in 2016-17.

Jersey Boys (October 4–16, 2016)

Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus and Keith Hines in Jersey Boys. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus and Keith Hines in Jersey Boys. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Jersey Boys tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, told through their own music. From their formation to their break up, you see their ups and downs and the hits that made them famous.

If you like the classic songs of the 1960s, this musical is for you. Jersey Boys tells the story of how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came to be and fell apart. It’s fun, touching, and a great night out. Plus, it’s closing on Broadway, so this may be a last opportunity to see this musical.

If you liked Million Dollar Quartet, you’ll like Jersey Boys for its mix of classic hits and the story of how they came to be.

Something Rotten! (January 1729, 2017)

Brian dArcy James and John Cariani in Something Rotten! Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Brian dArcy James and John Cariani in Something Rotten! Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

In Something Rotten!Nigel Bottom competes with playwright William Shakespeare, along with his hesitant (and Shakespeare fanboy) brother and wife. He decides to hire a soothsayer to get a one-up on Shakespeare, writing the world’s first musical.

Something Rotten! is all about fun, omelets, and making fun of musicals. Don’t be fooled, if you don’t know Shakespeare or musical theatre, you can still see this show.

If you liked The Book of Mormon, you’ll like Something Rotten! for it’s referential humor.

Cabaret (January 31February 12, 2017)

Alan Cumming in Cabaret. Photo Credit: NYTimes
Alan Cumming in Cabaret. Photo Credit: NYTimes

Cabaret takes place at the Kit Kat Klub and focuses on Sally Bowles (the headline performer) during World War II. The character tackles anti-semitism, surviving in wartime, and love.

Cabaret is an iconic show (and movie) everyone should see in their lifetime. From amazing music to an unexpected end, Cabaret will keep you on the edge of your seat.

If you liked Spring Awakening, you’ll like Cabaret.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (March 719, 2017)

Tyler Lea in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Photo Credit: curiousonbroadway.com
Tyler Lea in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Photo Credit: curiousonbroadway.com

Fifteen-year-old Christopher is accused of a crime and sets off to investigate in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But his leads take him to an unexpected revelation and an adventure he never expected.

Curious Incident is a technically amazing play; from sound to stage, your eyes (and ears) will be amazed throughout the entire play. The story is also incredibly moving, with an unexpected twist at the end of Act I.

If you liked War Horse, you’ll like Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for the technological aspects and the touching story.

The Illusionists (April 49, 2017)

The Illusionists on Broadway. Photo Credit: theillusionistslive.com
The Illusionists on Broadway. Photo Credit: theillusionistslive.com

The Illusionists is pretty self-explanatory; some of the most impressive illusionists come together on one stage to perform various genres of magic.

Since it was so popular in New York, it will be interesting to see how it does on tour.

Broadway in Boston hasn’t done many non-musical or play performances so. . .if you like magic, go see The Illusionists!

The King and I (April 1123, 2017)

Ashley Park, Kelli O'Hara, Hoon Lee, Ruthie Ann Miles and company of The King and I. Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik
Ashley Park, Kelli O’Hara, Hoon Lee, Ruthie Ann Miles and the company of The King and I. Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik

The King and I is about the relationship between English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam in 1860s Bangkok. Through this relationship, they explore colonialism, different cultures, and love.

The King and I is a classic musical everyone should see, and this production is not only amazing to listen to, but amazing to see. From the sets to the costumes, it is obvious everything was made out of love and reverence to the time period and the show.

If you liked Pippin, you’ll like The King and I for the set and costumes. If you liked Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, you’ll like The King and I for the story.

Mamma Mia! (May 30June 4, 2017)

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Kat Borrelli, Kyra Belle Johnson and Christina Eskridge in Mamma Mia! Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Before her wedding, Sophie decides she wants to finally meet her father. The problem? There are three possibilities! Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! has finally closed on Broadway and is headed into it’s farewell tour. What a run—if you haven’t seen it on stage or screen, now is the time. Not only are the ABBA songs fun, but the story is sweet and it will having you mom-dancing like you’ve never mom-danced before.

If you liked Sister Act, you’ll like Mamma Mia for the on-your-feet numbers and great female ensemble.

Wicked (June 7July 23, 2017)

The cast of Wicked. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The cast of Wicked. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Wicked is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, before Dorothy came to town. The musical focuses on the friendship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good.

Wicked not only tells the tale of the Wicked Witch of the West, but speaks to every young person’s feeling that they don’t belong, and how one friendship can change your life, for good. There’s a reason this musical has been running on Broadway for ten years—come see why.

If you liked Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, you’ll like Wicked for strong female leads, and if you liked Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, you’ll like it for its opulent sets and retelling of a classic story.

Finding Neverland (August 820, 2017)

Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly in Finding Neverland. Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg
Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly in Finding Neverland. Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

Another prequel musical, Finding Neverlandfocuses on the creation of the story of Peter Pan. Author J.M. Barrie meets a family of young boys and their widowed mother who inspire a play about a world where no one grows up.

Finding Neverland is enchanting and plain fun, while also being gut-wrenchingly sincere. Diane Paulus’ directing is superb, and the story is one everyone can enjoy. There’s also an amazing technical element towards the end of the show that makes the entire night worth it—no spoilers!

If you liked Finding Neverland at the A.R.T., you’ll like the tour! Just kidding—if you liked Matilda the Musical, you’ll like Finding Neverland.

Which Three Should You See?

While each of these shows is worthwhile, it may not be feasible for everyone to see every show in the Broadway in Boston season. So we’re here to help you make your decision. Here are our top three picks for the shows you should see:

The King and I: While most theatre-goers know this classic story, this specific production will go down in history as one of the most successful revivals of a musical. Everything in this show is superb, and A.R.T. favorite Laura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland) will star as Anna Leonowens. It’s a must-see.

Cabaret: This production of Cabaret is charismatic, raunchy, and devastating. It’s also immersive, with the audience feeling like they are in the Kit Kat Klub. Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk) as Emcee is a revelation. If you’ve never seen Cabaret before, this is the production to see.

Something Rotten!: Let’s be honest, sometimes we just want to have some fun, and that’s what Something Rotten! is. It makes fun of every musical in the book, while also making fun of the people that love them. So no one is excluded!  

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