See these fun Broadway shows to cure the wintertime blues
These funny, energetic musicals and plays will chase away the seasonal chill.
With the big annual holidays in the rearview, weather that’s frosty and unpredictable, and shorter days, winter in New York can quickly wear out its welcome. On the plus side, remedies for seasonal blues are just a theatre away.
Leave wind chills behind and bask in the glow of a lush Broadway musical. Warm up with some Arabian nights. Forget your worries and embrace “Hakuna Matata.” Or lose yourself in silliness and steer straight into a story with an iceberg. There are more winter warmers where they came from, so follow our guide to the cheeriest theatre to see this winter.
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Want to be whisked to a warmer climate? Your wish is granted. Based on the Oscar-winning Disney movie, this musical set in the fictional Middle Eastern city of Agrabah follows the titular street urchin with big dreams – and a love for Jasmine, a princess with her own desires. With help from a magical genie, Aladdin goes head-to-head with an evil sorcerer and finds a way to “A Whole New World.”
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Moulin Rouge! The Musical
As sultry, uninhibited performers prowl the stage in steamy fashion, the heat cranks up before the first note of this musical based on the Baz Lurhmann movie. The eponymous Parisian nightclub, brought dazzlingly to life, is the backdrop for a pop hit-fueled love story of Satine, a courtesan and club headliner, and Christian, a struggling writer. Can they outdo a possessive Duke who wants her for himself? “Love Is a Battlefield” – and worth fighting for.
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A story with an iceberg sounds like an unlikely vehicle to dodge the cold. But this musical spoof of the Oscar-winning Titanic, and cheeky salute to the hit songs and vocal stylings of superstar Celine Dion, will definitely float your boat. The story unfolds at the Titanic Museum, where Dion inserts herself into the action and reveals what actually happened to the cinematic lovebirds Jack and Rose. Cue the power ballads and rapid-fire jokes.
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Note for note and groove for groove, this glitzy, compact musical celebrating the wives of Henry VIII is one of the tightest and brightest shows on Broadway. The Tudor wives stage a six-way vocal throwdown for the throne. Whoever suffered the most while wed to Henry VIII becomes the jewel in the crown — that is, the group’s lead singer. Six is hot stuff and a ton of fun to get down to.
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You can expect temperatures to rise in the underworld. That’s where Orpheus goes to retrieve his true love, Eurydice, in Anaïs Mitchell’s Tony Award-winning best musical that summons fresh delights and insights from an ancient Greek myth. In an evocative score that combines elements of folk and jazz music, the haunting number “Wait for Me” stands out. You’ll be too busy thinking about it to even consider the cold.
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The Book of Mormon
Nothing like a cold snap to make sunny Orlando beckon. That Florida hotspot is where Elder Price, a Mormon missionary, hopes he’ll be sent. Instead he’s assigned alongside Elder Cunningham to a remote (and equally warm) village in Uganda. Converting the locals doesn’t come easy, but laughs do in this decidedly uncensored musical. Did those characters really say that? They did! Did you forget your winter blues? You will.
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Winter’s shorter days can lead to a slump, but this pop jukebox musical provides an instant pick-me-up. The starting point for this show is as simple as it is ingenious: Suppose Shakespeare’s Juliet didn’t kill herself after Romeo died. Then what? New adventures, romances, and life lessons await. It’s impossible to feel sluggish when Max Martin’s chart-topping hits (originally sung by artists like Britney Spears and Bon Jovi) just keep coming in this zippy romp.
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Little Shop of Horrors
Skid Row seems like an unlikely place to find a respite from the cold and dreariness of winter. But theatre is all about surprises. So is this madcap sci-fi flavored musical that follows the budding romance between geeky florist Seymour and his coworker Audrey, and the alien man-eating plant that comes between them. If you can’t be somewhere that’s warm, this show at least takes you “Somewhere That’s Green.”
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The Play That Goes Wrong
Forget your troubles, come on, get happy. That’s the point of this Mischief Theatre comedy now running Off-Broadway following a Tony-winning Broadway run. It’s about an amateur acting troupe performing a murder mystery that encounters Murphy’s Law – if it can go wrong, it does go wrong. That includes collapsing sets, botched lines, and missed cues. It’s murder on them – and hilarious for you. Look for more Mischief Theatre shenanigans when Peter Pan Goes Wrong hits Broadway in March.
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The Lion King
Next stop, far-off – and far warmer – Africa. That’s where lion cub Simba confronts his evil uncle and his destiny in this family-friendly, Tony-winning take on the animated Disney classic. The show’s eye-popping puppet parade sets the stage for hummable songs like “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.”
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