There is something extremely special about seeing a Broadway show. The bright Manhattan lights, the glamor of seeing famous actors in person, and the sheer spectacle of The Great White Way are enough to make even the most reluctant of theater-goers into avid fans.
This fall, as the weather turns chillier and the leaves change color, the new Broadway season has ushered in a fresh host of highly anticipated shows. From revivals of classic plays and musicals with well-known ensemble casts to debuts of brand new shows, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy.
Arguably the biggest hit of the 2015 – 2016 season is the Broadway debut of the rap and hip-hop filled musical Hamilton. This piece takes on the story of one of America’s most controversial founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, chronicling his rise from poor, scrappy immigrant to the first Secretary of the Treasury and George Washington’s most trusted aide. Tony, Emmy and Grammy award winner Lin Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) wrote the music, lyrics, and book, and plays the title role. Miranda collaborates with director Thomas Kail and choreographer Andy Blakenbuehler (both In the Heights) to give American history a modern, unconventional twist. The show is two hours and 55 minutes long with one intermission, and anyone twelve years and older will love this hip-hop infused history lesson.
This coming November, a musical adaptation of the beloved box-office smash hit School of Rock, starring Jack Black and Joan Cusack, is starting previews in the Winter Garden Theater. The well-known story centers around a loveable loser (played in the movie by Jack Black) who stumbles upon a substitute-teaching job at a prestigious private school, introduces music to his students, and ultimately changes their lives, as well as his own. The musical score is written by seven time Tony award winner and Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the music for Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cats, as well as many other shows, and the book is by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. Also, the young cast members will actually be playing their musical instruments live onstage, adding to the authenticity of the show. It should be a lot of fun for the whole family, younger kids included.
Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Keira Knightley makes her Broadway debut as the protagonist of the classic French play Thérèse Raquin, originally performed onstage in 1873. Knightley stars as Thérèse, a woman stuck in a loveless marriage to a weak man, played by Tony winner Gabriel Ebert. As Thérèse develops passionate feelings for her husband’s childhood friend Laurent, played by Matt Ryan, she witnesses her life spiraling out of control and her future with her new lover looks very unclear. Tony winner Judith Light co-stars as her controlling mother-in-law who attempts to thwart Thérèse’s plans, and the mounting tensions between the two are a central focus of the piece. Thérèse Raquin contains a significant number of adult themes ranging from infidelity to death and murder. It is not recommended for children under fourteen years old.
These three new shows are just a taste of what is in store for Broadway-goers this season. Whatever you choose, whether it be a long-running musical, a new show, or a classic play, you are guaranteed to enjoy yourself under the lights of the Great White Way.