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Creative

Portrayals of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on Broadway

In honor of President’s Day, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable portrayals of two of America’s greatest leaders, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as seen on the Broadway stage. From stirring speeches to moments of vulnerability, these performances have brought history to life in uniquely theatrical ways.

George Washington in Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking 2015 musical “Hamilton” offers a fresh and dynamic portrayal of George Washington, depicted as a mentor and father figure to Alexander Hamilton through the Revolutionary War and his presidency. Christopher Jackson’s commanding presence and powerful vocals make Washington’s leadership palpable, particularly in the songs ‘Right Hand Man’ and ‘One Last Time.’

Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Lincoln Center Theater’s 1994 revival of Abe Lincoln in Illinois.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Robert E. Sherwood chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln from his humble beginnings to his presidency. Originally performed in 1938 and later revived in 1994 (with Sam Waterston’s Tony-nominated performance in the title role), it offers a poignant depiction of Lincoln’s journey, capturing his wit, wisdom, and the weight of his decisions during a tumultuous era in American history.

George Washington in 1776

In this Tony Award-winning musical, Washington’s presence looms large, even if he never appears on stage. As the Continental Congress debates independence, Washington’s leadership is felt through references and discussions about his character and actions, as well as in the reading of his dispatches from the battlefield. The musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence has appeared on Broadway twice since its premiere in 1969, most recently in a gender-bent production at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre (now the Todd Haimes Theatre).

Abraham Lincoln in Assassins

Stephen Sondheim’s dark and thought-provoking musical “Assassins” features Lincoln as a central figure, albeit in a more symbolic role. His assassination serves as a focal point for the show, exploring themes of disillusionment and the American dream through the lens of his tragic death.

From the revolutionary fervor of the American Revolution to the tumultuous days of the Civil War, these portrayals of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln remind us of the enduring impact of their leadership and the timeless relevance of their legacies. As we celebrate President’s Day, we continue to explore and honor the rich tapestry of American history, both on stage and off.

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Creative

Broadway’s Married Couples

We all know that theater is a labor of love. But some of Broadway’s brightest stars have taken that to heart more than others, looking within our own theater community for romantic partnerships. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, here’s Broadway’s Best Shows’ list of our favorite Broadway duos.

Audra McDonald & Will Swenson

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Audra McDonald is the Tony-winningest performer in history. And if she represents Broadway royalty, then her husband of over 10 years, Will Swenson, undoubtedly stands as a king in his own right. While McDonald graced the stage most recently in Ohio State Murders, Swenson commanded the stage just across Times Square, leading the cast of A Beautiful Noise as Neil Diamond. The couple starred opposite each other in a 2015 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill.

Phillipa Soo & Steven Pasquale

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Another pair of performers, Philippa Soo and Steven Pasquale recently mirrored their real-life relationship, playing lovers at the Kennedy Center in their 2022 production of Guys & Dolls. Individually, Soo has appeared in Hamilton, Amélie, and Camelot, while Pasquale’s credits include The Bridges of Madison County and American Son. The couple were married in 2017, following her star-making run in Hamilton and ahead of his engagement in Lincoln Center Theater’s Junk

Andy Karl & Orfeh

Photo by Amy Arbus

Likely the first Broadway couple that comes to mind for many, Andy Karl & Orfeh have been married since 2001, mere months after meeting when Karl joined the cast of Saturday Night Fever. The stalwarts have appeared together on the Broadway stage twice more since then, in 2007’s Legally Blond: The Musical and 2018’s Pretty Woman: The Musical

Christopher Fitzgerald & Jessica Stone

Photo: City Center

It might be a surprise to learn that the Tony-nominated director of Kimberly Akimbo and the upcoming Water for Elephants is married to the legendary character actor, of Wicked, Waitress, and now Spamalot fame. In true showbiz fashion, Fitzgerald and Stone met in 1999, performing opposite each other in the 1999 Encores! Concert of Babes in Arms at City Center, and married in 2001. As Stone transitioned from a performer to a director, they continued to work together – most notably, Stone directed the legendary 2009 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Williamstown Theatre Festival, starring Fitzgerald as Pseudolus alongside an all-male cast.

Photo: Williamstown Theatre Festival

Lisa Peterson & Rachel Hauck

Photo by Jennifer Broski

A power couple off- and on Broadway, Rachel Hauck is the Tony-winning set designer of Hadestown, and Lisa Peterson is the two-time OBIE-winning director of new plays premiered around the country. They met while working at the Mark Taper Forum in 1996. Audiences might best know their project An Iliad, which Peterson wrote with performer Denis O’Hare, and which toured the country after its 2012 premiere. They most recently collaborated on the 2023 play Good Night, Oscar, which also marked Peterson’s Broadway debut. 

Charlotte d’Amboise & Terrence Mann

Photo by Joan Marcus

Triple threat Charlotte d’Amboise has been married to fellow performer Terrence Mann since 1996, after meeting over a decade prior when they were both in Cats on Broadway. D’Amboise has had a long career on the Broadway stage, including two Tony-nominated performances, but is maybe best known for her perennial stints as Roxie Hart in Chicago, to which she has returned more than 25 times for brief runs in the starring role. Mann, a three-time Tony nominee, has appeared in 14 Broadway productions since 1981. The couple most recently appeared together in the 2013 revival of Pippin, and have also co-founded Triple Arts, a training program for aspiring musical theater performers, which they operate and teach together.

Maryann Plunkett & Jay O. Sanders

Photo by Joseph Marzullo

Two veterans of the New York stage, Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders have been married since 1991. Each with decades-long careers on and off Broadway, the pair has appeared onstage together in Richard Nelson’s Apple Family and The Gabriels play cycles, as husband & wife in the former three plays and then as brother- & sister-in-law in the latter. Recently, their work on Broadway overlapped as Sanders finished up the final weeks of his run in Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch at Music Box Theatre, while Plunkett worked directly across 45th Street in tech rehearsals for The Notebook at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Leslie Odom, Jr. & Nicolette Robinson

Photo by Marcus Middleton

Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. married Nicolette Robinson back in 2012, years before he would go on to become a household name as the original Aaron Burr in Hamilton, and she would make her own Broadway debut in Waitress. The couple are frequent creative collaborators, releasing music together, co-writing a children’s book, and most recently, teaming up as producers for the 2023 Broadway revival of Purlie Victorious, in which Odom also starred in the title role. 

Allan & Beth Williams

Broadway.com | Photo 30 of 43 | Great Balls of Fire! Million Dollar Quartet  Burns Up Broadway on Opening Night

Behind-the-scenes duo Allan Williams & Beth Williams have each been a part of over 65 Broadway productions in their careers to date. Allan is a veteran General Manager and Producer, recently serving as GM on Purlie Victorious, Good Night Oscar, and Diana the Musical and as Executive Producer on American Utopia, The Band’s Visit, and American Psycho. Beth is a Producer, who also served as CEO of Broadway Across America between 2008 and 2013. She has 12 Tony Awards to date, and her next show is the new musical Water for Elephants.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best “Broadway Week” Shows – Winter 2024

Mark your calendars because New York City Tourism + Conventions is back with a show-stopping extravaganza – Broadway Week! And it’s not just a week; it’s a theater lover’s dream that stretches from January 16 to February 4! Yes, you read that right – more than a week of Broadway bliss awaits you.

Here’s the scoop: NYC Broadway Week is your golden ticket to the finest theatrical productions, all available at a fabulous 2-for-1 deal. The stage is set, the actors are ready, and the only missing piece? You! Grab your tickets to the Broadway’s best without breaking the bank!

Here is our list of some of the best shows available for this season’s offer:

Hamilton

First up on our list is the phenomenon that took Broadway by storm – Hamilton. Join Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the rest of the Founding Fathers in this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical that seamlessly blends hip-hop, R&B, and traditional show tunes. One of the hottest tickets in town, don’t throw away your shot to witness the magic of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece!

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Gutenberg! The Musical

If you’re in the mood for laughter, look no further than Gutenberg! The Musical. Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad reunite for the first time since their Book of Mormon days in this comedy where two aspiring writers attempt to sell their “masterpiece” – a musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg. Only in performances through January 28, so don’t miss out!

& Juliet

For a fresh take on a classic, look no further than & Juliet. This innovative pop musical, powered by the music of Max Martin, reimagines Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, giving Juliet a chance to rewrite her own destiny. This modern twist on the timeless tale of love is a must-see for romantics and rebels alike!

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Purlie Victorious

Ossie Davis’s landmark 1961 play Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch is back on Broadway for the first time in over 60 years! Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young star in the roles that Davis and his wife Ruby Dee originated in the original production. Set in the American South, this gem of a revival promises powerful performances and an unforgettable journey that will tug at your heartstrings.

Photo by Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman

Spamalot

If you’re a fan of irreverent humor and absurdity, Spamalot is the show for you. This Tony Award-winning musical returns to Broadway to lovingly mock the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in true Monty Python style. Some of Broadway’s brightest stars, including Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Michael Urie, James Monroe Iglehart, and Alex Brightman are giving laugh-out-loud performances nightly at the St. James Theatre!

Prayer for the French Republic

Last but certainly not least is Josh Harmon’s latest, Prayer for the French Republic. This thought-provoking epic play explores the continuation of antisemitism around the world by contrasting the experience of a Jewish family in Paris across two periods of recent French history. The new play opened on Broadway on January 9, 2024 after a successful Off-Broadway run last season.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to snag your 2-for-1 tickets to these Broadway gems. Whether you’re a seasoned theatergoer or a Broadway newbie, NYC Broadway Week is your chance to savor the magic of live performances at a price that can’t be beaten!

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best 2023 Holiday Gifts for your Theater Loving-Loved One

Broadway’s Best Shows has all the holiday recs you could wish for. There’s something out there for every type of theater kid this holiday season (of love)…

For the Super-Fan

When Broadway shows close, materials such as curtains, flooring, and vinyl posters would normally get thrown out, but small business Scenery Bags works with set designers and technicians to preserve these materials and transform them into fun accessories for fans. They feature bags made from the sets of shows like Ain’t Too Proud, Pasadena Playhouse’s Sunday in the Park With George, and Hello Dolly, among many others. They also sell all sorts of accessories, including this keychain made out of Phantom of the Opera banners, or this coffin-shaped ring made from the stage floor of Beetlejuice’s DC run.

For the Theatre Artist in Your Life

For your friend who works in the theater, and has been through tech rehearsals and production meetings, Scenery Bags sells “I’m Sorry for What I Said During Tech” and “Nothing For The Group” zip bags, great for storing pencils or makeup, or for travel. The materials are recycled from multiple off-Broadway scenery backdrops. 

Your actor or arts worker friend probably spends a lot of time in Midtown, so they’ll also appreciate a gift card for Hell’s Kitchen bakery and coffee spot Amy’s Bread.

For Your Friend who Loves Theater Gossip

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers, published posthumously by Rodgers with assistance and additional material from New York Times theater critic Jesse Green, is a hilarious and wide-ranging book by the beloved composer of Once Upon A Mattress, who also grew up surrounded by theater royalty, as the daughter of Richard Rodgers. It’s full of juicy stories and cameos from Golden Age legends like Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince, and even what Leonard Bernstein was complaining about at a cocktail party! Now out in paperback. 

For the New Parent, Grandparent, or Aunt/Uncle

Start a child’s love of theater early with these picture books that introduce Broadway to kids:

Broadway Bird, by Tony-winning director Alex Timbers, tells the story of a parakeet who dreams of being a Broadway star. 

A is for Audra and B is for Broadway, both by John Robert Allman, are beautifully illustrated alphabet books that introduce young readers to leading ladies (think “P” is for “Patti LuPone”) and the theater world at large (“C” is for “choreography.”)

For your Monty Python-Loving Dad

“Fetchez la vache!” The new Spamalot revival is selling cow socks, a shrubbery tote bag, and a baseball cap that says “Ni!” 

For Your “Old Friend” Who Knows Their Theater History

Merrily We Roll Along offers this sweatshirt, which harkens back to the iconic costume design of the original, short-lived 1984 production. 

For Your Friend Who Loves New Plays

Let them buy all the plays, theater biographies, and memoirs they want with a gift card to The Drama Book Shop. They can shop the latest scripts from Samuel French, like recent Pulitzer Prize winners Fat Ham and English. Gift cards can be purchased in-store or by calling (212) 944-0595, and can only be used in person. Unfortunately, gift cards cannot be used to purchase items at the cafe, like their monthly rotating Broadway-themed drinks (we recommend the Carolee Carmello Caramel Latte), but the baristas at the Shop will also have excellent book recommendations. 

For Your Friend Who Loves Really New Plays

For just $12 per year, buy your friend a membership to New Play Exchange. A database created by theaters around the country, it offers access to over 50,000 scripts by emerging and established playwrights. This is also a great gift for a playwright friend, who can upload their work to the site so that it can be discovered around the world. 

For the Friend Who’s Seen Everything

For your friend who loves storing all of their Playbills, or tracking every show they see in the Notes app or Mezzanine, let them show off how much they’ve seen with this scratch-off poster featuring 100 contemporary and golden-age musicals.

For the Wicked Superfan

These “Shiz University” sweatpants are cozy and relaxing, but nice enough to wear out and about. Your friend could even wear them to the multiplex next Christmas to see the Wicked movie! Also, if they weren’t able to make it to the 20th anniversary celebration, Playbill is still selling the special programs

For your favorite New Yorker

Now that single-use plastic bags are banned in NYC, reusable tote bags make for an incredibly thoughtful and handy gift.

  • This tote bag from Gutenberg! says, “we’re on the weird side of 7th avenue.” Gutenberg is now playing at the James Earl Jones, one of only five Broadway theaters east of 7th avenue – great for a theater lover who knows the Theatre District like the back of their hand. 
  • Or, for a friend who loves a powerful statement, check out this Purlie Victorious tote bag, with the quote from the play, “make civil rights from civil wrongs.” 

For Your Millennial Sibling/Niece/Nephew/etc

Tap into their late-nineties nostalgia with this faux candy necklace, made by the Kimberly Akimbo merch store. Or, for more childhood-themed fun, this Broadway-themed coloring book for adults features 24 pages of Mamma Mia, Hamilton, Seussical and many more shows to color in.

For Your Friend Who’s the Life of the Party

These Shucked shot glasses are hilarious yet functional. 

For Your Friend Who Has A Detailed Ranking of Elphabas

This shop doesn’t just sell Waitress Playbill earrings. It offers half a dozen different Waitress Playbills as earrings, so you can make sure you get your friend’s favorite Jenna. Choose between Jessie Mueller, Katherine McPhee, Katherine McPhee’s Pridebill, Sara Bareilles’ 2017 or 2021 Playbill covers, Ciara Renee and Joshua Henry, or West End star Allison Luff. 

…and For your Theater Twitter Friend Who Has Opinions About the 2017 Tony Awards

These earrings are also a Spotify scan code that links to “No One Else” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. 

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Touring Shows

While “Broadway” refers to a specific set of Tony-eligible theatres located in midtown Manhattan, the term is metonymic of an entire industry. To theatergoers around the country and world, “Broadway” translates to high-quality musicals and plays performed by world-class artists; overall top-notch theatre. 

Since not everyone can make it to New York City, the magic of Broadway is brought to audiences across North America through touring productions. With the holidays approaching, these special productions can also serve as great family activities, or even just a great gift for your theatre-loving-loved-ones. Here’s a glimpse into some of Broadway’s best touring shows that are currently captivating audiences from coast to coast (and beyond).

Beetlejuice

Based on Tim Burton’s iconic film, Beetlejuice brings the afterlife to the stage with humor, irreverence, and spectacular special effects. After two Broadway runs, pre- and post-shutdown, the show has gone out across the country, where it continues to make headlines, both for what’s happening onstage and off…

The Lion King

Disney’s The Lion King continues its reign as a theatrical masterpiece, both on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre and in touring houses all over. Since opening on Broadway in 1997 and launching its first tour in 2002, the modern classic has had several national and international tour companies bringing Simba’s story far and wide. The latest tour launched in 2017 and is still going strong, with dates scheduled through summer 2024.

The Wiz

Ease on down the road with The Wiz, a soulful and energetic retelling of “The Wizard of Oz.” Set to hit Broadway in spring 2024 with Schele Williams at the helm and Wayne Brady in the title role following the tour, this production promises to bring a fresh and vibrant perspective to the beloved tale.

Mamma Mia

ABBA’s hits take center stage in Mamma Mia, now back on the road celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary. Since opening on Broadway in 2001, the jukebox musical has had many touring and international engagements, as well as two film installments (to date), becoming a global cultural phenomenon. You now have your shot to get in on the fun; the new tour kicked off in Elmira, NY in October 2023 and is scheduled to travel the country through at least summer 2024.

Funny Girl

After a bountiful Broadway run with Lea Michele in the leading role, the revival has hit the road. The classic musical Funny Girl tells the story of Fanny Brice, a legendary Ziegfeld Follies star. With a blend of humor, romance, and unforgettable music, this production showcases the indomitable spirit of a woman who dared to follow her dreams. Michael Mayer’s direction alongside choreography by Ellenore Scott is now on view in theatres around the country.

Wicked

Wicked has cast its spell on audiences for over 20 years as it explores the untold story of the Witches of Oz. This visually stunning production, featuring iconic songs like ‘Defying Gravity,’ ‘Popular,’ ‘For Good,’ and more, continues to captivate with its imaginative storytelling and powerful performances. The tour continues to make stops all over North America, with several international productions having played all over the world over the years. Even more theatre enthusiasts will also get to experience the magic of Wicked when Jon M. Chu’s two-part film adaptation starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande hits movie theatres in 2024 and 2025.

Company

Britney Coleman leads the cast of this national tour as Bobbie. Following its 2021-2022 Tony-winning Broadway run, this Sondheim revival is traveling the country, with stops scheduled into late summer of 2024. In Marianne Elliot’s updated take on the classic concept musical, Bobbie is a 35-year-old woman reckoning with her love life as well as those of her mostly married friends, and haunted by the pressures of living in 21st century New York City.

Girl From the North Country

Playwright Conor McPherson’s narrative spin on the song catalog of Bob Dylan launched a cross-country tour in October 2023, kicking things off in Minneapolis. The folk musical played two separate engagements at the Belasco Theatre, closing in June 2022. The tour currently has stops scheduled into mid-2024 with more to be announced!

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary musical Hamilton remains a cultural phenomenon. This hip-hop-infused tale of Alexander Hamilton’s life has become a must-see for theater enthusiasts, and good thing then that there are so many opportunities to see it, with as many as three separate touring companies having launched, sometimes playing different ends of the country at the same time.  

Hadestown

Hadestown offers a unique and mesmerizing take on the ancient Greek myths of Orpheus & Eurydice and Hades & Persephone. This Tony Award-winning Best Musical combines folk, jazz, and blues music to sing this “old song” again and again and again. With short stints through the United States on offer until May 2024, don’t miss catching Anaïs Mitchell’s hauntingly beautiful score and lyrics while you can!

Broadway enthusiasts can catch so many more sensational productions currently on tour, including Aladdin, MJ The Musical, To Kill a Mockingbird, Moulin Rouge!, Mrs. Doubtfire, SIX, and more!

Broadway’s best touring shows offer a taste of the magic and excitement that define the New York City theater scene. Whether it’s a timeless classic, a contemporary hit, or a reimagined tale, these productions bring the thrill of Broadway to audiences across North America and around the world. So, grab your tickets, sit back, and let the enchantment unfold in a city near you!

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Creative

Where’s That Cast Now? Hamilton Edition

When Hamilton opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the summer of 2015 it set Broadway ablaze, triggering a cultural phenomenon not seen in the theater for quite some time before then (or since). Given the musical’s zeitgeisty success, it also skyrocketed the profiles of its leading players, many of whom have launched top-notch careers in the years since, both on and off the stage. Here’s our recap of what those original cast members have been up to since starring in Hamilton, one of Broadway’s Best Shows.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Lin-Manuel Miranda

The Pulitzer and Tony-winning writer-star of Hamilton has been exceptionally busy since departing the Broadway cast of his hit show. Miranda has lent his talents to several film & TV projects, both on and off screen, having written songs for Moana, Mary Poppins Returns, Vivo, Encanto, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2023’s The Little Mermaid remake, and more! He made his feature film directorial debut with Tick, Tick… Boom!, the adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s rock monologue musical. He also appeared onscreen in the Mary Poppins sequel, His Dark Materials, as well as in guest appearances on several long-running TV series. The proshot of Hamilton landed on Disney+ in 2020, featuring the full original cast, and his first Broadway musical, In the Heights, was adapted into a film in 2021 (he even made a cameo appearance!). His freestyle group, Freestyle Love Supreme, had a Broadway run at the Booth Theatre, for which he made multiple guest appearances. He made his Broadway writing return in the spring of 2022, contributing additional for the musical New York, New York, alongside iconic composer John Kander, based on the songs of Kander and his longtime collaborator Fred Ebb. 

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Leslie’s star has been on the rise in the years since Hamilton, appearing in several films including Knives Out: Glass Onion, One Night in Miami (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award), and the upcoming reboot of The Exorcist. He has also made television appearances in hit shows Central Park, Abbott Elementary, and more! Six years later, he has made his grand return to Broadway in the titular role of the first ever Broadway revival of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch by Ossie Davis.

Phillipa Soo

After making her Broadway debut as Eliza in the original Broadway cast, Soo has appeared in four Broadway productions, including the play The Parisian Woman, and musicals Amélie, Into the Woods, and most recently, Camelot. She has also appeared onscreen recently in TV series Dopesick and Shining Girls

Girls5Eva.

Renée Elise Goldsberry

Goldsberry has not yet made a Broadway return since playing Angelica in Hamilton, but appeared on the New York stage in the summer of 2023 leading the Public Theater’s musical adaptation of The Tempest at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. She has also starred in several television series, including Peacock’s Girls5Eva, and Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Wonder.

Daveed Diggs

The actor, rapper, writer, and producer has also been busy since his Hamilton days, appearing in films like Wonder, Ferdinand, The Little Mermaid, Soul, and Blindspotting (which he also wrote alongside collaborator Rafael Casal). He has also had recurring roles in Apple TV+’s Central Park, Netflix’s The Get Down, TNT’s Snowpiercer, and ABC’s Black-Ish, among cameos and guest spots on several series. 

Anthony Ramos

Ramos led the 2021 adaptation of In the Heights as Usnavi, appeared as Lady Gaga’s best friend in A Star is Born, and has since become the face of the blockbuster Transformers franchise, starring in its latest installment, Rise of the Beasts. Also a burgeoning recording artist, Ramos has released two albums, and a slew of singles in the years since his Broadway run. 

Photo by Emilio Madrid.

Okieriete Onaodowan

“Oak” has been on Broadway twice since Hamilton, with a brief run as Pierre in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and more recently, a supporting role in the 2023 revival of A Doll’s House alongside Jessica Chastain under his belt. Onscreen, he is a lead of the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off series Station 19, and appears in the fourth season of Amazon Prime’s action series Jack Ryan

Photo by Jose Corella.

Jasmine Cephas-Jones

Cephas-Jones has mostly turned her attention to film and television, appearing with her Hamilton co-star Daveed Diggs in his film Blindspotting, and in the television series based on the film. She also appeared in Marriage Story, Mrs. Fletcher, and #Freerayshawn, for which she won an Emmy in 2020. As a recording artist, she released her EP Blue Bird in 2020. She will next be seen in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming film Origin, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival to rave reviews in September 2023. A wide release date has not been set. 

Spring Awakening Reunion Concert. Photo by Sarah Shatz.

Jonathan Groff

Groff returns to Broadway in fall 2023 in the revival of Merrily We Roll Along, opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez. Immediately post-Hamilton, he starred in David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter for two seasons. He returned to voice Kristoff in 2019’s Frozen 2, and played one of the villains in 2021’s The Matrix: Resurrections. On the stage, he was the original Seymour in the still-running 2019 revival of Little Shop of Horrors off-Broadway. 

Photo by Kevin Mazur.

Ariana DeBose

DeBose appeared in the ensemble of Hamilton as “The Bullet,” the dance soloist during the duel scenes. She graduated to Broadway principal status in 2018’s Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, but her huge break came when Steven Spielberg cast her as Anita in his West Side Story redux. She became the second Latina ever to win an acting Oscar in 2022 for that role, and hosted the Tony Awards in 2022 and 2023. She also voices the main character in Disney’s animated 2023 film Wish, and will appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film in 2024. 

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Creative

Which Broadway shows have won the most Tony Awards?

Broadway’s clearest indicator of notoriety is the Tony Awards. The annual ceremony has been celebrating excellence in New York theater since 1947 and has made actors, creators, and shows themselves become household names.

In our list, we’ll be listing which Broadway shows have won the most Tony Awards for a single production, though we’re giving shout-outs to Cabaret, Death of a Salesman, and La Cage Aux Folles as each has collected an impressive number of awards over their multiple productions throughout the years. So if awards mean the best Broadway shows to you, then see below.

Photo by Paul Kolnik

The Producers by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan

It may come as a surprise but the record for most Tony wins by a single production was set over 20 years ago.

Back in 2001, Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan brought their hilarious 1967 film, The Producers, to the stage. The meta-musical about a pair of money-hungry Broadway producers who want to purposefully put on the worst show possible to fraudulently make money wowed audiences and critics. Nathan Lane starred alongside Matthew Broderick (both of whom would go on to star in the 2005 film adaptation) with Nathan Lane winning the coveted Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award.

Nathan Lane’s award is just one win of a whopping 12 as The Producers won in every single category it was nominated in, losing out only when multiple actors were nominated for the same award.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

You’d be forgiven if you believed Hamilton was top of the list when it comes to wins as it holds the record for most Tony Award nominations for a single production. Back in 2016, Hamilton was nominated for a staggering 16 awards in 13 categories. It was believed that it would equal or surpass The Producers as the Broadway show with the most Tony wins, but alas, it came home with 11. Wins include Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Costume Design in a Musical, and Best Choreography.

Though Lin-Manuel Miranda lost the Best Actor in a Musical award to cast-mate Leslie Odom Jr., he still won two awards – one for Best Original Score and one for Best Book of a Musical.

Photo by David Schneimann

Billy Elliot by Elton John and Lee Hall

After the surprise run-away success of the independent film and considering its subject matter, it was no surprise when a stage adaptation of Billy Elliot hit the West End in 2006. Two years later, Billy Elliot the Musical came to Broadway sealing its status as “a global theatrical phenomenon” (Los Angeles Times).

In 2009, Billy Elliot the Musical was nominated for 15 awards (the same number of nominations as The Producers received) and won 11. The most notable award was that of Best Actor in a Musical as the three young actors – David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish – who shared the role of Billy shared a single nomination and win.

Photo by Joan Marcus

South Pacific by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan

If you were going to use cumulative Tony Award wins as a metric, South Pacific would be at the absolute top of the list.

During its first Broadway production in 1950, the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece firmly cemented its place in Broadway history as one of the greatest musicals of all time. Not only did it win over audiences and critics, it also won every single Tony Award it was nominated for and a Pulitzer. In fact, it’s still the only production in history to win all four of the acting awards in the same year.

Since its premiere, there have been productions of South Pacific all over the world including multiple Broadway revivals each garnering praise and accolades in their own right. Its 2008 Broadway revival won seven further Tony Awards bringing the show’s cumulative total to an unbelievable 17.

Photo by Friedman-Abeles

Fiddler On The Roof by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Joseph Stein

Almost 60 years ago, Fiddler on the Roof took Broadway by storm. When it first opened in 1964, the now-classic musical wowed audiences and became the first Broadway musical to run for more than 3,000 shows. In fact, the original production won nine Tony Awards in 1965 and then received a special Tony Award in 1972 for the longest-running Musical in Broadway History bringing the total to 10.

Since its initial run, Fiddler on the Roof has had five revivals but has only received one further Tony Award.

Other shows that have been awarded 10 Tony Awards for a single production include David Yazbek’s The Band’s Visit and John Logan’s Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best “Broadway Week” Shows

The Mayor’s Office for Tourism and Conventions’ annual Broadway Week promotion is almost upon us, which means that you can now get 2-for-1 tickets to select Broadway shows for performances between September 4-17! (Yes, Broadway Week is actually two weeks long. Lucky us!) 

Unlike TDF’s Half Price Ticket Booth, which only offers same-day discounts, the Broadway Week tickets can be purchased up to a month in advance. Use code BWAYWK23 to access this exciting offer today. Participating shows are also offering premium orchestra seats, usually $250-$400, for just $125 with code BWAYUP23. Check the official website for full details. 

Here are some of the shows we recommend catching while this offer lasts:

HADESTOWN

The 2019 Best Musical Tony Award winner recently welcomed new cast member Solea Pfeiffer in the lead role of Euridyce! Betty Who and Philip Boykin join the company Sept. 5 as lovers Persephone and Hades, respectively. See them alongside Lillias White as Hermes and Reeve Carney as Orpheus.

SOME LIKE IT HOT

This toe-tapping big band musical is from Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (the composer-lyricist duo behind Hairspray!, Catch Me If You Can, and Smash) and book writers Matthew López and Amber Ruffin. With direction and Tony Award-winning choreography by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, The Prom), this one is not to be missed!

KIMBERLY AKIMBO

Last season’s Best Musical stars two-time Tony Award winner Victoria Clark as Kimberly herself, with music by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Caroline, or Change, Shrek: The Musical) and a book & lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire in an adaptation to his 2001 play of the same name.

PURLIE VICTORIOUS: A NON-CONFEDERATE ROMP THROUGH THE COTTON PATCH

Leslie Odom, Jr. (of Hamilton Tony-winning fame) stars as the titular role in this first ever revival of Ossie Davis’ landmark 1961 satire, directed by Kenny Leon. Two-time Tony Award nominee Kara Young co-stars as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins. Performances begin Sept. 7!

HERE LIES LOVE

The immersive disco bio-musical with music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim tells the life story of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos. Here Lies Love is a fascinating parable about fascism, the media, and the effects of 20th century American cultural dominance and empire on so-called “Third World” countries like the Philippines. We recommend using your Broadway Week discount to splurge on a Dance Floor ticket, where you’ll be inches away from the actors and part of the storytelling. Good luck getting the title song out of your head. 

SIX

This UK export retells the story of the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII, with a pop concert twist. The Tony-winning score by Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow features pop-powered showtunes such as ‘Heart of Stone,’ ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head,’ and the iconic ‘Megasix’ encore to wrap it all up.

THE COTTAGE

Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) makes his directorial debut with this brand new England countryside-set comedy by Sandy Rustin. The cast features Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) in his Broadway return since appearing in 2012’s Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Laura Bell Bundy in her Broadway play debut after leading the 2007 musical Legally Blonde, Lilli Cooper (POTUS, Spring Awakening), Nehal Joshi (Flying Over Sunset, All My Sons), Alex Moffat (Saturday Night Live), and Dana Steingold (Beetlejuice the Musical).

BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL

Time travel back to 1985 (and beyond) for this musical adaptation of the classic film, straight from its hit world premiere in London’s West End! Casey Likes (Almost Famous) is Marty McFly and Roger Bart (The Producers) is Doc Brown, reprising his acclaimed performance on the other side of the pond.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Shows about America

by Katie Devin Orenstein

Celebrate the 4th of July weekend with Broadway’s Best Shows as we run through some of the top patriotic musicals in the can(n)on (get it?).

1776 is a musicalization of the 4th of July holiday’s origin story, as founding father John Adams suffers through a sweltering Philadelphia summer to try to get the Declaration of Independence completed and signed by the Continental Congress. The show highlights just how hard it was to make democracy happen – and the contradictions within, including the simmering fight between Northern and Southern states over slavery, in the song “Molasses to Rum.” While all the signees of the Declaration were men, 1776 makes sure to include Abigail Adams’ influence on the proceedings.

Ragtime tells an epic story about the American Dream at the turn of the 20th century, interweaving the lives of Black Americans, Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and the wealthy white people at the top of New York society. Ragtime is a moving story about America’s flaws and its immense potential. 

Working, with a rousing opening number that takes its lyrics from Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” is a love letter to everyday Americans, and the American melting pot. Its songs are from a variety of writers, including Stephen Schwartz, Mary Rodgers, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The song “Steelworker” is actually by folk music legend James Taylor, in his Broadway songwriting debut:

Of Thee I Sing is a gentle satire of that which we celebrate on the 4th of July, American democracy. The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize, way back in 1932, the show features songs by the Gershwin brothers, including “Who Cares?”, and a book by George S. Kaufman. The plot concerns a presidential campaign, and a candidate who suddenly starts to go up in the polls when he switches his platform to “LOVE”, proposing to his lady love at every campaign stop, instead of a stump speech!

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a musical about early American politicians, using a contemporary music genre (in this case, punk and emo rock) – and it was on Broadway five years before Hamilton! With music and lyrics by OBIE winner Michael Friedman, the show chronicles controversial populist president Andrew Jackson’s rise and fall in the 1830s and 40s. With catchy tunes and a bit of onstage gore, BBAJ captures the essence of an angry, formative moment in American history:

Of course, no list of 4th of July-themed musicals would be complete without Hamilton. Here’s Leslie Odom, Jr., star of the upcoming play Purlie Victorious on Broadway, performing “Wait For It” 

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Creative

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young to star in PURLIE VICTORIOUS: A NON-CONFEDERATE ROMP THROUGH THE COTTON PATCH

Tony & Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Leslie Odom, Jr. will star alongside two-time Tony nominee Kara Young (Clyde’s, Cost of Living) in the first Broadway revival of Ossie Davis’ Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch. Kenny Leon is set to direct the production, which will mark Odom, Jr.’s return to the Broadway stage after his Tony-winning turn in Hamilton.

Odom, Jr. announced live on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning that the comedy will run at the Music Box Theatre with performances beginning September 7. An opening night date will be announced at a later date.

The cast also includes Billy Eugene Jones, who is in the Broadway cast of Fat Ham, and Jay O. Sanders, who was last seen on Broadway in Girl From the North Country. Vanessa Bell Calloway, Noah Robbins, Heather Alicia Simms, Bill Timoney, and Noah Pyzik round out the company.

As previously announced, set design is by Tony Award winner Derek McLane, costume design is by Tony Award nominee Emilio Sosa, and lighting design is by Adam Honoré. Sound design will be by Peter Fitzgerald.

Davis’ play originally ran on Broadway in 1961 before being adapted into a film titled Gone Are The Days!, in which he and his wife and collaborator, Ruby Dee, reprised their stage roles. A classic piece of American theatre, the production will mark the play’s grand return to the Broadway stage. 

The producing team is led by Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, Irene Gandy, Kayla Greenspan and Leslie Odom, Jr., making his Broadway producing debut.