By Gianluca Russo
For theatre fans all over the country, the 2015-16 Broadway season was a blessing from above. With so many new and outstanding pieces of theatre at our disposal, choosing which to buy a ticket for was certainly not an easy task. And while we are well aware the Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” is sweeping through award season, there are plenty of other musicals that deserve just as much recognition and love. To help guide you through all the theatre available to watch this summer, we went ahead and picked our favorite shows currently running on Broadway (other than “Hamilton”).
Grammy nominated singer songwriter Sara Bareilles makes her Broadway debut as score writer of “Waitress.” Based off the 2007 movie of the same name, the show tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and pie baker who finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, only to unexpectedly discover she is pregnant. Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller stars as Jenna, breathing life into the Bareilles’ beautiful and moving score. Along her side as Drew Gehling as Dr. Jim Pomatter, Nick Cordero as Earl Hunterson, Keala Settle as Becky, Kimiko Glenn as Dawn, and Christopher Fitzgerald as Ogie. The show is currently running at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and ticket prices start at $67.
Also a musical adaptation of a screen hit, Patrick Bateman comes to Broadway in this thrilling and electrifying production. With music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, Tony Award winner for “Spring Awakening,” the show is captivating and exciting, grasping the attention of the audience as they maneuver through the twists and turns of Patrick Bateman. In the lead role is Broadway favorite Benjamin Walker, along with Alice Ripley and Jennifer Damiano. The show opened on April 21st at the Schoenfeld Theatre and tickets begin at $77.
“The Color Purple”
Two words: Cynthia Erivo. The London based performer makes her Broadway debut in the role Celie, bringing down the house each night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The musical first premiered on Broadway in 2005 and garnered eleven Tony Award nominations. Now starring Grammy Award winner Heather Headley as Shug Avery, the production has an open ended run with ticket prices beginning at $75.
“Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”
Six time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald returns to the Great White Way in this toe tapping adaptation of 1921 hit “Shuffle Along.” The musical tells the story of the mounting of a new musical and how its all black cast changes the face of theatre. The star studded cast also features Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Adrienne Warren. Playing at the Music Box Theatre, tickets run from $69.
With music and book by Steve Martin, there’s no wonder why Tony Award voters love this new musical. Set in North Carolina in the 1940s, the musical features a bluegrass score and two interweaving plots. Carmen Cusack makes her Broadway debut in the role of Alice Murphy with A.J. Shively and Paul Alexander Nolan by her side. The show received five Tony Award nominations and seven Drama Desk Award nominations. Be sure to catch this show at the Cort Theatre for only $45.
“On Your Feet!”
Get off the couch and head over to the Marquis Theatre to conga with the terrific cast of this hit tuner. Based on the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the show opened in fall of 2015 after a successful run in Chicago. Though the musical didn’t receive much Tony Award love, Ana Villafane makes her Broadway debut in role of Gloria and leaves audiences wowed each night. The show has an open ended run and ticket prices begin at $55.
“School of Rock”
Though Andrew Lloyd Webber is commonly known for his more classical musical stylings, including “Phantom of the Opera,” he somehow managed to compose a rock musical based off the 2003 film starring Jack Black. The show opened on December 6th at the Winter Garden Theatre and received four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. Alex Brightman stars as Dewey Finn, an electrifying and energetic performer who has no trouble rocking out each night with his band of middle schoolers. Tickets begin at $79 and have been selling out over the past few months.