Year after year, there are some Broadway shows that hard-core fans put at the tope of their “must see again” lists. They’re the kind of shows that have huge crowd appeal, produce a true adrenaline rush and have audiences leaping to their feet at the end, cheering in unison with a standing ovation.
One of these mega-faves is The Phantom of the Opera. Currently celebrating 23 years as Broadway’s most haunting love story, this show satisfies because it’s got a perfect package: a soaring score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, impeccable direction by Harold Prince and a production you’ll rave about for years, including the ever-famous chandelier. It’s no wonder it won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
How about a Broadway musical you can dance to? Then grab your disco boots and head to Mamma Mia. This ingenious creation takes some of ABBA’s best-known hits (like “The Winner Takes It All” and “Dancing Queen”) and marries them to a completely original story about a young bride’s search for her father’s identity on the eve of her wedding on a romantic Greek isle. You won’t want to miss the famed remix finale, where the cast sings your favorite songs all over again, and the audience jumps up and boogies along.
Speaking of music-inspired smashes, fans are also loving Rock of Ages, the show that takes songs from the 80s’ greatest hair bands (like “We Built This City,” “Keep On Lovin’ You” and “Don’t Stop Believin’”) and spins them into a new story about a small-town girl and a big-city rocker who meet and fall in love on L.A.’s legendary Sunset Strip.
Another fan-fave destination: Memphis. Set in the 1950s in the South, this Tony-winning Best Musical is the story of a white D.J. who dares to play the songs of an up-and-coming African-American singer with a killer voice. Quickly, she becomes a star on the rise and they fall in love, but their romance is the ultimate taboo. It’s a truly winning story of star-crossed romance, big-money celebrity and the undeniable power of great music.
Then there’s Priscilla – Queen of the Desert. Based on the much-loved hit movie, this show is about three friends who hop a bus searching for fame and fortune in the crappiest of venues. Along the way, they find friendship, love and the meaning of family. And did we mention they do it all in fabulous costumes and wigs, while singing some incredible disco tunes, like “I Will Survive,” “Finally” and “Shake Your Groove Thing?” One thing’s for sure: You’ll shake your groove thing. Thousands of Broadway fans already have.