From Disney musicals to shows involving social issues, there has never been a better time to catch a show on Broadway with your child. Whether it’s their first experience or not, Broadway has something special to offer everyone, every single night of the week. With its spectacular sets and costumes, first-rate performers, and a chance to wait at the stage door after a show, Broadway is where it’s at.
So do what you can - clear your schedule, book tickets in advance or look for discounts, and use this handy list of ten Broadway shows we think your kids will love this spring.
Frozen at the St. James Theatre is the newest and brightest play for kids on Broadway. This movie turned Broadway production is widely anticipated by many and, thankfully, the play is worth the wait and ticket price. It’s the beloved story of a kingdom that gets trapped in perpetual winter due to a spell cast by the Snow Queen and the journey of her sister to save the day. The play faithfully brings Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and the evil Prince to the stage, along with a few new songs, a grand set and, naturally, “Let it Go.” Recommended for kids ages 6 and up - make sure your daughters or granddaughters don their favorite princess costume. They’ll be far from the only ones!
Come From Away
Come From Away at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is a musical about the incredible true story of 7,000 plane passengers who landed in Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 and stayed for a few days, getting to know the natives. The cast of 12 lays a multitude of characters who lived through the experience, and the result is heroic and memorable, along with some completely memorable tunes.. It’s the kind of play that will restore faith in mankind and make you wonder how you never heard about Gander. This show is recommended for kids ages 12 and up….after all, it’s 9/11 and there are dark tragedies that transpired on that dark, dark day.
Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre is based on the 1997 Disney animated film of the same name. Through music and an intoxicating story, the show is about a brave woman, as we follow her from Russia to Paris, with a huge desire to find out who after losing her family as a young girl. Her journey involves discovering the truth about her royal family’s tragic history. Along the way, she not only encounters danger but also a bit of romance, which ultimately leads her to a new life. The play a grand theatrical experience that will stand out in any child’s memory. It features a book by playwright Terrence McNally. This show is recommended for kids ages 6 and up.
The Play that Goes Wrong
The Play that Goes Wrong at the Lyceum Theatre comes to NYC after a successful West End run in London. The show is about an accident-prone university drama society performing a play about a murder mystery. As the characters melt down, so does the set, and it ends in total chaos. It’s complete slapstick and the cast incorporates the audience into the show. If you’re looking for a good night out on Broadway that is full of laughter, this show is for you and your kids. This show is recommended for kids ages 10 and up.
Wicked the Musical has been gracing the Broadway stage since 2003, and it’s still popular with audiences. It’s the untold musical story, based on the book by Gregory Maguire, of The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, before Dorothy dropped in. It’s quite a magical journey for any theater goer with its grand set, costumes, and a musical score straight from heaven, and if you make this your child’s first Broadway show, you won’t go wrong. The recommended minimum age is 8 for this show as it is long in length and has a storyline that is a tad complex.
Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre is an ideal show for any Disney-obsessed child, of which there are many. Based on the musical film, with music by Alan Menken, it’s the story of a poor man granted three wishes by a genie in a lamp and his affection for Princess Jasmine. Little girls love putting on their best Princess gear for this grand show, and special needs parents should keep an eye out for autism-friendly performances. This show is recommended for kids ages 6 and up.
Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theatre is a show for older kids, preferably teenagers, and it’s sure to blow anyone’s minds with its dazzling songs, relatable plot, and powerful storytelling. It’s a socially conscious show revolving around technology, social media, and bullying. As timely and current as the show is, the actors are equally as compelling. The score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also happened to write the lyrics for “The Greatest Showman,” as well as musical direction by Alex Lacamoire from “Hamilton,” will also floor you. This show is recommended for kids ages 13 and up.
School of Rock
School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theatre is a play for fans of the film it was based on, as well as
music lovers. Based on the Richard Linklater film starring Jack Black and adapted by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes. the show is a faithful adaptation with songs composed by the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber. It offers up a lot of great lessons, including fostering independence, doing what you love, and being accepted for who you are. Another wonderful possibility is that your special needs child will embrace the play’s sense of familiarity, strong music, and sit through a show for the first time. Our recommendation is that this show is for kids ages 8 and up.
Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre will make any kid think about what is most important to them with its credo of “You change the world when you change your mind” mantra. Based on a book by Harvey Fierstein, with songs written by Cyndi Lauper, it won six Tony Awards. It’s the true story of English shoe factory owner Charlie Price, who saves his family business by manufacturing shoes for a niche market: Drag queens. The songs are so catchy that kids will go dancing right out of the theater. This show is recommended for kids ages 8 and up.
Hello Dolly at the Shubert Theater is an adaptation of the famous film about Dolly Levi, a New York matchmaker who falls in love with Yonkers merchant Horace Vandergelder. It takes place in the 1880’s and is based on Thornton Wilder's play The Matchmaker, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. The play features some famous songs, such as 'Put On Your Sunday Clothes' and 'It Only Takes A Moment' and it’s a classic theater experience for any child. Bette Midler debuted in the role as Dolly in this version; then the role went to Donna Murphy; and now the legendary and amazing Bernadette Peters has stepped into the role. You can’t go wrong with any of these phenomenal women. This show is recommended for kids ages 10 and up.
About the Author
Holly Rosen Fink is a full-time marketer and part-time writer living in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two children.
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