Dr. Jen's Musical Theater Bucket List
If you love musical theater, I bet you have a musical theater bucket list, even if you haven’t formally written one out. Below is my musical theater bucket list along with a list of my favorite musicals of all time. What’s on your musical theater bucket list?
Note: If the text is green, you can click it to read Jen's related review.
Dr. Jen's Musical Theater Bucket List
Matilda the Musical
Girl power meets catchy music sung in British accents! Looks delightful!
Dear Evan Hansen
I heard Ben Platt sing "Waving Through a Window," and now I need to see this show!
Come From Away
Musical story of a small town that became a temporary home for stranded travelers on September 11, 2001.
Ghost the Musical
After seeing a few great movies-turned-musicals, like Catch Me if You Can, Sister Act, and School of Rock, I’d like give these a try!
The story behind Peter Pan. Sounds magical!
I adore the 1997 animated version, especially the song "Journey to the Past." The Broadway show features this song and some new ones by the same team!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Inspired by the awe-inspiring movie. Need I say more?
I might be the only musical theater fan who hasn't seen it yet.
An a cappella musical inspired by the rhythms of New York City with music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez (songwriter for the Disney movie Frozen).
Based on the Disney movie Frozen, this Broadway version is guaranteed to be spectacular!
(no opening date yet)
Dr. Jen’s Favorite Musicals of All Time
[This list is not, nor is it meant to be, a list of the best musicals of all time.
It also isn't a list of all of the many musicals that I've seen, enjoyed, and would recommend.
Below are the musicals that I love so much that I want to run to the theatre and see them again.]
School of Rock
Adorable kids become a rock band with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber!
Jekyll and Hyde
The story of Jekyll and Hyde certainly doesn’t sound like musical-theater-material, but this turns out to be a great, but dark, show. The numbers "This Is The Moment" and "A New Life" are showstoppers.
ABBA songs, like "Money, Money, Money," "Dancing Queen," and "Take a Chance on Me," expertly woven into an engaging story.
Catch Me if You Can
A teen becomes a world class con artist. It’s a fun time, starting with the opening number, "Live in Living Color."
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
A young man whose brothers try to kill him becomes a celebrated hero. Despite the fratricide attempt, it turns out to be a good time! Funny songs, like "One More Angel In Heaven" and "Those Canaan Days."
A woman in the witness protection program (who has a larger-than-life personality) is hidden in a convent where she must pretend to be a nun. A fun musical. I walked out of the theater with "Raise Your Voice" stuck in my head!
Billy Elliot the Musical
Little boy who lives in a place where little boys are supposed to grow up to be coal miners, discovers his exceptional talent as a ballet dancer. The triple-threat talent of the boys who play Billy is impressive. The story is endearing. The songs, like "The Letter" and "Electricity," are touching.
A musical look at the troubles of some people in Paris. Sounds boring, but isn’t. Almost ever word is sung rather than spoken, and the music (with songs like "One Day More," "On My Own," and "Who Am I?") is epic!
Into the Woods
A retelling of children’s stories in a not-so-appropriate-for-children way. Inventive songs, like "Into the Woods" and "Your Fault." Fun story with an important message.
The Lion King
A lion grows from cub to king. I'm amazed by the creative, beautiful way that the animal characters can be portrayed by actors and puppeteers. The opening number, "Circle of Life," makes my heart swell.
A woman who has lost everything is forced to sell herself. A tragic story, but the music is beautiful. "The Last Night of the World," "I Still Believe," and "Bui-Doi" are heart-wrenching.
The Phantom of the Opera
A disfigured man haunts a theater. Eerie songs, like "Music of the Night" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again." Watching this show in a beautiful Broadway theater makes the story feel real!
An angry, orphaned little girl transforms herself and all those around her when she discovers a magical garden. Surprisingly funny. Beautiful songs, like "I Heard Someone Crying" and "Lily's Eyes."
A little girl uses her strong spirit to inspire others. The show is fun and uplifting. I love when the orphans sing "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile."
Beauty and the Beast
A young woman who is "different" finds her place in the world and meets her true love. This musical theater version of the 1991 Disney movie by the same name has some excellent songs that are not in the movie, like "Home" and "If I Can't Love Her." The Beast's transformation at the end of the show is magical!
Set before and during the Wizard of Oz story, this show offers up a possible back-story for some of the characters. In Wicked, Dorothy is not the star; she only sort-of makes an appearance. It’s interesting to get some “insight” into why the Wizard of Oz characters are how they are. Great songs, like "Popular," "Defying Gravity," and "For Good."
Young people living in NYC struggle with life and death. Not a feel-good musical, but the music is great, with songs like "Seasons of Love" and "Light My Candle."
See Dr. Jen's tips for scoring discount Broadway theater tickets here.