While there are some tried and true, long running Broadway shows out there, new shows are being added pretty frequently. Whether you’re planning a trip to New York or London, or you’re waiting for the perfect show to hit the big time, here is our list of the best 10 new Broadway or West End shows. From Manhattan to Leicester Square, here are the best new shows playing on the big stages.
Disney has been very successful in bringing its stories to the Broadway stage. Long running The Lion King is testament to that. However, the company decided to bring a new musical to the stage. It’s based on a 1992 Disney film of the same name, and follows the real-life newsboy strike against Joseph Pulitzer in 1899. This family friendly play is meant to entertain and to educate.
2. Beautiful — The Carole King Musical
This biographical jukebox musical debuted in 2014. It stars Jessie Mueller as Carole King, and follows King’s beginnings as a singer in her native Brooklyn. By all accounts, Mueller’s voice is just as warm and captivating as the voice of the woman she portrays. This play runs until December 31, 2014.
3. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
This play made its Broadway debut in late 2013, and is now back for a run from August to December of this year. The musical is a comedy loosely based on the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets. One actor, Jefferson Mays, plays eight characters, all members of the same family. Time Out calls the play the “undisputed king of musical comedy.”
Debuted on Broadway in March of this year, If/Then is a musical that follows the parallel “what if?” scenarios in one woman’s life. Idina Menzel, of Wicked and Glee fame, stars in this play. The premise is to show a series of alternate paths based on potential different decisions or actions in her life.
5. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Audra McDonald stars in this musical as Billie Holiday. Singing some of Holiday’s more popular songs, the play centers around the jazz singer’s final days. It is set during a 1950’s concert, and shares some parallels with another play, Lady Day, which premiered in the fall of 2013 off Broadway. It runs until October 5, 2014.
On the West End
6. The Crucible
Though the play, by Arthur Miller and based on the Salem witch trials, is not new, the West End production certainly is. Richard Amitage, currently enjoying fame for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit franchise, stars as John Proctor in this three-and-a-half hour long show. It’s on until September 13, 2014.
This drama comes from the Greek playwright Euripides, and follows the tragic story of the titular character Medea, whose descent into semi-madness leads her to commit all kinds of atrocities. While the show has a running time of only 90 minutes, that hour and a half is action packed and full of dramatic moments.
8. Julius Caesar
Though this Shakespeare play is not new in and of itself, it has gotten new life on the West End with a new cast, director, and venue. Playing, appropriately, at Shakespeare’s Globe, the play delivers much of what it would have when performed back in Shakespeare’s days.
9. Bring Up the Bodies
This play is based on the popular novel of the same name by Hilary Mantel, whose Wolf Hall was also a big success. Set in England, the play (as a part of the novel trilogy) follows the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell. Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, and of course Henry VIII are other famous historical figures that make an appearance in this thrilling play.
10. The Pajama Game
Set in the 1950’s, this play opens on factory workers at a pajama plant. The musical numbers are diverse, and the dialogue is witty and quick. From dates to worker demands for a pay raise, the musical is lively and sure to please any theater-goers.
Featured photo credit: iwillbehomesoon via flickr.com