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The Great White Way sure is having a moment right about now. Ticket prices are soaring to a staggering near-$900 per ticket for Hamilton (and people are buying all of them), and the last year has seen several box office record-breaking weeks for Broadway with no signs of slowing down. Tomorrow’s Tony Awards will highlight the best of the season, and we have seen everything worth seeing!
Here are the 5 current Broadway shows that should not be missed:
1. Hello, Dolly!
OK, it’s a cliché by now, but this show is 100% gay heaven. The costumes are fierce. The set is amazing, complete with a train that rides right down the length of the stage. Even the lighting, set to a constant high-noon brilliance, is flawless. Oh, and I’m sure you’ve heard about the other draw for this show: Her name is Bette Midler, and she is giving you everything you have ever wanted in your life, hunty. The moment you see her atop that staircase in the red feather headdress and that orchestra starts playing the title song, you will have chills up and down your spine and a smile that will make you forget about Donald Trump for a good 10 minutes of bliss.
2. Dear Evan Hansen
This one is a downer of a show in the best possible way. Owed almost exclusively to a performance that has people calling newcomer Ben Platt a “unicorn” — in that his performance is technically perfect while bringing oodles of raw emotion to a show about a letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told and a life a boy never dreamed he could have. Trust us, you don’t want to be told anymore about the plot until you can see it for yourself.
3. Miss Saigon
Yup, the helicopter is back — but so is one of the most beautiful scores from the age of the mega-musical. You’ll leave the theater humming several of the tunes, and if you’re old enough to remember the original production, you’ll be excited by some of the homoerotic additions to the background stage action. This includes a Mormon missionary looking for some man-on-man action and a go-go boy wearing the tiniest pair of leather shorts we’ve ever seen … in the theater.
Boys, it really is that good. Now that the initial frenzy around the show has died down (somewhat), you might actually be able to score a ticket to this masterpiece. From the second the opening number begins, you are witnessing the future of the American musical changing before your very eyes. (And no, we were not paid to write this.) This kind of inclusiveness is what America is all about — contrary to what is happening in the White House right now.
5. War Paint
A musical about the two women who basically invented the modern day cosmetics industry starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole? Yes, please. The stars, with four Tony Awards between them, will battle it out tomorrow for Best Actress (but Bette is taking him home), and they are singing their hearts out in this show. The score is largely forgettable, but the production is worth every penny to see these two titans side by side, belting out the importance of a good shade of lipstick. We totally get it.
Featured image by AleksandarNakic via iStock