Best Broadway Shows for Out-of-Towners

Show-Score | By Raven Snook

You're in New York and want to see a show. But where do you begin?

'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical' 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical' | By Joan Marcus

Seeing a Broadway show is a quintessential New York City experience and should definitely be on your must-do list when visiting our wonderful town. But which productions are the best ones to catch? From long-running crowd-pleasers to recently opened hits, these Broadway blockbusters are beloved by the Show-Score community. Every one delivers an entertaining and unforgettable night out at the theater, whether you're a tourist or a local.

Open run

Wicked

Members say: Enchanting, Entertaining, Delightful, Must see, Clever
93
Critics
70
31 reviews
Members
93
15152 reviews

Now in its thirteenth year on Broadway, this all-ages spectacle follows the untold true story of the Witches of Oz.... Read more

Long before Dorothy arrives, two other women meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery, and possesses an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” "Wicked" tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. "Wicked" is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Joe Mantello.

 

Open run

Dear Evan Hansen

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Must see, Great singing
93
Critics
88
99 reviews
Members
93
1075 reviews

The smash Off-Broadway musical about how we share, like, and friend, love, feel, and survive in the modern world transfers to the Main Stem.... Read more

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. 'Dear Even Hansen' is a new American musical about life and the way we live it. Created by three-time Tony-nominated director Michael Greif ('Rent,' 'Next to Normal,' 'Grey Gardens'), Tony-nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ('A Christmas Story,' NBC’s 'Smash'), and playwright Steven Levenson, it stars Ben Platt in the breakout title role.

 

Open run

The Lion King

Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Great staging, Delightful, Must see
92
Critics
88
24 reviews
Members
92
7577 reviews

In Julie Taymor's Tony Award winning retelling of Disney's animated hit, puppets and live actors weave a dreamscape of jungle characters, creating the story of young Simba's rise to the throne.... Read more

The award-winning stage adaptation of the 1994 Disney film, 'The Lion King' tells the story of a young lion prince, Simba. He idolizes his father, the king Mufasa, while at the same time youthfully shirks the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes Mufasa’s life, Simba must fulfill his destiny to be king. 'The Lion King' is the winner of 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

 

Open run

The Book of Mormon

Members say: Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Hilarious, Edgy
90
Critics
95
24 reviews
Members
90
7395 reviews

From the creators of 'South Park,' a Tony Award-winning, bawdy, irreverent, hilarious, and heartfelt musical about two missionaries sent to deepest, darkest Africa to spread the good word.... Read more

'The Book of Mormon' is a musical comedy that tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in northern Uganda, where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. Naïve and optimistic, the two missionaries try to share the Book of Mormon, but have trouble connecting with the locals, who are more worried about war, famine, poverty and AIDS than about religion. The show was awarded nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

 

Open run

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Great acting, Must see
90
Critics
72
18 reviews
Members
90
3286 reviews

A new Tony Award winning musical based on Carole King's inspiring story, tracking her rise to stardom and featuring many of her award-winning songs.... Read more

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. "Beautiful" tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

 

Open run

Kinky Boots

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Clever, Great acting
88
Critics
75
29 reviews
Members
88
4892 reviews

This Tony-winning Best Musical, about a shoemaker whose business is saved by a wildly flamboyant clientele, features a score of catchy songs written by pop star Cyndi Lauper.... Read more

Inspired by true events, 'Kinky Boots' tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits his father's shoe factory. Looking to save the family business, Charlie turns to a fabulously fashionable new friend — cabaret star Lola — who gives him an outrageous idea that could change both of their destinies. Soon, this unlikely duo creates the most sensational footwear that’s ever rocked the runways of Milan… giving the factory and its hardworking family a sparkling new future.

 

Open run

The Phantom of the Opera

Members say: Enchanting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging
88
Critics
77
8 reviews
Members
88
6778 reviews

In this classic musical - the longest running in Broadway history - a hideously deformed man lives in the cellars of the Paris Opera and takes a beautiful soprano as a student. ... Read more

Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist. "Phantom of the Opera" is the longest running musical in Broadway history and features a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Hal Prince.

 

Open run

Waitress

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Funny, Great acting
87
Critics
75
62 reviews
Members
87
2050 reviews

Inspired by the film of the same name, the new Broadway musical 'Waitress' features songs by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and stars Tony winner Jessie Mueller.... Read more

Jessie Mueller ('Beautiful') is Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker in a small town who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life. Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus.

 

Open run

On Your Feet!

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Must see
86
Critics
74
68 reviews
Members
86
1678 reviews

'On Your Feet!' tells the story of Gloria Estefan and her husband, and how two people who believed in their talent, their music and each other created an international sensation.... Read more

This bilingual musical spans Estefan's early years in Miami as well as her recovery from a broken back in 1990. It features many of Estefan's hit songs, including "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Conga," "Get on Your Feet," "Don't Want to Lose You," "1-2-3," and "Coming Out of the Dark."

 

Open run

School of Rock - The Musical

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Great singing, Clever
86
Critics
74
61 reviews
Members
86
1811 reviews

Based on the hit Jack Black film, this musical comedy features songs by 'Jesus Christ Superstar' composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.... Read more

'School of Rock—The Musical' follows Dewey, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to rock, Dewey falls for the school’s headmistress.

 

Open run

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Clever
85
Critics
81
63 reviews
Members
85
832 reviews

Inspired by a 70-page slice of Tolstoy’s 'War and Peace,' this immersive, Off-Broadway hit transfers to the Main Stem with recording star Josh Groban in his Broadway debut.

... Read more

Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here. But what about Pierre? Natasha is a beautiful ingenue visiting Moscow while she waits for her fiancée Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her life is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre (Groban), the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption. Featuring a score that mixes rock, pop, soul, folk and electronic dance music with classic Broadway, 'The Great Comet' arrives on Broadway after its critically acclaimed 2013 Off-Broadway premiere. Its creative team has re-imagined the Imperial Theatre as an opulent Russian salon, where every seat provides a unique perspective.

 

Open run

Chicago

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Clever, Delightful
83
Critics
94
11 reviews
Members
83
3386 reviews

A long-running revival of Kander and Ebb's gritty, satirical musical about lust, treachery, and murder among chorus girls in '20s Chicago.... Read more

Winner of six Tony Awards and currently the longest-running show on Broadway, 'Chicago' is an electrifying and darkly comic tale about two competitive murderesses behind bars competing for the spotlight. Iconic songs include 'All That Jazz' and 'Razzle Dazzle,' and the choreography is inspired by the late Bob Fosse.

 

Ends Jun 25

Sunset Boulevard

Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Must see, Absorbing, Great singing
80
Critics
73
64 reviews
Members
83
161 reviews

Three-time Tony Award-winner Glenn Close returns to Broadway in her most iconic role, Norma Desmond, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical. 
... Read more

When impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis stumbles into the reclusive world of faded silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond, she sees the opportunity to make a comeback and rise to her former glory. He is seduced by the actress and her luxurious lifestyle, but the entanglement between the pair has dramatic and tragic consequences. Based on Billy Wilder’s classic Academy Award-nominated film, 'Sunset Boulevard' is a compelling story of romance and obsession. Direct from a sold-out engagement at the English National Opera, this lavish production features a 40-piece orchestra.

 

Open run

Cats

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever
79
Critics
66
49 reviews
Members
80
1816 reviews

One of the longest-running shows in Broadway and West End history, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is an ode to felines, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poems. ... Read more

Tonight is the one special night each year when the tribe of Jellicle Cats reunites to celebrate who they are. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.