Living in New York City means being in the best city for plays and musical theater. Before world and regional tours begin, new and revived shows are performed in New York City’s theater district to be tested in front of the most attentive and critical audiences. This year, Broadway provided the much needed home to Alison Bechdel’s unfamiliarly told memoir, Lin Manuel-Miranda’s hip-hop spin on our founding fathers, and many more. We know you can’t see them all, as Broadway tickets begin at pricey and go upwards from there. So, in order to help you decide which musical numbers are worth saving up for, here are the standout performances, the 7 Broadway Shows Worth Splurging on This Summer.

Fun Home 2015Fun Home

Performance Dates: Now – Open Ended

Location: Circle in the Square Theatre

Fun Home, based on the graphic novel memoir by Alison Bechdel, is a musical about childhood, memory, and reconciling the two into the person you become. The show portrays Bechdel in three stages of her life: the child raised by a man who worked at a Funeral home, the young adult coming to terms with her sexual orientation, and the adult Bechdel, doing the detective work to unravel and piece back together her life. By peering into journals, doodles, and snapshots of her upbringing, the viewer is taken through Bechdel’s wake, and the wake of her father. Audiences should be prepared for tear-jerking numbers and out of this world child acting. With 5 Tony Awards behind Fun Home, this show becomes a must-see for your summer schedules.


Performance Dates: July 15, 2015 – Open Ended

Location: Richard Rodgers Theatre

Hamilton is a hip-hop infused retelling of the Nation’s first Secretary of Treasury: Alexander Hamilton. From his orphaned childhood, to formatting the infrastructure of our constitution, to a sex scandal and untimely death in a duel, Hamilton’s life presented itself as one which could function on the backdrop of hip-hop. By exploring Alexander Hamilton through music, director Lin Manuel Miranda tackles the past and current state of our fractured political system. Don’t want to hear about politics? Miranda hardly hits the nail on the head, and instead speaks in subtle wit. Hamilton will, without a doubt, go down as one of the most interesting things to happen on Broadway. And that’s something you don’t want to miss.

An Act of GodAn Act of God

Performance Dates: May 28 2015 – August 2, 2015

Location: Studio 54

Who knew David Javerbaum’s Twitter account @TheTweetsofGod would turn into a comedic Broadway play starring Jim Parson’s? An Act of God is, essentially, a Q&A with “The Almighty” (Parsons) as he tackles “life’s big questions”. Not to be confused with an actually religious figure, Parsons’ approach to playing God comes alive with Javerbaum’s satire and his own deadpan delivery. Though the show is mostly pure monologue, God is paid a visit from Michael the Archangel who begs the really tough questions about evolution, violence, and injustice. Overall, An Act of God is a well done portrayal of God in conversation with society’s current issues. Intellectual, entertaining, An Act of God pushes boundaries in the best  of ways. 

Hedwig and the Angry InchHedwig and the Angry Inch

Performance Dates: Now – Open Ended

Location: Belasco Theatre

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is no stranger to Broadway. But this summer, the role of troubled transgender rockstar has been handed down to Taye Diggs. And we think he’ll exceed filling Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, and Darren Criss’ shoes. Hedwig and the Angry Itch tells the story of a fictional rock and roll band fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman and “frequently ignored” stylist from Berlin. The story begins after Hedwig lands in America following a botched sex-change operation, and follows her journey through reconciling with past loves and accepting her own identity. Be warned, the show is hardly “family friendly”, but if you consider yourself a mature audience, you will not want to miss Taye Diggs approach John Cameron Mitchell’s gorgeous and thought-provoking masterpiece. 

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and MurderA Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Performance Dates: Now – Open Ended

Location: Walter Kerr Theatre

Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical, the Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is a witty, hilarious take on what happens when one finds themselves in line for the throne. The story takes place in 1907 London, when the poor clerk Monty Navarro’s mother dies and he comes to find he’s 9th in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst. It’s been awhile since the subject of serial killers has been on Broadway, but A Gentleman’s Guide handles the topic with humor and grace. As dark and daring as Sweeney Todd, A Gentleman’s Guide ascends by use of clever wordplay, extremely high stakes, and inventive musical theater acting. Kid friendly (though the title doesn’t suggest it) and entertaining for just about anyone, A Gentleman’s Guide is a no-risk, must-see this summer.

Spring AwakeningSpring Awakening

Performance Dates: September 8, 2015- January 2016 

Location: Brooks Atkinson Theatre

Many of you have probably heard of Spring Awakening, as the musical spin on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play has been touring stages for several years now. But if you’re unfamiliar with the work, I can sum it’s premise up in just one word: Becoming. The story focuses on three main characters: Melchior, Moritz, and Wendla, and the ripe age of sexual and intellectual awakening. The music is, hands down, phenomenal, and will likely evict tears from even the coldest of hearts. Spring Awakening is family-friendly, but only if you’re willing to answer some tough questions following the show. But trust us, stepping out of your comfort zone in order to witness this spectacular show is worth it.

An American in ParisAn American in Paris

Performance Dates: March 13, 2015 – Open Ended

Location: Palace Theatre

Sure, the 1952 film An American in Paris was some great theatrical acting. But the stage adaptation of An American in Paris does the work even more justice. The plot: a love story, between an American soldier and French woman, with a shared desire for a fresh start following World War II’s devastation. Inspired by George Gershwin’s prized musical score, An American in Paris’s vitality comes primarily from its sounds and perfectly choreographed routines. The production continues to resonate with viewers who are willing to witness a beautiful example of when music meets movement. With capable actors, keen direction, and award winning choreography, An American in Paris revives a love for dance and a heartfelt romance.

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