Summer in New York City is known to be pretty hot. And if you’re seeing any of these five popular shows on Broadway it’s going to be even hotter; you might even say “Too Darn Hot” (See Kiss Me, Kate below). So dress cool, carry a handkerchief, make sure your hotel has good air-conditioning, and book your Broadway tickets in advance right here at New York Online.
Here are five Broadway shows to see on your hot summer 2019 visit to NYC.
A creative, contemporary musical retelling of the timeless allegories of Orpheus and Eurydice / King Hades and Persephone, set in a New Orleans style jazz joint.
Why we recommend it: Get a ticket if you can—this is the hottest show on Broadway. When the 2019 Tony nominations were announced, no one was surprised that Hadestown led the pack with 14 nominations, including several nods in the most coveted categories, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Score, Best Director, and four nominations in the acting categories. The New York Times made Hadestown a Critics Pick, calling it “hypnotic and hyperactive.” Any show that can be both those things at once must be entertaining.
Tickets: Hadestown, from $151
Broadway’s fresh, creative, and laugh-out-loud funny musical reinvention of the beloved Dustin Hoffman film. An actor desperate for work finally lands his big role when he puts on a dress and makeup and auditions for the role of Nurse in a musical production of Romeo and Juliet. How long can he keep up the ruse?
Why we recommend it: This Tootsie is not by any means a rehash of the movie. It’s original, smart, and over-the-top hilarious. The premise is delicious and absurd, the jokes land fast and furious, and the actors onstage seem to be having as much fun as the audience. Santino Fontana deserves his Tony nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Musical, and you can take your pick of which of the supporting cast you think is funniest: Sarah Stiles as the jealous ex-girlfriend; Reg Rogers as a talentless, lecherous director; John Behlmann as a dumb-as-a-stick, lovesick castmate; or Andy Grotelueschen as the schlubby roommate who knows it’s all gonna come crashing down. Tootsie landed 11 Tony nominations, setting it apart in a crowded field of new Broadway musicals in 2019. If you’re looking to laugh your socks off and just have a really good time at a Broadway show this summer, look no further than Tootsie.
Tickets: Tootsie, from $89
Baz Luhrmann’s cult classic 2001 film finds new life in this stage version. A musical romance set in fin-de-siècle Paris, this show (opening for previews on June 28, 2019) promises an eye-popping excess of glitz, glamour, and grandeur.
Why we recommend it: Let’s start with production values: the pictures from Boston (where Moulin Rouge! The Musical had its pre-Broadway out of town run) are eye-popping. It seems no expense was spared in designing theatre, set, costumes and lighting to plunge the audience into an immersive experience of sumptuous visual excess. Then let’s talk about the all-star cast led by Karen Olivo as Satine (in the Nicole Kidman role) and Aaron Tveit as Christian (in the Ewan McGregor role), supported by certified Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Sahr Ngaujah, each of whom can carry an entire show by himself. Buy a ticket to this show and you’ll get a two-hour side-trip to Paris thrown in with your NYC vacation.
Tickets: Moulin Rouge! The Musical, from $126
Cole Porter’s 1948 musical reimagining of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew features a pair of warring lovers, a couple of music hall gangsters, and comedy and classic tunes aplenty.
Why we recommend it: Kiss Me, Kate won the first-ever Tony Award for Best Musical; this production is also Tony-nominated in the Musical Revival category for 2019. Leading lady Kelli O’Hara has one of the most beautiful voices on Broadway and deserves the Tony nomination she scored for this role. She’s ably supported by leading man Will Chase and Corbin Bleu as the young actor whose gambling debts bring the bumbling mobsters into the mix. What is Broadway without a little tap dance and a little romance? This show’s got ‘em both, and the Act II opener “Too Darn Hot” alone is worth the price of admission.
Tickets: Kiss Me, Kate, from $74
A sassy jukebox musical tour through Cher’s life and catalogue of hit songs. Big costumes, big hair, big attitude. A celebration of the multi-talented singer, comedienne, actress and global pop icon.
Why we recommend it: The theme of this year’s Met Costume Gala (New York’s hottest social event) was camp, and Cher was, is, and will always be the Queen of Camp. The Act II fashion parade of Bob Mackie's fabulous costumes for the star over the years is not-to-be-missed, if over-the-top fabulousness is your thing. Broadway veteran Stephanie J. Block earned a Lead Actress in a Musical Tony nomination for her commanding performance. Block inhabits the title role to such an amazing degree, both physically and vocally, you’ll think it’s really Cher out there on stage.
Tickets: The Cher Show, from $141
Didn’t see anything on this short list that grabbed you? You either need to stop being so picky, or you need to check out the more complete list of shows covered in our Broadway 2019: Season Overview.