Are you a Broadway addict but can’t make it to New York? Do you want to be transported to another world with singing and dancing? Maybe you’d rather watch a performance that pulls at the heartstrings! Here’s a list of new professional Broadway touring shows that could be your musical match in the new decade!
(Disclaimer: This list includes the most financially successful musicals on Broadway in 2019. I will not be recommending successful long-running productions such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Wicked, Chicago, and Rent, and the three Disney shows: Aladdin, The Lion King, and Frozen. Though these have fantastic qualities and are very popular, in addition to the many great touring plays, these examples won’t qualify.)
This one is pretty obvious. Hamilton has been the talk of the town since early 2016. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece chronicles the adult life of founding father Alexander Hamilton through a one-of-a-kind contemporary score. While you could just listen to the cast album, Thomas Kail’s direction and Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography add extra layers to the production that can’t be experienced without watching. Though grabbing a seat is quite difficult nowadays, you should still “Wait For It.”
Dear Evan Hansen
Another Tony Award winning show that has wowed audiences all over the country is the compelling Dear Evan Hansen. With songs from songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and direction by Michael Greif, the show centers around Evan, a lonely teenager who fakes a friendship with his deceased classmate in order to find his place. Though no one can beat Ben Platt’s original performance as Evan, this is a must-see production while it’s still on the road since it won’t be around “For Forever.”
Regina George is a massive deal not just on the big screen, but on stage too in the musical version of Mean Girls. Tina Fey’s book about a transfer student and the trio of preppy girls she plots to take down and Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin’s songs don’t fail to impress. While this show has its obvious flaws, it’s a hit with original fans of the movie and introducing new audiences to the theater. Finn Ross & Adam Young’s projection design especially takes this story to even higher levels, so seeing Mean Girls just for the incredible set would be worth every moment.
Come From Away
An interesting contender for this list is the biographical Come From Away, the project of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, which follows various people as American planes rerouted to the small Canadian community of Gander, Newfoundland following the events of 9/11. Come From Away is a story with real-life input, a heartfelt message, and relevance to today’s political climate. Christopher Ashley’s Tony Award-winning direction captures the core of this intimate experience, bringing humanity and love to an otherwise tragic event.
Lastly but definitely not least, the underrated adaptation of the 2007 film Waitress is a charming musical about a pie baker, Jenna, whose world is turned upside down when she learns she is having a baby and must make the difficult choice to leave her abusive husband. Sara Bareilles used her songwriting chops to compose music for Jessie Nelson’s book. Waitress is the only show on this list with a closed Broadway production, so the tour is the only American production that is “Opening Up” the pie shop every night.
These are just five of the many amazing musicals, so make sure to research and snatch your tickets for a specific tour when it comes to your town during 2020!