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, a Broadway date night is complete with a pre-show meal and 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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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 when 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 to 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 quickly become one of the best date night Broadway shows.
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The Phantom of the Opera
There’s a reason The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show on Broadway — and a top contender among Broadway shows for date night. The musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber is about a musical genius who prowls a 19th-century opera house in Paris and pines after a chorus girl there named Christine. It is a tragic love story, complete with opulent costumes and special effects, including pyrotechnics and the show-stopping swinging chandelier. The Majestic Theatre, where the production has been playing since 1988, is one of the biggest houses on Broadway and fits this larger-than-life production.
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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 English poet who falls in love with Satine, an actress and courtesan at the cabaret. 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. L'amour.
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Do you want to take things to the next level? Bring your date 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 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 wanna-be show girl Roxie Hart and vaudeville star Velma Kelly, who both are in Cook County Jail accused of murder. Fosse’s iconic choreography, and the razzle-dazzle costumes, are sure to bring pizzazz to date night.
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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. It is packed with laughs and is sure to provide a fun night out.
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Broadway Speakeasy: Julianne Hough in Concert
Looking for a theatre-inspired date night beyond Broadway? Dress up for a glamorous date night at Broadway Speakeasy. This concert series takes place at the Paradise Club in Times Square, and it covers a "dinner-and-a-show" date all in one place with food and drinks on offer throughout the night. The latest Broadway Speakeasy event features Emmy Award winner Julianne Hough — known for Dancing With the Stars, Grease Live, and POTUS on Broadway — in a limited concert series in December. With singing, storytelling, and dancing, Hough celebrates the holiday season and the spirit of New York City.
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