So far my New York City Guide has consisted entirely of brunch spots (most of which are just as good for lunch, dinner, etc.). Now I love brunch as much as the next girl (read: a lot)  but I’m pretty excited to have more daylight hours in which to photograph my favorite spots for cocktails, dinner, and dessert throughout the spring and summer. Totally worth the lost hour of sleep, right? Right.

But today I’m switching gears entirely and sharing a must for any proper NYC guide: Broadway! My sister Reilly studied theater in college so our family has always loved musicals and plays — and I’m no exception. I wrote “see three Broadway plays” on my new 101 in 1001 list and I was able to cross it off this past weekend! (Though I’ll definitely see more within the next ~2 years!) I thought I’d share what we saw and what I loved about each in case any of you are planning a trip or just a local looking for a recommendation!

My boyfriend’s parents gave us tickets to Beautiful for Christmas and neither one of us was sure what to expect. And we loved it! We didn’t know much about Carole King going into it (and were definitely the youngest couple there!) but we recognized way more songs than we thought we would and ended the night dancing to “I Feel The Earth Move” with the rest of the audience. If you want to hear killer singing and walk away feeling totally inspired to immediately download every one of Carole King’s songs, this one’s for you.
Recommended for: bringing your parents (you’ll love it as much as they do)

One boyfriend, two Broadway shows in one month. He’s a trooper! I gave him tickets to The Book of Mormon for Valentine’s Day after my sister declared it the funniest show she’s ever seen. It’s written by the creators of the show South Park so it’s hilariously inappropriate. The dance numbers are seriously catchy and the entire audience was in stitches for the whole play. 
Recommended for: girlfriends, siblings, and significant others (probably not your adorably conservative grandparents!)

My Christmas present to my mom and sister and definitely my favorite of the three. All I can say is whoa. The costumes were out of this world and the child actors literally took my breath away. The opening scene gave all three of us goosebumps — there really are no words. The singing wasn’t as powerful as, say, Beautiful but the choreography, lighting, and special effects were extraordinary. If you only see one show this year, this gets my vote.
Recommended for: kids and kids-at-heart (everyone!)

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Next on my list? I’ve heard great things about Matilda (I loved the movie growing up!). Have you seen any Broadway shows lately? What’s your all-time favorite?


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  1. My favourite would have to be Spring Awakening (unfortunately no longer running), with Pippin coming in at a close second. I’ll be seeing the Les Mis revival in May, and my favourite Broadway actor is the leading man, so I’m very excited!

  2. I’m seeing Beautiful tomorrow, and I can’t wait!! I’ve seen 40 different shows on Broadway, so I guess you can say I’m slightly obsessed, but Next to Normal was BY FAR my favorite. Saw it 4 times in 4 months. It was so hauntingly beautiful! Once and In the Heights are definitely up there also. So good!

  3. I just saw Alladin in Toronto, and I know they’re moving to Broadway next! If was so fun, the music is great and the actor who voiced Jafar in the movie plays him in the musical!

  4. I saw The Lion King ages ago when it toured, and I’m dying to see the Carole King musical. There is a LOT of amazing theater that’s off-broadway or off-off broadway, though, that you should make a point to see! I often find those to be even better on so many levels than broadway shows. Hand of God recently opened and in a way would be similar to Book of Mormon…religious undertones, this one has evil sock puppets though. I highly recommend it!

    Blonde in this City

  5. I just saw Matilda and loved it! I was a bit skeptical beforehand, but I came away singing the music just like everyone else! Also, I was a huge fan of Kinky Boots which I saw in November (I think its tied with Wicked for number 1). It’s such a fun show and the actors are incredible!


  6. I’ve seen Lion King and Jersey Boys, loved them both but Jersey Boys was incredible. The vocals of the cast seriously blew my mind! I recognized a lot more songs than I thought I would, like you did with the Carol King show! Add that one to your list 🙂

  7. The Lion King…oh my!
    I saw it at age 12 and loved it.
    I saw it again at age 20 and loved it even more. It is just fantastic…and the opening number will give you chills every.single.time!
    I loved In the was such a fun, upbeat, make you want to dance performance.
    And I must mention Mary Poppins. Absolute perfection. I went back-stage before the performance, I met the cast…everything about the production is fantastic. Oh, and, “Mary Poppins” flies out into the audience at the end umbrella in hand! Perfect for every age! Would love,love to see Matilda! I’ve heard great reviews!

  8. I’ve been traveling to NYC for work, and I loved Lion King! It was quite the production – the stage was so dynamic.

    I’d highly recommend Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella! It’s beautiful. The costumes are phenomenal and the singing is even better than Lion King’s!

  9. I come from a theater background — obsessed with Book of Mormon! As for Broadway, I recommend PIPPIN! I worked on it with Diane Paulus at the American Repertory Theater last year, and I promise you will never see anything else like it. So glad you’re getting your live theater fix, I know I need mine 🙂

    xo Lily

  10. Lion King was hands down my favorite as well! I hope you have read the book Matilda, not just seen the movie. The book is charming and wonderful and now my own kids love it!