Broadway has only become more and more popular over the years. This is no surprise as the best Broadway musicals often tell stories everybody can relate to. Love, friendship, and even more difficult themes like grief are told through interesting dialogue, catchy songs, and amazing choreography.
With so many musicals to choose from, it can get overwhelming. With this guide, however, you don’t have to worry! If you’re interested in learning about the best Broadway musicals, their synopses, and other trivia, then keep on reading!
What is a Broadway musical?
Every Broadway musical is a theatrical performance, but not every theatrical performance is a Broadway musical. Only theatrical performances staged in Broadway theatres are Broadway musicals.
These Broadway theatres refer to 41 professional theatres in Manhattan. However, contrary to popular belief, not all 41 Broadway theatres can be found on Broadway. Only three theatres, namely the Broadway Theatre, the Palace Theatre, and the Winter Garden Theatre, are along Broadway, Manhattan. The remaining 38 Broadway theatres are in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center.
How is a Broadway theatre different from an “off-Broadway” theatre?
Because most Broadway theatres aren’t actually on Broadway, people often confuse Broadway theatres with “off-Broadway” theatres. Broadway theatres have a seating capacity of at least 500 seats.
On the other hand, “off-Broadway” theatres are smaller, with only 100 to 499 seats, and off-Broadway musicals refer to musicals off-Broadway theatres host. Meanwhile, the smallest venues in New York with less than 100 seats are “off-off-Broadway”.
While off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows all attract tourists, Broadway is what most people look for in New York. The best Broadway musicals are likely one of the top reasons people dub New York “the cultural capital in the world”.
What are the best Broadway musicals of all time?
Hamilton: An American Musical
Broadway Premiere: July 13, 2015
Music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton: An American Musical, or simply Hamilton, is a play about the life of one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. The two-act play tells the story of Hamilton’s early life, marriage, and political career. The musical comprises little dialogue with most conversations sung and rapped throughout.
Despite being a relatively new production, Hamilton is undoubtedly one of the best Broadway musicals ever. The musical broke records at the 70th Tony Awards when it received 16 nominations, 11 of which it won. These awards include Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography.
In the same year, Hamilton won Best Musical Theater Album at the Grammy Awards.