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Some Like it Hot musical promotional production photo
Some Like it Hot musical promotional production photo
Photo by Matthew Murphy
Culture > Entertainment

8 Broadway Shows To See Before The Tony Awards

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NYU chapter.

For most, the start of summer means relaxation, weekend getaways, going home to live in your childhood bedroom, swimming in pools or beaches, etc.. While all of those are still relevant, for me, the start of summer means the Tony Awards are coming. 

The Tony Awards, formally named the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, are essentially the Oscars for Broadway musicals and plays. This year, 38 shows were eligible for nominations, having opened sometime between April 29, 2022 and April 27, 2023. Of the 27 shows actually nominated, about half are still running.

This year’s awards ceremony will be a little different due to the WGA writer’s strike. While writers on Broadway are not a part of the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) that is striking, the Tonys are a TV awards show that would need a script written by TV writers. The WGA announced they will not picket the event, so the Tonys are able to do a live show, but they’re still working out the logistics with writing a script for the show. But as of now, the show is still slated for June 11th. 

It can be overwhelming seeing how many shows were nominated and how little time you might have left to see them before the awards ceremony on June 11th, so we’ve compiled a list of eight shows with the most nominations that would be worth the trip to Broadway.

In order of most to least nominations, here are five musicals and three plays to see before the Tony Awards on June 11, 2023.

1. “Some Like It Hot” 13 nominations, including Best Musical

Some Like it Hot musical promotional production photo
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Based on the movie of the same title, “Some Like it Hot” is the story of Joe and Jerry, two musicians who unfortunately witness a mob murder. They go on the run with an all-female band traveling to California — the catch is, they disguise themselves as women to join the band. What makes “Some Like it Hot” a surprising, fun musical is the turn they take on the “man-in-a-dress” comedy that has long been criticized on Broadway (see critiques of the musical adaptations of “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”). Jerry disguises himself as Daphne, but he soon discovers that he has never felt more true to himself than he has as Jerry. The music is fun, the actors are all stand-outs and the show received the most nominations this season.

2. “& Juliet” 9 nominations, including Best Musical

& Juliet on Broadway promotional image
Photo by Matthew Murphy

In a twist on the original Shakespearean story “Romeo and Juliet,” “& Juliet” answers, “What if Juliet doesn’t die with Romeo?” Narrated by the characters Shakespeare and his wife, Anne, the musical follows Juliet’s life after Romeo’s death with her Nurse and two best friends — including Anne, herself. The cherry on top is that the music is all pop songs produced by Max Martin, so you hear classic bops such as “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears, “Roar” by Katy Perry and “Larger Than Life” by the Backstreet Boys.

3. “Shucked” 9 nominations, including Best Musical

Production photo from \
Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

Ready to get “Shucked?” This hilarious new musical tells the story of the fictional southern U.S. area called Corn County. No one in the town leaves, until their corn starts to die mysteriously. The heroine, Maizy, ventures to Florida where she brings back a con-man who claims he can fix their corn. With love triangles and some truly corny jokes, this show can’t be missed — especially with standout performances from the two narrators, played by Grey Henson and Ashley D. Kelley, and the featured role of Lulu, played by Alex Newell.

4. “Kimberly Akimbo” 8 nominations, including Best Musical

Production photo from \
Photo by Joan Marcus

If you haven’t seen “Kimberly Akimbo” on Broadway or in its prior Off-Broadway run, you can’t miss it. The story is about Kimberly, a 16-year-old girl in high school who is suffering from a disease that makes her age faster; therefore, she appears as though she is in her 60s. She goes through her first crush, troubles with her parents and even some potential felony charges. With stand-performances from Broadway veteran Victoria Clark as Kim and Bonnie Milligan as Kim’s unhinged aunt, you really don’t want to miss this production.

5. “A Doll’s House” 6 nominations, including Best Revival of a Play

Production photo from \
Courtesy of \”A Doll\’s House\”

Broadway’ revival of “A Doll’s House” stars Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Chastain in a new version of the 1879 original play by Henrik Isben. It’s a play ahead of its time, and this new version expands on the feminist undertones of the original. Chastain plays a wife who is looking for a way out of an unhappy marriage, longing for independence. The show is only running until June 10, so get there before it’s too late!

6. “Fat Ham” 5 nominations, including Best Play

“Fat Ham” joins “& Juliet” in their spun renditions of Shakespeare classics. “Fat Ham” is a modern-day comedy that follows the same storyline as Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Following a sold-out run at the Public Theater and the Pulitzer Prize win for Drama, “Fat Ham” hit Broadway stages for a limited run, ending June 25. The New York Times called this “a hilarious yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy,” so you have to catch it before it’s over.

7. “Parade” 5 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical

Production photo from \
Photo by Joan Marcus

“Parade” is one of my favorite productions I’ve seen on Broadway this season. “Parade” follows the life of Leo and Lucille Frank, a newlywed Jewish couple living in the “old red hills of Georgia,” played by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winner Ben Platt and “The Cher Show” star Micaela Diamond. Their life is turned upside down when Leo is accused of killing a young girl in town. Diamond is a stand-out as the devoted and loyal wife of the most hated man in town, and Jason Robert Brown’s score will have you weeping at home listening to its beauty.

8. “Prima Facie” 4 nominations

Production photo from \
Photo by Bronwen Sharpe

Any “Killing Eve” fans in the house? Jodie Comer makes her Broadway debut in the one-woman play “Prima Facie” which she debuted on the West End last year. Comer plays a criminal defense barrister who struggles with her view of the legal system she’s always held true after being sexually assaulted. Her performance has earned her a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play, so this is definitely a show you don’t want to miss. 

Special thanks to the various Broadway public relations offices who provided the wonderful production photos, including Polk & Co., grapevine pr, DKC/O&M and The Press Room NYC.

The clock is ticking! I know the cost of tickets can seem daunting, but NYU offers discount tickets for students, staff, and alumni through NYU Scholastix. Don’t miss these powerful shows before June 11th!

Maya Gengozian is the editor-in-chief and co-campus correspondent at Her Campus NYU. She top-edits and fact-checks all chapter content and is the primary source for all writing and publishing. She is responsible for managing the editorial calendar and ensuring the writing team has everything they need to write Gen Z's favorite content. She also oversees all chapter social media. Professionally, Maya works as a staff writer for BroadwayWorld Cabaret. She previously worked as an editorial intern for The Story Exchange, an award-winning nonprofit media organization dedicated to elevating women’s voices. She has also written for College Magazine and Cooper Squared. At NYU, Maya is the president of West 4th Stage Company, NYU Steinhardt's primary performance club, and is on the communications committee for Women in Music NYU. She is a senior studying journalism and vocal performance: musical theater, with a minor in producing. When she's not writing or working on one of the many projects she has at a time, Maya consumes entertainment. She enjoys watching TV and movies (she’s probably re-watching “The Bold Type” or “The Good Wife” as you read this), going to live theater, and spending time with friends. She is an avid listener of “Brooke and Connor Make a Podcast,” “Crime Junkie,” and “Pop Culture Happy Hour.”