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Popular Musicals on Broadway

One of the many main attractions of New York City is Broadway, the famous avenue where rising stars sometimes make their debut in the famous musicals and plays shown there. Whether you stop to take in one of these acclaimed performances or you stroll up and down the sidewalks gazing in awe at the impressive advertisements around you, Broadway is a magical place for everyone. These top 5 musicals have much to offer to your experience, including classic and not so classic themes.

1. The Book of Mormon

If satirical religious comedy à la South Park is your forte, by all means, buy a ticket and go enjoy the musical comedy The Book of Mormon. This story is about Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda to proselytize to the local population. This musical has been winning prestigious awards since its debut in 2011, including nine Tony Awards and 4 Olivier awards. It continues to sell out the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on Broadway to this day.

2. Phantom of the Opera

Twenty-six years after its initial release, Phantom of the Opera is still one of Broadway’s most popular musicals. Filled with the heart-wrenchingly beautiful compositions by Andrew Lloyd Weber, this classic story of romance between a disfigured and feared man and a beautiful woman living beneath the opera house in Paris is a spectacle to be witnessed. Reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phantom of the Opera is appropriate for all ages and tastes.

3. Wicked

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is a book that was written by Gregory Maguire in 1995 and adapted for the Broadway stage by 2003. His fantastic tale takes place chronologically before and after the beloved and well-known story of The Wizard of Oz and follows closely Glinda, the Good Witch, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Starring Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth upon release 15 years ago, this hit musical continues to charm audiences of every age with its current set of all-star musical performers.

4. Hamilton

Few musicals have impacted popular culture as much as 2015's Hamilton. This dramatization of the life of Alexander Hamilton features a diverse cast of minority actors for the roles of America's Founding Fathers. The music also bucks typical Broadway trends by featuring a score based upon hip-hop conventions. You'll have to get your tickets well in advance, however, because performances are frequently sold out.

5. Waitress

Based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell, Waitress has an original score by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. The production is the first Broadway show to have women in the big four creative roles: writer, composer, director, and choreographer. Opening to positive reviews for both the performance and the music, Waitress now features Bareilles herself in the lead role until mid-summer.

6. Dear Evan Hansen

Ben Platt of Pitch Perfect fame has the lead role in this musical about a boy with severe social anxiety who unintentionally becomes a viral social topic following the death of a classmate. While the entire production has achieved near universal acclaim, Platt's performance has been particularly lauded this year. While overall heartwarming, theater-goers still may want to bring a few tissues to this deeply original show, one of the few on Broadway that isn't based upon other source material.

Last Updated: October 25, 2018