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5 Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows That Rock

Category Broadway

|by David Sheward |

Rock out on Broadway

Many theatergoers still think of Broadway as the home of lilting Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-inspired tunes. But for the past few decades, rock is as much a part of Broadway as traditional melodies. From jukebox shows featuring legendary stars to rock-and-roll musicals, here are five shows that know how to keep a beat.

Rock out to Jimmy Buffett in the new musical ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Rock out to Jimmy Buffett in the new musical ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

School of Rock
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber presents the perfect show for rock-loving kids and adults. Based on the hit 2003 film, this buoyant comedy is a celebration for the whole family. When wannabe punk star Dewey Finn assumes his best friend’s substitute teacher credentials for extra cash, he finds the perfect band among the repressed middle schoolers at snooty Horace Mann Academy. Dewey learns responsibility while the students learn to let go and have fun as they prepare for an epic Battle of the Bands. The child actors actually play their own instruments.

Escape to Margaritaville
Need a break from the urban grind? The seductive songs of Jimmy Buffett will take you to a tropical paradise in this all-new musical about living the life you want and finding your own escape. The book by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl, Raising Hope) and Emmy Award nominee Mike O’Malley (Survivors Remorse, Shameless) centers on the unlikely romance between a free-spirited bartender and a career-minded tourist. Classic Buffett odes to relaxation including “Come Monday,” “Volcano” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” blend with new tunes to form the perfect getaway.

Modern rock meets elegant classical music in this unique attraction coming to Broadway direct from a hit run in Budapest. Five exquisite vocalists, backed by a full-sized symphony orchestra and choir, blend the pulse of such legendary rock figures as Queen, Journey, Led Zeppelin and The Who, with the beauty of Beethoven, Strauss and Puccini. Broadway will never be the same.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Now in its fourth year and having run over 1,700 performances, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical continues to make the earth move for fans of the iconic singer-songwriter. King went from writing Top 40 hits for such groups as The Drifters, The Shirelles and The Monkees to performing her own material and becoming the voice of her generation. The musical follows her meteoric rise and troubled marriage to her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin to coming into her own as a solo artist. The score is filled with such King hits as “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Locomotion” and “Natural Woman” as well as those of her friends, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “We Gotta Get Outta This Place.”

Jersey Boys
The Tony-winning Best Musical of 2006 is now rocking out at the intimate Off-Broadway New World Stages. The intense and fascinating story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is now closer than ever. You’ll feel as if their smash hits “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Sherry” and many others are being sung directly to you. Watch as a street-corner doo-wop group from Newark, New Jersey, becomes one of the hottest acts in show business, then splits up after hitting the heights – and finally comes back together.

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