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Celebrate Jewish stories at these Broadway shows

Shows about Jewish icons and by Jewish artists abound on the New York stage this season — learn more about all the plays and musicals to support right now.

Joe Dziemianowicz
Joe Dziemianowicz

It’s impossible to overstate Jewish artists' contributions to arts and entertainment history. Fanny Brice paved the way for comediennes in the Ziegfeld Follies, Oscar Levant changed the face of live television (amid his illustrious music career), and the globally renowned Tom Stoppard has earned more Tony Awards than any other playwright.

It’s a joy to see these stories and many more, about and by Jewish artists, represented on the Broadway stage this season. In one show, a young man’s given name eventually makes him one of the most recognizable icons in music. Another captures the love between a pair of parents and their grown son. Sobering stories abound as well, including a timely musical revival based on American historical events.

Recurring themes like assimilation and prejudice run through some of these productions, but so do triumph and pride. Audiences of any background can and should celebrate and support these productions centering on Jewish stories.

Get tickets to a Broadway show on New York Theatre Guide.

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A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical

How did Neil Diamond, a struggling Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter from a Jewish family, become the superstar behind 39 albums and hits like “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Shiloh,” “Song Song Blue,” and “A Beautiful Noise”? Or, in other words, how did he become the Jewish Elvis, as Diamond was known? This musical, with songs from the Diamond catalog and a script by Anthony McCarten, provides the answer – and reveals that superstardom doesn’t equal happiness.

Will Swenson and Mark Jacoby play the performer at various ages. In a memorable moment, a producer who guides young Neil to his big break tells this “Nice-Jewish-Boy” (her term) not to change his name to Noah Kaminsky and instead keep his given one. He heeds her advice. The rest is Diamond-studded history.

Get A Beautiful Noise tickets now.

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The story of the 20th-century musical group the Comedian Harmonists has appeared on Broadway once before — in the short-lived Band in Berlin — but it remains a seldom-told slice of history. The sextet was known as much for their onstage antics as for their flawless harmonies — hence the name — and skyrocketed to global popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. But when the Nazis rose to power, the German group, which included three Jewish men, broke apart.

The musical Harmony, composed by Barry Manilow, tells this story with equal parts humor and poignancy. After 25 years of development and a critically acclaimed 2022 Off-Broadway premiere, the story of Harmony finally hits Broadway.

Get Harmony tickets now.

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Prayer for the French Republic

Joshua Harmon's sweeping epic premiered to critical acclaim off Broadway in 2021, and his story of a multi-generational French Jewish family now premieres on Broadway. Seventy years apart, a couple and their great-grandchildren face the same questions regarding their safety in the face of anti-Semitism. The show is a searing reminder that hate can morph into many different forms over time, but love and resilience do, too.

Get Prayer for the French Republic tickets now.

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I Can Get It For You Wholesale

This musical is best known for marking Barbra Streisand's Broadway debut, as beleaguered secretary Miss Marmelstein, back in 1962. Now, Santino Fontana and Judy Kuhn star in the first major revival since at Classic Stage Company. The main character, Harry Bogen, swindles and lies his way to the top of the garment industry, but the characters of his mother and his friends remind the audience that the values he was raised with — community, family, compassion — are what's really important.

Get I Can Get It For You Wholesale tickets now. 

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