Top 10 reasons to see '& Juliet' on Broadway
This energetic pop musical was a smash hit in London.
You're gonna hear the audience roar — with laughter and applause — at & Juliet, the new musical that puts a classic leading lady at the center of her own new story. Fresh from a hit London run that's still going strong, & Juliet is now bringing its larger-than-life energy and pop score to Broadway.
The show imagines what would happen if Juliet didn't die at the end of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and instead explored the world beyond Verona. She takes her friends to Paris and discovers a world of parties, romance, and independence that she never knew. Though the story centers on a reimagined classic character, the music that scores her story is much more modern: all the songs are pop music hits from the Swedish hitmaker Max Martin.
Below, discover even more reasons & Juliet is a Broadway show you can't miss. We're confident you'll have fun when you see it — and see it, maybe, one more time.
& Juliet has an award-winning creative team.
The two main creators of & Juliet have acclaimed careers individually, so seeing them team up is nothing short of spectacular. The book is by David West Read, a writer on the multi-Emmy Award-winning sitcom Schitt's Creek. And the music that goes along with that book is the song catalog of Max Martin, the 22-time Grammy-winning songwriter and music producer.
In addition, the whole design team from the West End premiere has stayed with the Broadway production. That production's set, costume, video, projection, and graphic designs all won WhatsOnStage Awards across the pond, and its choreography, set, costumes, lighting, and orchestrations all got nominations at the 2020 Olivier Awards. When you see the Broadway production, you'll see these same highly acclaimed designs bring the world to life in front of you.
And of course, we wouldn't have & Juliet if William Shakespeare hadn't written Romeo & Juliet in the 16th century. He hasn't won any contemporary awards, being a few centuries older than them, but he's widely regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of all time and the greatest English playwright. There's a reason his works still inspire so many new works today in film, literature, theatre, TV, and so much more.
You'll hear pop music you know and love.
A total of 30 songs from Max Martin's catalog are part of & Juliet, including one original song written for the show. The rest are pop hits he's written or co-written, many of which you already know. From Britney Spears's "Oops! I Did It Again" to the Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back" to Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" to P!nk's "Perfect" to Ariana Grande's "Problem," the chart-topping hits in & Juliet span multiple decades and multiple generations' music tastes. You probably know the words to most of the songs already!
Lorna Courtney and the company of & Juliet in Toronto. (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)
There's an original story by a writer on Schitt's Creek.
Read's original story for & Juliet sees her decide to go to Paris and explore the world beyond Verona when Romeo dies, rather than kill herself also. While on her trip, she falls in love and makes new friends on her own terms. And within the world of the show, this whole story is being written in real time by Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, who doesn't like Shakespeare's original, tragic Romeo & Juliet ending. (Shakespeare, also a character, still provides input.)
The plot promises adventure and girl power, and with a Schitt's Creek writer behind it, & Juliet also promises laughs galore.
The musical puts a fresh spin on a classic character.
The Juliet of & Juliet isn't the totally naive, helpless 13-year-old of Shakespeare's play, even though it begins right where that play ends. (There's actually a joke in the show about Anne Hathaway fudging Juliet's age to be 21, old enough to get into Parisian clubs.) This Juliet is even more independent and headstrong, defying her parents not just by being with a boy they disapprove of, but by setting out from Verona entirely and forging a new life for herself. You've never seen Juliet like this!
& Juliet is one of multiple fun pop musicals on Broadway.
Are you a fan of the feminist histo-remix Six or the Parisian pop party Moulin Rouge! The Musical? Then & Juliet should be the next show on your must-see list. Like these fellow Broadway shows, & Juliet keeps the energetic pop music coming so you'll be grooving along in your seat the entire time, and it mixes the historical with the contemporary. Plus, like Six and Moulin Rouge!, & Juliet doesn't skimp on sparkle, glitz, or glamour.
Stark Sands and Betsy Wolfe in & Juliet in Toronto. (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)
The choreography is inspired by pop music videos.
Did you grow up watching music videos on MTV? Did you spend hours trying to teach yourself the choreography done by the boy bands or Britney Spears in those videos? If so, & Juliet will feel fun and familiar. Jennifer Weber's choreography is entirely original, but it's in the style of pop music videos from the 1990s and 2000s. Maybe someday there'll be YouTube tutorials on how to do the & Juliet choreography, and you can learn that too and pretend you're in the Broadway show.
& Juliet was a huge hit in London.
This musical already has a proven track record of success. & Juliet immediately became a hit with London critics and audiences upon premiering there in 2019, and it became an awards hit, too. Three of its actors won Olivier Awards, and the show got nine total nominations, including Best New Musical. The show also set the all-time record for the most WhatsOnStage Award nominations, earning 13. It won six of those — Miriam-Teak Lee won for her performace as Juliet, and the remaining five awards were for design.
The musical is a coming-of-age story that's great for young audiences.
Young women especially might find themselves inspired by the story of Juliet. She learns that love is great but it's not everything, she is a strong woman on her own, and the world is hers to explore. Romeo & Juliet is taught in high schools as a cautionary tale about the foolishness of young people, but & Juliet shows its young protagonist as smart, capable, and independent, and able to learn and grow even if she doesn't know everything right at the start. That said, anyone of any age or gender can feel empowered by Juliet's story.
Lorna Courtney and Melanie La Barrie in & Juliet in Toronto. (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)
& Juliet is one of the first new musicals of the 2022-23 Broadway season.
Spring is known as the premier season for new Broadway musical premieres, but enough blockbusters go up in the fall that you won't have to wait that long. The only new musical going up on Broadway before & Juliet this season is Kimberly Akimbo, an adaptation of a same-named play by David Lindsay-Abaire. But even that show was seen off Broadway last season, so & Juliet is still this season's first Broadway musical that no New York audiences have ever seen. You can be among the first if you get your tickets early!
The musical is fun and joyful above all.
We all need an escape once in a while, to have a few hours of pure fun and forget about anything scary in the world. & Juliet provides a gigantic dose of that escapism and happiness. Between the colorful visual world of the show, the energetic choreography, the funny script, and the optimistic heroine, there's so much to fill you with wonder and joy. For 2.5 hours, you're going along on a whirlwind trip to Paris filled with parties and romance, humming the catchy pop earworms you grew up with the entire time. A show like that by any other name would sound as sweet!