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The Top 10 New Broadway Shows for Teens

Category Broadway

|by Mikey Miller |

From rocking revivals to jukebox musicals to movie adaptations

Taking a trip into New York City, and unsure about what kind of Broadway show your teen will enjoy? Luckily, more than a few shows premiering this year were clearly crafted with teens in mind. We at ShowTickets have rounded up some of the up-and-coming Broadway musicals of this season that might just satisfy the palate of your adolescent critic.

'Beetlejuice' took center stage as one of the top shows for teens this season (Matthew Murphy)

'Beetlejuice' took center stage as one of the top shows for teens this season (Matthew Murphy)

Ain’t Too Proud
The jukebox-musical-based-on-musicians trend is still going strong with this season’s new additions. Ain’t Too Proud is the story of the Temptations, a Motown and R&B vocal group from the ‘60s and ‘70s that Billboard has called “the greatest R&B group of all time.” It’s more than likely that your teens are familiar with many of the Temptations’ timeless songs – such as “My Girl” and “Shout” – but are unable to attribute them to their source. Experience the music of your childhood in this new way, while also exposing your teen to the people who made it all happen.

Everyone’s favorite demon is coming to Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre. Beetlejuice is the story of a recently deceased couple who come back as ghosts to haunt the new residents of their former home, employing Beetlejuice’s spooky skills to scare the family away permanently. Bring your teen to see this version of the Tim Burton movie they may very well have loved in their own childhoods, and even if they haven’t seen the movie, who doesn’t love stories about the world beyond?

A new version of the millennia-old Orpheus and Eurydice myth arrived on Broadway in spring 2019 to the tune of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Based on the 2010 Anaïs Mitchell album of the same name, Hadestown is set in a Great Depression-inspired, post-apocalyptic world. Your teen will love Mitchell’s folksy score set to the myth they probably have studied at some point in their high school career. Be warned, though: This show isn’t anything like Disney’s Hercules (a stage musical adaptation of which premiered in summer 2019). Catch this timeless love story at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Jagged Little Pill
Slated for a Broadway production in the fall of 2019, this new musical features the hits of ‘90s singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette and a book by screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), and the on-the-horizon show is one teens won’t want to miss. The story follows a suburban family whose members grapple with addiction, adoption, racial and gender identity and sexual assault. While the subject matter is certainly for mature audiences only, the show’s honesty with regards to both hot-button issues, and the challenges of growing up, will likely appeal to teens, who are clearly the core audience. With rock-infused songs like “Ironic” and “You Oughta Know,” Jagged Little Pill is meant to speak to the teenage angst in all of us.  

The Lightning Thief
Your teen’s favorite demigod has come to Broadway! The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, the story of Percy Jackson, a normal boy who suddenly finds out after a magical school trip that he is actually the son of a Greek god, is based on the first novel in Rick Riordan’s incredibly popular book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The Lightning Thief took an unusual route to Broadway, having begun its life in an off-Broadway run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre before embarking on a national tour and finding its home at the Great White Way at the Longacre Theatre. Starring Chris McCarrell (Les Misérables, NBC’s Peter Pan Live!), The Lightning Thief is an incredible way for you to get your teenager to enjoy a Broadway musical while indulging in adventure, the power of friendship, a consistent slew of astounding theatre magic, and the multitudinous mythological Greek deities that comprise Camp Half-Blood. Hurry, though; The Lightning Thief’s run on Broadway is limited, and it must close on Jan. 5.

Moulin Rouge!
After the long-running hit Kinky Boots closed, Moulin Rouge! had some big shoes to fill in the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and critics and audiences agree that it certainly has. Based on the two-time Academy Award-winning movie of the same name and set in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, Moulin Rouge! is the story of an English composer who falls in love with a French cabaret singer. This musical is beyond unique in that it not only incorporates pop songs used in the film, but it also includes hits that have been written since the film’s premiere 18 years ago. If your teen likes pop music and lavish spectacles, Moulin Rouge! is the musical for them.

This groundbreaking musical has returned to Broadway in a way you’ve never seen before. Coming off a sold-out run at Brooklyn’s St. Ann Warehouse, this production of Oklahoma! celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. This Oklahoma! is a completely immersive experience, playing in the Circle in the Square Theatre (Broadway’s only theater in the round), and serving chili and cornbread at intermission (what teenager doesn’t like a meal?). To top it all off, the classic musical theater score has been revised into new pop, rock and country arrangements.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
What’s love got to do with this musical? Practically everything! Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, the most recent in a steady stream of biographical jukebox musicals about musicians’ lives, is currently playing the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre after an Olivier-nominated run on the West End in London. With Tony nominee Adrienne Warren (Shuffle Along, Bring It On) in the title role of famed singer Tina Turner, Tina is an exploration of the pop and rock idol’s life and how she found her way from being a young girl in the small, rural town of Nutbush, Tennessee, where she was looked after by her grandmother, all the way to her prolific music career that has spanned over six decades. Whether or not your teen is a Tina fan, they won’t be able to resist getting up on their feet and dancing along to numbers such as “Proud Mary,” “Better Be Good to Me,” and “The Best.”

Rounding out great musicals for teens this season is Tootsie, the musical based on the 1982 Dustin Hoffman-led movie of the same name. Tootsie is the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented yet incredibly obnoxious and difficult actor whose reputation has put him out of work. Therefore, he’s forced to disguise himself as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, to try to rebuild his place in the industry. Your teen will love the laugh-out-loud comedy of this story and will definitely recognize Tony-winning lead actor Santino Fontana (best known for lending his voice to the character of Hans in Disney’s Frozen). Head on over to the Marquis Theatre starting on March 29, to see this gem of a show.

West Side Story
One of Broadway’s most prolific love stories returns to the Great White Way for the fifth time next month on December 10. Based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is the tale of Tony and Maria, star-crossed lovers who can never be together because they are associated with rival gangs on the Upper West Side during the mid-1950s. Often regarded as one of the greatest musicals ever written, West Side Story features music by the spectacular Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by the inimitable Stephen Sondheim, whose musical Company is also enjoying a Broadway revival this season in honor of his ninetieth birthday. West Side Story is noted for its iconic use of dance as storytelling, and acclaimed director Ivo van Hove (Network, The Crucible) has revealed that he is putting his own twist on the story, reducing the full-length musical to a ninety-minute one-act experience meant to mimic the fast pace at which its events unfold. You and your teen are definitely not going to want to miss this modern take on this explosive, history-making work of musical theater.

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