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The 7 Best Broadway Shows to See This Back To School Season

Category Broadway

|by Mark Robinson |


Fall 2019 on Broadway will be full of family-friendly fare

School may not be back in session quite yet, but there is still a touch of summer left before kids resign themselves to days spent indoors, writing essays, practicing algebra and doing homework. In that time that is left, why not catch a Broadway show that will delight your child or teen, and maybe even inspire them with important messages they can take to school with them? Here are a few Broadway shows we think will be a perfect way to spend one or two of those fading days of summer. 

The cast of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

The cast of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Most kids grow up up reading J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular Harry Potter books, or seeing the movies, or they are just poised to discover them. What better way to celebrate reading and encourage it than to take the kids to see a show inspired by it? Set at the world’s most-amazing school of witchcraft and wizardry Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will prove a magical outing before your own wizards and witches head back to school. The action of the two-part play (purchase includes separate tickets for both parts) takes place after the Rowling novels have concluded, continuing the story of Harry, his friends and his offspring.

Aladdin
How about taking the kids for one last big adventure, complete with all-powerful genies and magic carpet rides, before they must settle-in behind a desk to learn reading, writing and arithmetic? Themes of friendship, loyalty and discovering your self-worth are laced through the Disney musical Aladdin. Aladdin’s adventures will give them something to daydream about on those snowed-in, wintery days.

Mean Girls
For step-by-step lessons in how to rule the school and achieve popularity, Mean Girls will want to be at the top of your list. Cady Heron turned to the “Plastics” in order to go from wannabe to “Queen Bee,” shedding her dignity and kindness along the way, ultimately realizing and rectifying her mistake. Mean Girls is a great reminder that being a true friend should outweigh our need to be admired, and a perfect message to carry back to the locker-lined hallways of high school.

Frozen
For the younger kids (and those who are still a kid at heart), Disney’s Frozen is a perfect way to wrap up summer. The musical offers so much in the way of positive messages about sisterhood, true love and empowerment. And let’s not forget how much the kiddies love to belt out that Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez song “Let It Go.” Put a cap on the heat of summer by entering the icy cold world of Elsa, Anna and Olaf.

To Kill A Mockingbird
It is no secret that Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the most-taught novels in American high schools. Why not get a head start on that literature course and take-in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaption of the piece? The story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer and widowed father who sets out to teach his kids about kindness and equality in the face of a world that seems to have lost its humanity is guaranteed to get their minds thinking and their empathy stoked.

Hadestown
Speaking of high school English classes, somewhere along the way students will most likely study mythology. A thrilling way to introduce them to characters like Orpheus, Eurydice, Hades, Persephone and Hermes would be to take in a performance of the musical Hadestown. Written entirely (book, music and lyrics) by Anaïs Mitchell, the unconventional spin on these tales is staged with glorious poetry by Rachel Chavkin. It also happens to be the 2019 Tony winner for Best Musical.

Dear Evan Hansen
Arguably, the most quintessential musical on Broadway that explores the realities behind trying to fit in in high school is Dear Evan Hansen. Through a series of growing lies, the title character finds a way to break out of his shell and make a connection in a world where he has, thus far, felt like he was “on the outside always looking in.” It isn’t until he faces life with honesty and self-acceptance that he finally moves toward happiness.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October, 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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