New York City Musicals for the Must See List


Here are some must see shows next time you’re in the Big Apple.

Beautiful–The Carole King Musical

Nominated for best musical (along with 6 other categories!), we’re not so secretly rooting for this one!  With hits you will immediately recognize, like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, the score alone is fabulous, making its way onto my iPod immediately after seeing the show.  But the music isn’t the only reason to get to the theater on this one…the acting, dancing, and storyline are all top-notch, A+, gold star winners in my book!

You’ll love this if: You’re a fan of Carole’s music and love a good tale of working your way up from middle class to riches…with a tumultuous love story thrown in.  Actually, I just can’t imagine anyone NOT loving this musical, so take our word on it, and get to the theater for this one!

Summary: Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

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The Cripple Of Inishmaan

With six very deserved nominations, you’ll recall from our full length review we are huge fans of this delightful, comedic show.

You’ll love this if: You love a good story filled with laughter, tears, and eccentric characters.  Oh, and probably if you’re a Harry Potter fan, too.

Summary: On the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy (Daniel Radcliffe), if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life. Martin McDonagh’s comic masterpiece examines an ordinary coming of age in extraordinary circumstances.

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A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder

A whopping 10 nominations, this was a show we raved about months ago, and haven’t stopped talking about since.

You’ll love this if: A smart, sassy show with a side of murder is your cup of tea!  Brilliant music, lyrics, and book to boot!

Summary: Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than this new comedy of manners (well, bad manners) set in England’s elegant Edwardian era. When Monty Navarro (played by Bryce Pinkham), a disinherited relative of the rich and powerful D’Ysquith clan, learns he’s ninth in line to inherit the earldom, he sets out to secure his future by, er, process of elimination. Monty does what any ambitious gentleman would do: he eliminates them one by one. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way into Highhurst Castle… and be done in time for tea. Each of the eight heirs perilously standing in the way of Monty’s fortune is played by past Tony Award®-winner Jefferson Mays in one of the most tireless, whiplash-inducing performances ever attempted on the American stage.

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With five nominations up for grabs, I promise you can’t go wrong with this one!

You’ll love this if: Whether you have kids who delight in a Disney turned Broadway musical, or are a grown-up like myself who knows every Disney song by heart and can think of no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than watching them be sung live on stage, this show will please generations of Broadway goers!

Summary: Adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights, the story of Aladdin is brought to fresh theatrical life in this exuberant new musical comedy. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack, as well as more written especially for the stage.

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Bridges Of Madison County

This romance of the stage is nominated for four Tony’s.

You’ll love this if: While it doesn’t have the “wow” factor one may hope for in a musical (by that I mean high-kicking, jolly dance numbers, over the top outfits and a happy ending), it certainly is a beautiful show for those of you who love a good love story (and a good weep!)

Summary: Stephen Pasquale and four-time past Tony Award-nominee Kelli O’Hara star in a new musical about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross. Director Bartlett Sher says The Bridges of Madison County “takes us deep into the heart of our country and the very moving situation of a beautiful young woman leaving Italy and suddenly living in Iowa, and her joyful discovery of love and painful but rewarding sacrifice.” The score is by Jason Robert Brown, book by Marsha Norman, based on the novel by Robert James Waller.

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Off-Broadway Shows You Should See

Under My Skin

You’ll love this if:  Seriously, we didn’t stop laughing throughout the entire show.  Truly a comedy of the stage if I ever saw one!

Summary: In Under My Skin, a twist of fate leads to love and laughs when New York’s most eligible bachelor and a single, working mother hilariously experience each other’s lives and see things from a very different perspective. From the acclaimed writing and producing team of Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser, the creative forces behind such television hits as The Nanny and Who’s The Boss, and director Kirsten Sanderson, comes the Off-Broadway premiere of a new, outrageous, heartfelt comedy about sex, love, and healthcare…three things we all need but can’t always get.


Four Last Things

You’ll Love This If: You appreciate a moving, powerful, DEEP story that shakes you deep in your bones.  While I may be a slightly emotional theater-goer, I’ll give you a heads up that my face was DRENCHED after curtain call.  Bring tissues.

Summary: Janey is stuck on her family farm, yearning for a way out. With a father she can’t talk to, and a dog that can’t talk back, Janey questions everything she holds so dear. Four Last Things is an emotionally charged journey through a young woman’s battle with herself.





Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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