10 Broadway Shows To Get Excited About This Season

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10 Best Broadway Shows To Watch This Season
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I’m that theater nerd who has a binder of signed playbills from all the Broadway shows I’ve been to and I’ve been to over 100. I see every show before the Tony Awards, so at this point I’ve seen everything from the previous season on Broadway and I am anxiously waiting for the new Broadway season to start and new shows to open.

I truly get so bored when I don’t have a schedule packed with shows to see. I just get so excited to get dressed up to see something live and get sucked into a beautiful narrative. My friends always poke fun of me because my face is so expressive when watching a play because I am always so invested in what is happening on stage that I just can’t help reacting to it.

I also love the sense of community you get when going to see a show. I get to see a lot of theater because I usually wait outside for hours in the discounted rush ticket line. Since I am always hanging around the theaters and waiting in the lines, I always meet and talk to other theater fans about what new shows are coming to Broadway that we are looking forward to seeing. I always enjoy this exchange because it makes me more aware of what people want to see on stage and where the future of Broadway is heading.

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The new season of Broadway looks very promising and exciting! They are doing some great revivals of old shows and also bringing fresh new stories to the stage. They are also doing musicals that feature the music of famous singers. There is also a good balance of musicals and plays so there is something for everyone!

I don’t know about you, but I definitely know the 10 Broadway shows I’m most looking forward to in the coming season:

1. Jagged Little Pill

This show is a rock musical with music by Alanis Morissette and is inspired by Alanis’ album, also called Jagged Little Pill. Diablo Cody, who wrote the film Juno, wrote the book for the musical. Previews began November 3rd at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Even though the musical is inspired by Alanis, it is not about Alanis. The musical tells the story of an upper-middle-class family that appears to be perfect but below the surface they are dealing with addiction, racism, assault, and misogyny. Last year, the show debuted in Massachusetts at the American Repertory Theater with a sold out run.

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2. The Inheritance

Get comfortable for this show when you see it because it is a seven hour long play split between two parts! It premiered in London at the Young Vic in March 2018 and now is transferring to Broadway and opened November 17th at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. It has been heavily compared to Tony Kushner’s stunning epic Angels in America.

The Inheritance is written by Matthew Lopez who draws from E.M. Forester’s book Howards End to create a story about a group of gay men living in New York and dealing with AIDS. It’s important that this story is being told because over 100,000 New Yorkers died from AIDS related causes. At the core, the show is about looking back and learning from the past in order to make a better future.

3. West Side Story

This classic revival is coming to the Broadway theater on December 10th! West Side Story tells a tale similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but instead takes place in New York in the 1950s. It is about two teens aligned with rival gangs, the sharks and the jets, who fall in love even though they are not supposed to be together.

West Side Story originally premiered in 1957 with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. When this show originally went to Broadway, it made Sondheim’s Broadway debut. This production was praised for the music, dance scenes choreographed by Jerome Robbins, and social themes it tackled. It ended up being nominated for six Tony Awards that year.

Now, this masterpiece is coming back in a new way. It will be directed by Ivo Van Hove who is known for his avante-garde experimental theater productions. He previously directed A View From The Bridge, The Crucible, and Lazarus. I’m really looking forward to this show because Ivo is my favorite director because everything he directs is unique, weird, and beautiful. Also, the revival will feature 23 actors who are all making their Broadway debut!

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4. How I Learned to Drive

How I Learned to Drive is a play by Paula Vogel, who is also known for writing the play Indecent. It is a memory play about a woman working through years of abuse by her uncle and it follows the protagonist from childhood to adulthood. It uses the metaphor of driving to shed light on themes like manipulation and power.

It was originally produced off Broadway in 1997 and won the Pulitzer prize for drama. Mary Louise Parker played opposite David Morse in the original production and now, over twenty years later, they are reprising their roles and finally bringing this show to the Broadway stage. How I Learned to Drive is set to begin previews starting on March 27th at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater. The Broadway version will be directed by Mark Brokaw who also directed the original production.

5. Grand Horizons

Grand Horizons is a new play written by Bess Wohl and it will be her Broadway debut play. It is set to premier at the Helen Hayes Theater starting previews on December 20th with a limited engagement through March 1st. It will be directed by Leigh Silverman, a Tony Award Nominee. It recently had a successful run at Williamstown Theater Festival and starred Tony winner Priscilla Lopez, Tony Nominee Ashley Park, Maulik Pancholy, and Tony nominee Thomas Sadoski. They will all be reprising their roles in the Broadway production. Also, they are adding Michael Urie who was most recently in Torch Song.

The play takes place at the Grand Horizons senior living community. It follows the story of Nancy and Bill, a wife and husband who have been married for 50 years, who know each other like the back of their hands. But right when they become settled in the living community, shockingly, Nancy decides she wants to leave the marriage. This causes their two grown up sons to deal and struggle with what Nancy decides and makes them question how much they really do know about their parents.

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6. Six

Six is a pop-opera musical about the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII and it follows the story of them headlining a pop-concert. This show puts the focus on the women and flips the one-sided narrative we are familiar with from history. It is set to start previews on February 13th, 2020 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Six, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, originated in London and was nominated for an Olivier award.

The six wives will be played by Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon, Abby Mueller as Jane Seymour, Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn, Samantha Pauly as Katherine Howard, Brittany Mack as Anna of Cleves, and Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr. The show also features an all-female backing band referred to as the “ladies in waiting.” This show is certainly a fun and modern tribute to girl power!

7. Company

Company is a musical revival that is set to open on March 22nd at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. It recently ran in London and received an Olivier Award and five star reviews. However, there’s a twist to this revival of the classic Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical, it’s a gender-bent production. The talented Marianne Elliott is directing and, based on her past work on Angels in America and The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime, it will surely be a stunning production. Katrina Lenk, Tony Winner for The Band’s Visit, will play the role of Bobbie, and Broadway legend, two-time Tony winner, Patti Lupone will play the role of Joanne. Marriane Elliot’s revival tells the story of Bobbie at her 35th birthday party where her married friends question why she hasn’t settled down or met the right man yet.

8. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Edward Albee’s revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is coming to the Booth Theater on March 3rd, 2020. It is set to be directed by Joe Mantello, two-time Tony winner for Assassins and Take Me Out. The lead role of Martha will be played by Laurie Metcalf, who won Tony Awards for her performances in Three Tall Women and A Doll’s House, Part Two. George will be played by Olivier Nominee Rupert Everett, Nick will be played by Russell Tovey, and Honey will be played by Olivier Winner Patsy Ferran, who will be making her Broadway debut with this production.

Edward Albee’s play from 1962 takes place on the campus of an American college early in the morning. It is centered around Martha when she invites a new professor, Nick and his wife, Honey, over to her house for drinks with her and her husband, George. However, all goes awry when they drink too much and start spilling secrets.

9. Slave Play

Slave play was put on at the New York Theater Workshop in 2018 and received a lot of buzz for how provocative it is. Jeremy O. Harris wrote Slave Play while he was attending Yale University and it was originally put on there in 2017. It was Harris’ first play to be produced and it ended up having sold out off Broadway shows in the East Village, attracting many celebrities like Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg, Scarlett Johansson, and Stephen Sondheim. It will opened on October 6th at the John Golden Theater.

The play follows three modern day interracial couples and it peeks into their unthinkable fantasies and their disappointing lives. It takes place on a Virginia plantation and delves into racially motivated discussions and interactions that can be very triggering for some audience members. At a recent off Broadway run, the production provided the audience with an opportunity to talk to professional counselors in the lobby after the show if they had a strong emotional reaction to the content. It is definitely a controversial play but it’s something you won’t want to miss out on.

10. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

This jukebox musical is based on the life of the iconic Tina Turner, so you’re bound to have a good time! It previewed on October 12th and will be rollin’ into the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Adrienne Warren will be playing the role of Tina opposite Daniel J. Watts, playing the role of her abusive husband, Ike. Dawnn Lewis will be playing the role of Zelma, Tina’s mother, and Myra Lucretia Taylor will be playing the role of Gran Georgeanna. It originally opened in London at the Aldwych Theatre and had a sold out run and received high praise. The cast has noted that the musical feels more like a play with music incorporated into it because of how effortlessly Tina’s music relates and fits into the plot.

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Jaycee Levin is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.

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