5 Broadway shows you can’t miss this Autumn

Intertwined into New York City’s very DNA is its legendary theatre and musical theatre culture that all converges on Broadway. Standing at the very centre of the city’s cultural scene, Broadway shows are so New York, it’s hard to plan a visit to the city that never sleeps without someone suggesting booking tickets to the hottest show in town. The tricky part is figuring out what to see. There’s such an extensive selection of shows visitors can choose from, it can be difficult to narrow choices down. This is precisely why we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite musicals you can’t miss should you find yourself in the Big Apple this Autumn.

Broadway, New York

- © tetiana.photographer / Shutterstock

Hadestown

This sumptuous musical adaptation of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice continues to stun audiences, even four years after opening. Blending together the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone, Hadestown is a stunning, gripping and sometimes dizzying tale of trust, heartbreak, greed, climate change, hope and love. The emotional tale holds spectators and provides incredible catharsis to audiences come the end of the show, tying not only the subject of the show back to Ancient Greece, but also its structure and purpose.

The story stays faithful to the myth it is adapting, while also managing to bring its own originality in its rustic stage design and costuming, purposely evoking Depression-era America, with a certain New Orleans flair. Anaïs Mitchell’s unique score flawlessly combines elements of folk, work shanties, pop and swing. The whole thing is brought to life by an impeccable cast and a talented on-stage band, giving the production a very distinct and unexpected feel.

Find out more about performances and purchasing tickets on the official Hadestown website

Merrily We Roll Along

The iconic Sondheim show makes a glorious return to Broadway! Come September, the often overlooked 1981 show which features a score by Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth will reopen on Broadway. The revival’s star-studded cast includes Daniel Radcliffe, Lindsay Mendez and Jonathan Groff as the central trio of friends, in a production heralded by Maria Friedman.

The show tells the intimate story of a turbulent friendship between composer Franklin (Groff), Charley (Radcliffe) and Mary (Mendez). This most recent production breathes new life into a work that has so often been misinterpreted, giving it newfound dynamism and focus. This second lifetime of what used to be a rather odd and perplexing show is well worth your time this Autumn. To find out more about the show and booking tickets, visit the official website

Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Another Sondheim revival makes its way onto the list! This Thomas Kail directed grand revival of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece is a true spectacle of epic proportions. Starring the incomparable Josh Groaban as Sweeney Todd and Annaleigh Rashford as his devilish accomplice, Mrs Lovett, bringing the iconic score to life with impeccable quality, scale and talent.

The gory tale of a vengeful barber and a resourceful pie shop owner who wreak fear and havoc on Fleet Street continues to fascinate audiences. In this case, the sheer scale of the production is impressive, and the casting is wonderfully thought out as each actor brings a unique and immensely special quality to their character. Not only is it well worth experiencing this landmark musical, what better time to see this creepy yet surprisingly funny show in Autumn?

You can find out more information on the show and about booking your tickets on the official Sweeney Todd website

Chicago

A classic you simply can’t go wrong with, Chicago is the perfect show to see if you’re experiencing the shameless frivolity and dazzling lights of Broadway for the first time. Following The Phantom of the Opera’s closure in April 2023, Chicago is currently the longest running show on Broadway, as its revival production has been open since 1996. Featuring legendary numbers like “All that Jazz” or “the Cell Block Tango” and Bob Fosse’s revolutionary choreography, the show remains truly unmissable.

Let yourself be transported back to Chicago in the roaring 20’s, seeped in Jazz, crime, glitz and glamour, Chicago the musical tells the tale of the many merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail, focusing on rivals Roxie and Velma as they navigate their ambitions to become stars. With minimal staging and costuming, the attention throughout the show is fully on the gripping story, marvellous tunes and exciting choreography. Visit their website for more information about performances and booking your tickets. 

Shucked

2023’s surprise hit, Shucked is a new musical comedy about what is probably the only thing Americans can agree on: corn. Sweeping the season’s Tony awards, the show is a wonderfully warm and delightfully fun time at the theatre. Featuring songs from country singers Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, the show is a certified Broadway hit with an irresistible country twang.

The cast is immensely talented, with impeccable vocal performances being delivered on a nightly basis, we particularly want to highlight Alex Newell’s showstopping (literally) solo “Independently Owned” and overall stage presence. Shucked promised a fun and lighthearted time, with a rather far away tone from the other shows on this list. Check their website for more information about performances and to book your tickets. 

Bonus show: Titanique (off-Broadway)

We simply couldn’t finish this list off without talking about the off-Broadway sensation: Titanique. This Titanic (the movie) parody musical retells the well-known story through the eyes of Céline Dion through her music. The show is laugh-out-loud hilarious and often feels like a prodigious fever dream. It’s fun, it’s energetic, but most importantly, it’s camp.

The show feels intimate, being staged at the Daryl Roth Theatre, with a capacity of just over 250 audience members, after moving out of the even smaller and shabbier Asylum NYC’s basement theatre. The show is highly entertaining, mixing moments of epic improv and well thought out jokes that always land. The show is unapologetically queer and fun, making for a hilarious night out at the theatre that has audience members laughing and smiling about it for weeks that follow. Head to their website to book your tickets in advance. 

by Venice HANCOCK
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