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Popular Musicals on Broadway in 2016

1. 'The Book of Mormon'

Saying that the South Park creators wrote a musical about organized religion might inspire worry and concern among many, but The Book of Mormon is surprisingly uplifting for taking such a satirical tone at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To be sure, there's tons of profanity, but if you can make it past the fourth musical number while still keeping your sense of humor intact, you're in for a riotously funny treat.

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2. 'Phantom of the Opera'

Phantom of the Opera is still one of Broadway’s most popular musicals, which makes sense why it is also the longest-running. Famed composer Andrew Lloyd Weber brought gravitas and emotional drama to this Romeo and Juliet romance between a disfigured man and beautiful woman. It's not just blockbuster movies that get a follow-up. You can see the original on Broadway before attending one of the national tour showings of Love Never Dies, the musical's sequel in 2017.

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3. 'Wicked'

Based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, this prequel to the Wizard of Oz shows just how the Wicked Witch of the West became so wicked. Think of it as Maleficient with grand musical numbers and even more heart and humor. It still remains one of Broadway's highest-grossing performances 13 years after its premiere. If you aren't sucked in by the famed musical number "Defying Gravity," you just might not be human.

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4. 'Hamilton'

Few musicals have impacted popular culture as totally as 2015's breakout hit Hamilton. Originating Off-Broadway, the production was sold out for months, and, upon it's transition to Broadway in August 2015, the musical only became an even bigger sensation. This dramatization of the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is noted for its diverse cast, using minority actors for the roles of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr, as well as its hip hop musical compositions, a rarity for Broadway productions.

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5. 'The Color Purple'

The 2016 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical Revival stars Jennifer Hudson (of American Idol and Dreamgirls fame) and Danielle Brooks (breakout star from Orange Is the New Black) in their Broadway debuts. A rehashing of, though not straightforward retelling, of the book, film, and original musical, this new production incorporates elements of spirituals. By everyone's account, the stage is owned by London-transplant Cynthia Erivo as Celie, though the entire cast has magnificent voices.

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