The 5 Shows You Need to See This Broadway Season

The 2020 Tony Awards are eight months away, and already the 2019-2020 Broadway season shows promise to be an amazing one. With the abundance of plays and musicals soon to be finding a home on Broadway, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why Her Campus Hofstra has come to the rescue with the top 5 shows that you need to see this season.  

  1. 1. The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

    If you’re a fan of the popular book series, not a fan of the films or a fan of mythology in general, then this is the musical for you. The Lightning Thief musical was originally created in 2014 in partnership with TheatreWorks US. In 2017, a cast recording was done with a longer and updated score. The musical gained a large following which helped it get to Broadway after an off-Broadway run in 2017 and a national tour earlier this year. The musical revolves around teenager Percy Jackson while he struggles to find his place in the world and figure out who he truly is. After losing his mother to a monster attack, he is brought to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demi-gods. It is here that he finds out that the Greek gods are real, and that he is the son of Poseidon. When he is accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, he goes on a journey to the underworld to face off with Hades and hopefully stop a war between the gods. Along with him are his best friend Grover, a satyr who acts as Percy’s protector, and Annabeth, the strong-willed and quick-witted daughter of Athena. The story has heart, betrayal, love and everything in between. The soundtrack has something for everyone and includes a vast number of genres from the folky road trip song “Drive!” to the classic Broadway power anthem “My Grand Plan.” The 10 Broadway cast members are the same ones who recently ended their run on the national tour of The Lightning Thief, and their opening night saw 9 Broadway debuts. In order to portray as many necessary characters as possible, almost every cast member plays more than one role. The musical also takes a simplistic approach to the grand ideas it attempts to portray. The Lightning Thief is currently playing at the Longacre Theatre and will close January 5, 2020, so make sure you see it while you still can.

  2. 2. Company

    This well-known 1970 musical will soon be headed back to Broadway in a way like never before. Not only will this revival include some updated lyrics and will take place more in the modern-day, but it is also gender-flipped. Tony-award winner Katrina Lenk will be playing Bobby and will star alongside Broadway legend Patti LuPone, who won an Olivier Award for her performance as Joanne in this production during its West End run that ended in 2018. Director Marianne Elliott worked with original writer and composer Stephen Sondheim to reimagine the characters of Company in order to keep the feel of the original while making it work for a modern audience. The original plot revolved around Bobby, a single womanizer afraid of commitment, his three girlfriends, and his best friends that are comprised of five married couples. The story does not work as one story told in chronological order, but rather as a bunch of smaller stories jammed packed together. All of the stories told relate in some way to Bobby’s 35th birthday. This will be the third revival of Company, but the first time it’s been done like this. Some of the best-known tracks from the soundtrack include the fast-paced "Getting Married Today" and the incredibly powerful “Being Alive”. Company will be playing in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre with previews beginning on March 2, 2020.  

  3. 3. Take Me Out

    Richard Greenberg’s Tony-winning play will also be getting a revival this season. This comedy-drama tells the story of Darren Lemming, a mixed-race professional baseball player who comes out of the closet at the height of his career. Much of the play takes place in the team’s locker room throughout the season and revolves around how his teammates deal with Darren’s sexuality. While some show strong acceptance and support, others show strong resentment and hatred. The play deals with themes of homophobia, self-love, loyalty, and goes deep into the struggles of being a gay person of color in the spotlight. Take Me Out originally premiered on Broadway in 2003, and took home the Tony Award for Best Play that year. This revival will star Jessie Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Take Me Out will be in the Helen Hayes Theatre with previews beginning on April 2, 2020.

  4. 4. Freestyle Love Supreme

    Before he shook the Broadway world with In the Heights and Hamilton, Lin Manuel-Miranda was a member of an improv hip-hip group known as Freestyle Love Supreme. Now, more than a decade and a half after its creation, the troupe is performing on a Broadway stage. Every show is different, with the cast members getting prompts and suggestions from the audience and creating full-length songs and raps on the spot. There’s no telling what will happen or who will show up. The main cast is comprised of Anthony Veneziale, Chris Sullivan, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Arthur Lewis, and Andrew Bancroft. During its run on Broadway, there will be a special guest appearance by Lin Manuel-Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Digs, James Monroe Igleheart, and Bill Sherman. Freestyle Love Supreme is currently performing in the Booth Theatre and will close January 5, 2020.

  5. 5. Six

    To borrow some lyrics from its opening number, Six is the retelling of “a story that you think you’ve heard before.” The show revolves around the six wives of Henry VIII forming a girl group, and they are holding a competition to see who deserves to be the lead singer based on how bad the life they lead with Henry was. Each of the queens gets a solo song in which they tell the story of their lives before, during, and after being with Henry. It is through these songs that we find out how they became divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded and survived. The queens’ styles mimic those of famous female singers. For example, Jane Seymour (died) sings the heartfelt and emotional ballad “Heart of Stone”, which sounds as if it came straight from Adele’s discography. Six was written and composed by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. It originally premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is held at Cambridge University where the two were students, in 2017. The six women who played the six queens during its time in Chicago will reprise their roles on Broadway. Six plays out similar to a rock concert, which isn’t typical of a Broadway show, so it works as a great stepping stone into the world of musical theatre. Six will be playing in the Brooks Atkinson Theatre with previews beginning February 13, 2020.

You are now in the know for the hottest shows of the 2019-2020 Broadway season. We hope you have a blast!