OpinionRecapStage

Top 10 Musicals/Plays to See This Summer

By Nora Dominick ‘17 and Bridget McCarthy ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Stage Editors

With the Tony Awards behind us, it’s time to look ahead to what the hottest shows on Broadway are to see this summer. From recent Tony Award winners, to some new musicals and plays for the 2015/2016 season. Emertainment Monthly Stage Section has rounded up the Top 10 Musicals and Plays to see this summer.

10. Significant Other

Lindsay Mendez, Carra Patterson, Sas Goldberg and Gideon Glick in Significant Other. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lindsay Mendez, Carra Patterson, Sas Goldberg and Gideon Glick in Significant Other. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Significant Other tells the story of Jordan Berman (Gideon Glick), a down-on-his luck twenty something who is just trying to find Mr. Right. Luckily he has his three closest, tight knit girlfriends, Laura (Lindsay Mendez), Kiki (Sas Goldberg) and Vanessa (Carra Patterson), to help ward off lonely nights in NYC. Nothing stays perfect forever when singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties and weddings. Jordan soon discovers that being happy for your friends as they find love is almost as impossible as finding love itself. This inventive new play by Joshua Harmon is an amazing piece of new work and is a must see for anyone who loves theater and is trying to navigate the modern world of dating.

9. Finding Neverland

Sawyer Nunes, Alex Dreier, Laura Michelle Kelly, Aidan Gemme, Matthew Morrison and Christopher Paul Richards in Finding Neverland. Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg/Broadway.com
Sawyer Nunes, Alex Dreier, Laura Michelle Kelly, Aidan Gemme, Matthew Morrison and Christopher Paul Richards in Finding Neverland. Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg/Broadway.com

The musical backstory to one of the world’s most beloved stories, Finding Neverland follows playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired his creation of Peter Pan. With Broadway veteran and Glee television star Matthew Morrison as Barrie, and Kelsey Grammer as the man who inspired Captain Hook, this celebrity cast is something to experience. Still, the show is more than just star power, starting with smaller beginnings East of Broadway at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. This original musical takes the Academy-award winning film and puts a storytelling score behind it to make it even more powerful. Not only does the music influence the show’s compelling talent, but choreography by Mia Michaels, (So You Think You Can Dance) adds a stylish dynamic with contemporary dance. A show appropriate for all ages, Finding Neverland at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater is the perfect production for families on a trip to NYC.

8. On The Town

The cast of On the Town. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
The cast of On the Town. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

“New York, New York! It’s a helluva town!” The musical that hails its home-city honors it poignantly with all the song, dance, and showmanship the Big Apple holds dear. The first Broadway musical written by the great Leonard Bernstein, On the Town exemplifies everything Broadway should be. This revival follows the three iconic sailors, who have sailed to New York City’s shore for adventure during WWII. They find that adventure when one of the three, Gabey, becomes determined to find the poster girl strewn throughout the city – Miss Turnstiles. Based off Jerome Robbins’ ballet Fancy Free, this show truly honors its dance roots through long and hard-hitting dance numbers, including ‘The Presentation of Miss Turnsitles’, and ‘The Subway Ride/Imaginary Coney Island.’ If you want to see a Broadway show with equal amounts of entertaining song and impressive dance, then head over to the Lyric Theatre this summer.

7. Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Rebecca Naomi Jones and Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
Rebecca Naomi Jones and Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

Still going hard, Hedwig and the Angry Inch has had a long line of famous men playing the title character. Currently being played by Glee star Darren Criss, Broadway and television skilled performer Taye Diggs will take over July 22, 2015. This rock musical explores gender and identity as it follows the fictional rock band, “The Angry Inch,” and its lead transgender singer from East Germany, Hedwig. With the cast on stage the entire time, the show is more of an actual rock concert than a Broadway musical – an innovative presentation that works beyond well for the show’s message of malleable gender, love, and existence. John Cameron Mitchell’s book is a genuine story of self-discovery, and produces an honesty between character and audience. But along with this authentic message is some side-splitting humor and fun rock songs, such as the show’s head-banging ‘Sugar Daddy.’ If you want to have a unique show experience with amazing acting and a sincere story, check out Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre.

6. Something Rotten!

Brian d'Arcy James, Brad Oscar and the cast of Something Rotten!. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
Brian d’Arcy James, Brad Oscar and the cast of Something Rotten!. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

Loser for Best Musical, Something Rotten! is the funniest new musical on Broadway since The Book of Mormon. Something Rotten! tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are absolutely desperate to write a hit play in the 1590s, their only problem? Shakespeare. That’s right, The Bard himself is in the midst of creating his best work. With Romeo and Juliet being the talk of the town, Nick is desperate to figure out Shakespeare’s next move, especially with his looming debt hanging over his head and a baby on the way. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the first ever musical! With music and lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by John O’Farrell and starring Brian d’Arcy James, Brad Oscar, John Cariari, Heidi Blickenstaff and 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor in a Musical Christian Borle, Something Rotten! is the smash hit of the summer. Go sit in the St. James Theatre and get ready to laugh your butt off with this hilarious new comedy.

5. An American in Paris

Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in An American in Paris. Photo Credit: Angela Sterling/Broadway.com
Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in An American in Paris. Photo Credit: Angela Sterling/Broadway.com

Based on the 1950 six-time Academy-Award winning motion picture, this stage production is truly bringing ballet to Broadway, integrating beautiful dancing with classic musical tunes. Four time Tony Award winner for Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Orchestrations, and of course Choreography An American in Paris is a force to be reckoned with. The musical follows WWII veteran Jerry Mulligan, played by Drama Desk Award winner Robert Fairchild for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, as he settles in Paris, hoping to start a new life as an artist after the war. But his wish for a life of ease and simplicity takes a turn for the complicated when he meets a young Parisian girl named Lise (Leanne Cope), a stunning woman who has attracted many men besides just Mulligan. This show of precise and authentic ballet choreography is nothing without its fantastic ensemble, who were celebrated after winning the Actors Equity Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. With lyrics and book by the Gershwin brothers, this musical takes the most original Broadway music and combines it with pure ballet to produce a medley that honors both art forms elegantly.

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Alex Sharp and the cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
Alex Sharp and the cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

The 2015 Tony Award winning play for Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is creating something truly special at the Barrymore Theatre in NYC. Curious Incident tells the powerful story of Christopher Boone (Alex Sharp) a fifteen-year old boy with an extraordinary brain. Christopher has a form of high-functioning autism (although it’s never explicitly stated), which makes him extremely gifted but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to find the true culprit. His Sherlock Holmes-esque quest leads him to an earth-shattering discovery about his own life and a journey that changes his life forever. 2015 Tony Award winner Alex Sharp is making a magnificent, career-defining Broadway debut in the role of Christopher and you won’t want to miss it. The incredible new play won a total of five Tony Awards at this years ceremony and fans won’t want to miss this remarkable, inventive, stunning new piece of theater.

3. The King and I

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe in The King and I. Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik/Broadway.com
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in The King and I. Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik/Broadway.com

Shall we dance? The 2015 Tony Award winning musical for Best Revival, The King and I is turning heads at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. The King and I tells the story of Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher who is traveling from England to Siam with her young son, Louis. Anna is making the move to Siam to serve as governess to the king’s many children. While in this foreign land she will teach the children how to speak English and about the vast world around them. Upon arriving, things do not go as smoothly as Anna hoped, especially when The King proves to be more stubborn than she expected. Anna and The King clash on lessons and what is best for Siam from day one and what ensues is a beautiful, breathtaking musical about learning, acceptance and the importance of family. Starring the amazing, 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actress in a Musical Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I is turning heads and making a splash on Broadway as one of the best revivals in recent years. Grab your tickets quickly and witness the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I.

2. Fun Home

Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs in Fun Home. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus and Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com
Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs in Fun Home. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus and Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com

The 2015 Tony Award winning musical, Fun Home is one of the best new Broadway shows to see this summer. Starring 2015 Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Emerson Alum Emily Skeggs, Sydney Lucas and numerous others, Fun Home is the breakout musical of the past Broadway season. Fun Home is a groundbreaking new musical that is based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. The musical introduces Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family including her mother, her younger brothers and her brilliant, enigmatic father. Fun Home is being performed at the Circle in the Square Theatre in NYC and is taking the Broadway community by storm. The musical features a book, music and lyrics by 2015 Tony Award winners Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron. Be sure to grab your tickets to the Fun Home and witness this amazing, groundbreaking piece of theater.

1. Hamilton

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo in Hamilton. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo in Hamilton. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

Coming off of a monumental run at The Public Theater in NYC, Hamilton will make its move to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on July 13, 2015 with opening night set for August 6th. Featuring a book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow with a hip-hop modern musical twist. This intelligent and amazing new musical follows the young immigrant, Alexander Hamilton, who forever changed America. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right-hand man, and from rebel war hero to loving husband caught in America’s first renowned sex scandal, Treasury Head Hamilton has it all. Alexander Hamilton made an already distrusting new world believe in him and in the American economy. Who’s to say the audience won’t believe in him too, as familiar historical characters make appearance in this inspiring, imaginative and incredible new musical! This will surely be the musical to see this summer and throughout the 2015/2016 Broadway season, as it becomes a major contender for the 2016 Tony Awards.

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