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Best Broadway Shows To See This Summer

Best Broadway Shows To See This Summer

Looking to escape the heat this summer? Catch one of these hot shows on Broadway!

Broadway musicals and shows have existed in New York since the city's inception - with the first "Broadway Show" being a show called Elves, which ran for a total of 50 performances. Now, Broadway musicals are a popular fixation for any New York City tourist and local alike. Many Broadways shows run for years, if they are successful. From classic hits like Chicago, Cats, and Wicked to newer and scrappier shows like Hamilton, Mean Girls, and Spongebob - Broadway shows are an American staple.  

Whether you live in the Big Apple or are planning to visit soon - here's what's HOT on Broadway now:

1. The Band's Visit

Why it's HOT: The Band's Visit recently won the Tony Award for "Best Musical." What makes it good enough to be the best musical of 2018? The Band's Visit is a musical based off of a 2007 Israeli film by the same name. The show takes place in an Isreali town where "every day feels the same" and follows the story of a cafe owner, named Dina, who had given up on romance and traded in the dreams of her youth. One night, a band of Egyptian musicians, arrives at the cafe and Dina takes them in for the night. An unlikely friendship arises and this small Israeli town gets a breath of new life. 

What critics are saying:

From the The New York Times - "With songs by David Yazbek and a script by Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit” is a Broadway rarity seldom found these days outside of the canon of Stephen Sondheim: an honest-to-God musical for grown-ups."

From Variety - "this disarming musical has the emotional depth that holds up to repeated viewings and the offbeat charm that could make it a cult hit."

From Entertainment Weekly - "It’s a quiet, beautiful thing The Band’s Visit does, and while I wished there had been more something — more emotional payoff, or catharsis — I also recognize that that’s sort of the point."

Interested in seeing The Band's Visit? You can purchase tickets here.


2. Once On This Island

Why it's HOT: Once On This Island just won the Tony Award for "Best Revival of a Musical," which is a pretty huge honor considering it was up against the likes of Carousel and My Fair Lady (which, if you'd asked us, the better known options for anyone other than true theatre nerds). However, Once On This Island took the Tony because of its relentless spunk and heartfelt story. A tale as old as time, the musical follows the love story between a small town peasant girl by the name of Ti Moune and a rich city boy by the name of Daniel, after Ti Moune saves his life during a crazy storm. The show is done "in the round," which means that the audience can sit on any side of the stage which helps truly captivate our attention.

What Critics are saying:

From The The New York Times: "Revived and Ravishing." 

From Huffington Post: "This revival of “Once On This Island” provides an aesthetic experience unlike anything else on Broadway."

From Time Out: "It is hard to imagine a better account of the show than the one that Arden and his team—including choreographer Camille A. Brown and the brilliant costumer Clint Ramos—have assembled. It sings, dances and conjures up a storm."

Interested in checking out Once On This Island? You can purchase tickets here.


3. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Why it's HOT: Donna Summer is a jukebox musical - which tells the story of Disco Diva Donna Summer, who you know from disco hits like "Hot Stuff," "She Works Hard For The Money," and "Love to Love You Baby." The musical stars LaChanze as Donna and features all of the top hit singles, Disco fashions, and fun dance breaks. 

What Critics are saying:

From Variety - "Summer and her music gave voice to that desperate, fearful, wonderful time when no one knew what was coming next, when everyone was determined to dance their fears away before the sun comes up and the “Last Dance” is over."

From Entertainment Weekly - "If you’re lookin’ for some hot stuff on Broadway, you’ve come to the right place. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical delivers the seasonal sunshine."

From The Chicago Tribune - "On Thursday night at the Lunt-Fontanne, the audience did not just respond to the music, it craved it, and the feeling it hoped it might bring, with an intensity of a force I don’t recall ever seeing before."

Ready to purchase tickets? You can do so here!


4. Mean Girls

Why it's HOT: "There's a 30% chance that" you already the answer to this one. The 2004 blockbuster hit has become a cultural phenomenon. With phrases like "You can't sit with us!" and "on Wednesday's we wear pink," Mean Girls has completely infiltrated itself into the fabric of our society. Mean Girls the musical isn't much different from the movie, it's still written by Tina Fey and carries the same plot - only now it includes song and dance and a little Broadway flair. 

What Critics are saying: 

From Time Out - "Mean Girls’s gospel of female self-actualization is borne out in the platform it provides for some of the most exciting young performers in musical theater. They bring a lot to the cafeteria table."

From Entertainment Weekly - "Propelled by dazzling set design and several stand-out performances, the musical gives fans everything they want while bringing the saga of Regina George and the Plastics into the social media age."

From The New York Times - "As long as they’re talking, the leading students of “Mean Girls” exude an idiosyncratic, carefully exaggerated comic charm. You have, on the one hand, the designer-garbed despots of the title: Ms. Louderman’s Regina, Ms. Park’s terminally insecure Gretchen and Kate Rockwell’s terminally stupid Karen."

Ready to get your mean on? Grab your tickets here!


5. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Why it's HOT: We felt that we couldn't simply talk about the fun musicals on Broadway this summer, but thought it necessary to include a play in two parts by a beloved author as well. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is based on the latest book by J.K. Rowling. The play is done in two parts and you can choose to either see the plays back to back or on different nights. 

What Critics are saying: 

From The New York Times"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic."

From Variety - "We love the swirling black cloaks and conical hats of the witches and wizards, the shroud-like garments of the Dementors and the marvels of time travel. But most of all, we love seeing theater that shows us the true magic of great storytelling."

From Vanity Fair - "I’ve no doubt that many people will be transported by The Cursed Child, a strange son of Rowling’s lucrative universe that ought not disappoint its creators."

Buy your ticket to Hogwart's here!

Photo courtesy of  Variety

Photo courtesy of Variety


So, there you have it! Whether escaping the dungy heat of the city for a cool mid afternoon matinee or sharing a date night at the theatre, these five shows are definitely not ones to miss.

If you've already seen any of the shows listed above, feel free to let us know what you thought in the comment section below. For more Broadway updates and other entertaining reads, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter. 

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