The best Broadway musicals and New York shows for date night
There's nothing more romantic that a night on the town at a Broadway show. Here are some of our recommendations for the best shows to see with your date.
Dinner and a movie is the go-to formula for a romantic night out, but why not elevate the special occasion with dinner and a Broadway show? Take your date to the heart of New York City. You can take in a film anywhere, but a Broadway night is unique to the city that never sleeps.
Whether you’re looking for a musical comedy or song and dance, a classic or a jukebox musical, New York theatre is your ticket to date night. The fun doesn’t begin and end with the rise and fall of the curtain — complete your Broadway date night with a pre-show meal or post-show cocktails. There’s nothing better than the thrill of a night on the town. Here are some of the best Broadway shows for date night.
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Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet might not be a love story to aspire to, considering how much tragedy happens by the end. But the musical & Juliet gives the story a much more upbeat and truly romantic twist. Instead of dying when Romeo does, Juliet grabs her friends and goes on a trip to Paris, where they all get a new shot at love.
Their story is set to 30 modern pop hits, including fan-favorite love songs like Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and the Backstreet Boys' "As Long as You Love Me."
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When we think of romance, we think of The Notebook. Nicholas Sparks's bestselling novel-turned-movie starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams continues capture the hearts of new audiences with the story of Noah and Allie, who fight for their love all their lives as they keep getting pulled apart.
The Notebook is the perfect show to take any date to, and fan-favorite moments like a kiss in the rain will certainly up the romantic mood. That said, you might also want to bring tissues (or buy a box at the theatre).
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Friendship is at the center of Wicked, but there’s also a tangle of romance when the students of Shiz pair up for the school’s dance at the Ozdust Ballroom — and the outcast Elphaba finds herself falling unexpectedly in love. The musical, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name, is prequel to Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
Wicked — with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman — follows the unlikely friendship between Elphaba (better known as the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda the Good Witch of the South, long before Dorothy Gale ventures to Oz. There’s music and there’s magic, and sparks are sure to fly.
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Street urchin Aladdin’s adoration of Princess Jasmine and their budding romance is one of the greatest Disney love stories. The stage adaptation of the 1992 film adds even more flair, with choreography, dozens of special effects, and hundreds of costumes. If you’re looking to impress with a “wow” factor come date night, look no further than Aladdin, which features a flying magic carpet to accompany the much-loved tune “A Whole New World.”
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Hadestown is based on one of the original love stories — the ancient Greek myth about Orpheus’s journey to the underworld to find and rescue his love, Eurydice. The music by composer and lyricist Anaïs Mitchell is folksy, channeling the jazz of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
The songs help this age-old story transcend time, and even if you know how the myth ends, you’ll be transported by the young lovers’ story. Directed by director Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown took home the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2019 and has since become one of the best date night Broadway shows.
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Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Moulin Rouge! The Musical transports audiences to the Moulin Rouge, a cabaret in Montmartre neighborhood of Paris. The romantic jukebox musical, based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, follows a young poet who falls in love with Satine, an actress and courtesan at the Moulin Rouge.
You and your date will hear a packed songlist with pop music from artists including Katy Perry, P!nk, and Britney Spears. Perhaps best of all is scenic designer Derek McLane’s attention-grabbing set, with a heart-shaped proscenium. Long live l'amour.
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Do you want to really impress your date? Bring them to the Richard Rodgers Theatre to see Hamilton. Lin Manuel-Miranda’s much-lauded show, which has won 11 Tony Awards, is a hip-hop musical that tells the story of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton.
Alexander’s rise as a military commander, lawyer, and statesman was helped in part by his wife, Eliza Schuyler, and their love story is a central part of this narrative, even though their marriage wasn't always smooth. The musical offers moments to bop and to cheer and, yes, to hold hands. Plus, you can impress your date by learning the lyrics and rapping as fast as the actors (after the show, of course).
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If you want to spice things up, go see the long-running Chicago. The story may start out with romances gone wrong, but razzle-dazzling costumes and Fosse’s iconic, seductive choreography are sure to bring pizzazz to date night anyway.
The musical — with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse — is a tale of crime and showbiz. Set in 1920s jazz-age Chicago, the story centers on the trials of wannabe show girl Roxie Hart and vaudeville star Velma Kelly, who compete for the sympathy of the press and the public to get acquitted of murder charges.
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The Book of Mormon
If your date has a sense of humor, look no further than The Book of Mormon, the musical comedy that changed the game when it arrived on Broadway in 2011. The show is penned by Robert Lopez, known for Avenue Q, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the duo behind the animated comedy South Park. The show follows two Mormon missionaries as they travel to Uganda to preach the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon is packed with laughs and is sure to provide a fun night out.
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Ever wished you could experience the love story of Jack and Rose with a little more laughter? Titanique is for you. You and your date are sure to have a boatload of fun at this campy, zany musical reimagining of James Cameron's Titanic movie, set to the hit songs of Celine Dion. Let your and your date's hearts go on to this critically acclaimed show.
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Little Shop of Horrors
Before a flesh-eating plant gets in the way, the romance between nerdy flower shop worker Seymour and the beautiful but sad Audrey is actually quite sweet. The cult classic horror comedy musical offers a date night with bite — literally. If you're sitting in the front when the jaws of Audrey II (the flesh-eating plant) come snapping, you'll have an excuse to take cover in your date's arms.
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New York love stories can start in all sorts of places. In the case of John Patrick Shanley's new play, one starts at a laundromat. Cecily Strong plays a woman who falls in love with her neighborhood laundromat's owner (David Zayas) — a small occurrence that makes a big impact on both their lives. Considering that Shanley is the Oscar-winning writer of the iconic romance film Moonstruck, we're certain that Brooklyn Laundry is a great date-night option, too.
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