Broadway Musicals are a staple in the dance world. If you ask any dancer if they watch Broadway they most likely will say yes! With amazing singing, dancing and unforgettable choreography, Broadway is a great way to get inspired and create or to just simply enjoy. Thankfully some Musicals have been recorded or better yet made into a film adaptation so you can watch them in the comfort of your own home. But with so many to choose from it can be hard to pick. We’ve compiled some of our staples for you to enjoy!
1. Billy Elliot (2000)
Billy Elliot follows the story of a motherless British boy who takes up ballet lessons. It follows his personal struggle and fulfillment throughout and the challenge of balancing a family and community during the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike in North East England.
Fun Fact: Tom Holland who is famously known for portraying Peter Parker/Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe got his big break playing Billy alongside music legend Elton John.
2. Chicago (2002)
Chicago is based in 1920’s filled with glitz, glamour, celebrities, and scandal. It follows Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two murderers who find themselves in jail together awaiting trial. Roxie, a housewife and Velma, a famous performer, fight for fame among the tabloids, their lawyer, and the world as they try to keep themselves from an unfavourable fate.
Fun fact: The 2002 Film adaptation received 6 Academy Awards in 2003 including one for Best Picture making it the first Musical to win in that category since 1968.
3. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Moulin Rouge! Follows a young English Poet, Christian, who falls in love with the main star of Moulin Rouge, a cabaret actress and courtesan named Satine. The film uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. Also, Nicole Kidman, I don’t have to sell you on her she is a legend.
4. 42nd Street (1933)
42nd Street follows the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with wide eyes and big hopes who gets her big break on Broadway. Filled with crowd-pleasing tap dances, popular musical theatre standards, and show-stopping ensemble productions. 42nd street is one stuffed with big dreams and glamour.
5. West Side Story (1961)
Set in 1950’s New York City, West Side Story follows the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks; two teen street gangs with different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks being of Puerto Rican descent are often taunted by the Jets who are of caucasian descent. The protagonist Tony (former member of the Jets) falls in love with Maria the sister of the leader of the Sharks. This musical touches on dark themes, and social problems making it a turning point in musicals.
6. Wicked (Broadway filmed 2019)
Wicked is a Broadway musical that is based on the Wizard of Oz through the witches perspective. It follows the tale of Dorothy before she arrives (as well as during her stay) and tells the story of two unlikely friends Elphaba (the wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name changes to Glinda the Good Witch), they struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry, and love interests resulting in Elphaba’s fall from grace.
7. The Sound of Music (1965)
A classic we all have come to know and love. The Sound of Music follows a young free spirited Maria who is studying to be a nun. Her youthful approach to life causes some concern and ultimately led her to become a governess of retired naval officer Captain Georg von Trapp’s seven children. The story becomes one of family, love, and growing all during trying times.
8. Newsies (2017)
Disney’s 1992 Newsies follows the story of newspaper sellers in 1899 New York City who are tired of the exploitation done onto them by their bosses. Joining hands they fight back the oppression they face, and ultimately, enact change when they are met with ruthlessness of big business men.
10. Hamilton (2020)
Critically acclaimed Hamilton the Musical follows the rise and fall of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Focusing on his immigrant roots, and his great quest to earn status on the battlefield, he later helped to form the United States Government. The musical is told from the perspective of Hamilton’s lifelong rival Aaron Burr.
10. In the Heights (2021)
The brand new and (already) critically acclaimed Musical In the Heights follows the lives of friends within the Dominican neighbourhood of Washington Heights in New York City. Filled with culture, music, and big dreams of a better life; the story follows protagonist Usnavi de la Vega as the owner of a small bodega dreaming of returning home, Vanessa a young fashion designer following her dreams and breaking out on her own, and Nina a student returning home after her first year of university. Through trials and tribulations, this story is one of hope, a connection to your roots, and love.
Fun Fact: In the Heights was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also created Hamilton which received 13 Tony nominations and 4 wins in 2016.
And there you have it friends! While there are so many more amazing Musicals out there, we hope this is a good start to get you going! If you have been inspired to start dancing after watching some of these be sure to do so with us!! Check out what our classes are here, and how to get registered here! Can’t wait to see you out there with us :D
See ya laterrr
The STU Arts Dance Team.