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Best Broadway Shows for Teens

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Published on: Nov 6, 2022
Last Updated on: Apr 30, 2024
By: Kathryn Willingham
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Best Broadway Shows for Teens

Are you a teenager looking for a ticket to a Broadway show in New York City? Or maybe you’re a parent looking for a show that both you and your musical theatre loving teen will enjoy. We’ve got you covered. Recent hits like Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away may have closed, but there are so many more plays and musicals to choose from, you’re sure to find the best Broadway show for you! 

Musicals

And-Juliet-Stephen-Sondheim

& Juliet

& Juliet asks the question, what would happen if Juliet didn’t end it all over Romeo? The answer comes with a score of pop anthems and hits, including “Roar,” “Baby One More Time,” “Larger Than Life,” “Since U Been Gone,” and “I Kissed a Girl.” This Broadway musical is directed by Luke Sheppard and has a book by David West Read and music by Max Martin & friends. Variety said this “Shakespearean musical is like a shot of pure gold…‘& Juliet’ is exactly the show Broadway needs right now: fun, exuberant, supremely joyful, hilarious, and excellently performed by a talented and diverse cast.”

Why teenagers will love & Juliet: Romeo and Juliet is the story of star-crossed lovers doomed to tragedy…but come on, we’ve all thought it: why does it have to end that way? & Juliet takes the story we all know and turns it on its head. Not to mention it includes songs from Max Martin that will have you dancing in the aisles. It’s the perfect blend of irreverence and heart and makes for a night out that’s truly fun.

Aladdin

Aladdin

Aladdin, based on the beloved Disney movie of the same name, has been playing on Broadway since 2014 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Revisit your favorite characters and songs (music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin) and get ready for that magic carpet ride in this musical that the Wall Street Journal said has “a terrific star, super-duper sets and sensational special effect.”

Why teenagers will love Aladdin: Who doesn’t love Disney? Aladdin is one of Disney’s most popular movies, and the stage show is no different. Hear your favorite songs, and enjoy that truly astonishing magic carpet ride. You won’t believe how they make it fly.

Back to the Future at the Winter Garden Theatre

Back to the Future

Back to the Future, based on the beloved film of the same name, comes to Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre after a hit run on the West End in London. This musical has music by Alan Silvestri, lyrics by Glen Ballard, and book by Bob Gale. In addition to new original music, it will feature the hits The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel, and Back in Time from the movie! The Evening Standard called it “enormous fun…a near-seamless slice of escapist entertainment.”

Why teenagers will love Back to the Future: The story is fun, the music is catchy, and it’s something parents and teenagers can enjoy together. And that car? When the DeLorean time travels, it’s truly something to behold.

walter-kerr-theatre-hadestown

Hadestown

Hadestown won eight Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical and tells the story of the Greek myths of Orpheus, Eurydice, Persephone, and Hades. With book, music, and lyrics by Anaïs Mitchell and direction by Rachel Chavkin, Time Out New York called the score “a joyful combination of folk, pop, Dixieland and blues that will make you want to rehear it as soon as the lights come up.”

Why teenagers will love Hadestown: Hadestown is a sweeping romance with gorgeous songs. And the story will take you literally to hell and back.

Hamilton-Broadway-Musical

Hamilton

Hamilton, with book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, plays at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and has become a global juggernaut. Following the life of Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers, this musical won eleven Tony Awards including the Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. The New York Timessaid, “Yes, it really is that good… I am loath to tell people to mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets to a hit Broadway show. But ‘Hamilton,’ directed by Thomas Kail…might just about be worth it.”

Why teenagers will love Hamilton: Where to begin? There’s a reason Hamilton is still one of the most talked-about musicals even though it first started on Broadway back in 2015. Its mix of musical styles (pop, rock, musical theater, rap, and soul) and its heartfelt story about the founding fathers make this one of the most enduring and best-selling musicals on Broadway.

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors plays off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre and has become a huge hit. This cult classic musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken features a man-eating plant, sadistic dentist, and sweet shopkeeper with a crush on his colleague. The New York Times said, “A certain carnivorous plant has been repotted in Hell’s Kitchen, and I am delighted to report that it’s thriving there…[Michael] Mayer’s interpretation summons the shivery elation I felt seeing ‘Shop’ at the East Village’s Orpheum Theatre nearly four decades earlier. It restores the show to its original scale and sensibility, reminding us of the special potency of grisly things that come in small, impeccably wrapped packages.”

Why teenagers will love Little Shop of Horrors: This show has it all: a man-eating plant, a sadistic dentist, young love, and killer songs. And with a rotating cast of stars (Darren Criss, Jonathan Groff, Jeremy Jordan, Corbin Bleu, Maude Apatow, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jinkx Monsoon have all starred in this production), this is a musical worth seeing again and again.

Neil-Simon-MJ-Musical

MJ: The Musical

MJ: The Musical is a jukebox musical featuring the songs of Michael Jackson, including “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “I’ll Be There,” and “Smooth Criminal.” With a book by Lynn Nottage and direction and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, it follows Michael as he prepares for his 1992 Dangerous World Tour. The Hollywood Reporter said that “MJ, like its subject, is captivating and hard to shake.”

Why teenagers will love MJ: the Musical: The dancing! MJ has some of the most impressive choreography on Broadway and its no wonder – it takes inspiration from and recreates some of Michael Jackson’s most famous dance moves.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on the Baz Luhrmann film of the same name and follows poet Christian and his relationship with performer Satine at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. This jukebox musical won ten Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical and is full of pop anthems like “Lady Marmalade,” “Firework,” “All You Need is Love,” “Bad Romance,” and “Chandelier.” The New York Times said the musical “offers a party, and a playlist, for the Ages. Forbidden pleasures abound in this spectacular musical.”

Why teenagers will love Moulin Rouge! The Musical: The set is ravishing – the musical recreates the Moulin Rouge cabaret, complete with windmill, and the results will amaze you. Add in your favorite pop songs, great choreography, and a love story that will sweet you off your feet, and you have the recipe for a great night out.

Six-musical-broadway

Six

Six tells the story of Henry VIII’s wives – but this historical remix puts them in the spotlight. Come to Times Square and rock out with these six Queens. Nominated for eight Tony Awards, and winning the Tony Award for Best Original Score with music and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Variety says this musical has “the spirit-lifting energy of an arena concert [and] the humor and sass of a special sisterhood… this ‘Six’ is a solid ‘10’ for joy.”

Why teenagers will love Six: Six is girl power all the way. These six queens live up to their titles and give a powerhouse performance that brings the house down every night. Flipping the narrative to focus on the Queens themselves rather than on Henry VIII, you may already know some of their stories (Anne Boleyn is arguably the most famous), but together, they make an unmissable music with the style of a pop concert.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street plays at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre starring Aaron Tveit as Sweeney and Sutton Foster as Mrs. Lovett. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, and direction from Thomas Kail, this Broadway revival is performed with a 26-player orchestra. The New York Times said of the original production, “There is more artistic energy, creative personality and plain excitement in 'Sweeney Todd' than in a dozen average musicals.”

Why teenagers will love Sweeney Todd: Its darkly comic tone is a crowd-pleaser, and the over-the-top story about a murderous barber seeking revenge with his landlady accomplice who turns his victims into meat pies creates a salacious story sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

Book-of-Mormon

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway in 2011 with book, music, and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are best known for creating the tv show “South Park,” while Robert Lopez is known for hits like Avenue Q and Frozen. This irreverent and hilarious musical follows a group of Mormons missionaries who try to preach their message in Uganda. The New York Times wrote that the musical is “blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak. But trust me when I tell you that its heart is as pure as that of a Rodgers and Hammerstein show.”

Why teenagers will love The Book of Mormon: The Book of Mormon has been running on Broadway since 2011, and it’s not hard to see why. From the creators of South Park, it won’t surprise you to learn that The Book of Mormon is very, very funny. But how much heart it has will surprise you. And the creatives made some updates to musical when the show reopened after Covid shut down Broadway in 2020. If you’ve already seen it, come back and see it again. It is, dare we say, even funnier.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one of the most studied novels in the high school curriculum. Now the musical adaptation plays at the Broadway Theatre with a book by Kait Kerrigan, music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, choreography by Dominique Kelley, and direction from Marc Bruni. Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada, perhaps best known for their roles in Newsies and Hadestown respectively, return for the Broadway production after the sold-out run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse that BroadwayWorld “phenomenal [and] destined to become a treasured addition to American musical theatre.” Set in 1920s New York and exploring the meaning of the American Dream, The Great Gatsby follows Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, and their interactions with the millionaire Jay Gatsby.

Why teenagers will love The Great Gatsby: It’s the book you were forced to read at school (and maybe loved!), and now you can see it in a whole new way with Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) and Eva Noblezada (Hadestown) singing about that iconic green light and the American Dream.

Lion-King-Broadway

The Lion King

The Lion King, based on the beloved Disney movie, has been playing on Broadway since 1997 and is still selling out at the Minskoff Theatre and for good reason. Including all your favorite songs with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, this musical also has original songs written for the stage and truly magical stagecraft. The New York Times said, “there is simply nothing else like it.”

Why teenagers will love The Lion King: You’ve seen the movie, and the songs you already know are sung to perfection. The new songs written exclusively for the musical are just as good, and the first ten minutes of the show will have you awestruck as you watch hundreds of animals gather to celebrate the birth of Simba.

The Outsiders at the Bernard B Jacobs Theatre

The Outsiders

The Outsiders, based on the novel of the same name by S.E. Hinton, follows Ponyboy Curtis, his best friend Johnny Cade, and the rivalry between the Greasers and the Socs. With a book by Adam Rapp with Justin Levine, music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine, and direction by Danya Taymor, this musical about growing up, family, and acceptance was called “an exciting adaption…[and] an impressive new musical” by BroadwayWorld.

Why teenagers will love The Outsiders: The Outsiders is all about teenagers. Based on the popular book of the same name, its cast portrays the wealthy Socs and the less affluent Greasers in a story that confronts growing up, masculinity, and class divides. If you liked West Side Story, you’ll love this.

The Wiz at the Marquis Theatre

The Wiz

The Wiz has enjoyed a national tour before finally landing on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre. This retelling of The Wizard of Oz first played on Broadway in 1975, and now its back in a production directed by Schele Williams with a book by William F. Brown, music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, additional material by Amber Ruffin, and choreography by JaQuel Knight. Come see the show that DC Theater Arts said “enthralls with its mind-bending projections, slick choreography, standout performances, and hip-hop flavor.”

Why teenagers will love The Wiz: Just like Wicked, The Wiz is set in the world of Oz, but this time Dorothy’s from Harlem and trying to get back home to Manhattan. Come watch her “ease on down the road” as she makes her way to meet…The Wiz.

Gershwin-Wicked-Broadway-Musical

Wicked

Wicked is one of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters and has been selling out shows since it debuted on Broadway in 2003. Before there was a wicked witch, Dorothy, and Toto, there was Shiz University. Come learn how Glinda came to be called good and Elphaba came to be called…Wicked. The Observer said, “Wicked [is] an irresistible extravaganza of music, magic, artistry and enchantment. The delightful score by Stephen Schwartz, the lavish sets by Eugene Lee, the creative staging by Joe Mantello and the clever book by Winnie Holzman all conspire to keep Oz fanatics on the edge of their seats with suspense, fascination and laughter.”

Why teenagers will love Wicked: Wicked has become a global sensation, and the new film adaptation is sure to make it even more Popular (pun absolutely intended). This Oz-set story about The Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West has enthralled audiences of all ages.

Plays

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child written by Jack Thorne with story by J.K. Rowling and direction by John Tiffany has some truly awe-inspiring stage magic. Find yourself back at Hogwarts 19 years after Harry, Ron, and Hermione defeated Voldemort. The New York Times called it “diamond-sharp in its staging and dazzling in its visual imagination, as magical as any spell or potion.”

Why teenagers will love Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Magic, magic, magic. The creatives have really made the wizarding world come to life, and you won’t believe what they’re able to do. The spells are truly mind-blowing.

Broadway Shows for Kids

Are you looking to buy tickets for family-friendly shows for younger audience members? Check out our article on the Best Broadway Shows for Kids!

Kathryn Willingham

Head of Creative Development at Jean Doumanian Productions

Kathryn Willingham has worked in entertainment for over ten years, and recent credits include: Co-producer of SHRINK currently streaming on Peacock, Associate Producer of the independent film UNA, and Creative Executive on multiple theatrical productions including HANGMEN by Martin McDonagh on Broadway, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour Off-broadway and Associate on productions EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble. She was Producer of Todd Almond’s musical travelogue “Wyoming and Parts of Kansas” and Production Coordinator for Karen O and KK Barrett's “Stop the Virgens.”

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Education: B.A. in English, Literature & Creative Writing from Rhodes College
Knowledge: Theatrical Production

Published

Nov 6, 2022

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