Whenever I think of a trip to New York City whether for a vacation or just a short one or two day visit I can’t help but think of Broadway and the delightful shows that await in these hallowed halls of entertainment delight. Broadway is the essence of New York to me. It can in turns be bawdy, brawling, loud, rowdy, soft, romantic, comedic, and rip-roaring hilarious. Broadway has it all for those who are willing to look for their perfect fit.
The problem with Broadway is that there are so many wonderful shows to see and such limited time (for most of us) in which to see them. I don’t even believe those who live in New York City have enough time in which to appreciate the artistic treasure trove that is represented within this wonderful city that never sleeps. The truth of the matter is that in order to properly enjoy all the theatrical offerings available to you, you’d almost have to never sleep yourself.
It is important to remember that all shows are not available at all times. Check to see if the show you wish to see will be playing during your visit before getting your hopes up. On to the musicals, which are, by the way, my favorite types of Broadway entertainment. Chicago the Musical, Forbidden Broadway (this one offers an hilarious ‘spoof’ of Broadway), Jersey Boys, Naked Boys Singing (yes, they are!), Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Wicked, and Mama Mia!
Broadway is well known for thumbing its nose at convention as well as for letting it’s hair down and having a good ole time. The same holds true for the Broadway theater of today. Comedies and musicals on Broadway are not mutually exclusive so some of the hilarity mentioned below will have some degree of song and dance (well most likely quite a bit of both but you will definitely laugh). Let the comedies begin! I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change (seriously, that’s the name we’re already off to a great start on the road to laughter). Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (I think someone’s been peeking in my kids windows at night-this one is actually off Broadway but I thought it bore mentioning with such a catchy title and all). Spamalot. This one is rising star with rave reviews by critics and a fairly good attendance rate so buy your tickets early! The Producers, which was recently made as a motion picture and The Little Dog Laughed round up my list of comedies. I hope you’ve seen something here that looks like a good laugh; I know I’ve seen a few!
While many people think of the happy go lucky song and dance that is often associated with Broadway there is a deep dramatic flare to the offerings as well. Particularly some of the musicals that carry with them profound messages about music, life and love-among these wonderful icons of Broadway are the following: Rent- a very La Boheme meets modern life musical that is probably one of the best Broadway musicals I’ve ever seen and I’m a huge fan of Phantom. Les Miserables is another Broadway drama that really needs no introduction, Grey Gardens is perfect for anyone who fears becoming a cat lady or spinster, A Chorus Line, Chicago, The Color Purple, Phantom of the Opera (my personal favorite), and The Vertical Hour (this is a new one let’s hope it lasts).
There are a few family friendly musicals and plays that bear mentioning among them are the following: Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera (may be a little frightening for younger children during certain scenes), Tarzan, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Momma Mia!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Beauty and the Beast. You know your child best and what will or will not be frightening for them or possibly lead to uncomfortable questions for you, view most Broadway plays with that in mind.
Broadway is a great way to really enjoy what New York has to offer its visitors for entertainment. While it would hardly be possible to see each and every show that might attract your attention it is quite possible to make the time to view the one that is most appealing to you and it will be quite an experience for the entire family.