The 10 Best Broadway Shows to Catch This Fall

Fall has officially arrived, and with colder weather on the horizon in the Big Apple, there’s no better way to spend your time than by enjoying an incredible show indoors. New York City’s theater district is full of stellar plays and musicals, both old and new, for you to see in the coming months, so we’ve put together a list of ten productions, both Broadway and Off-Broadway, that you must check out this season!

Jagged Little Pill
If you have fond memories of the ‘90s, Jagged Little Pill is absolutely the show for you. This long-awaited Broadway production comes straight from its out-of-town tryout at the American Repertory Theater, where it was directed by Diane Paulus (Pippin, Waitress). Jagged Little Pill, which has its first preview scheduled for Nov. 3, is based on pop singer-songwriter Alanis Morisette’s 1995 Grammy Award-winning album of the same name. Described by the New York Times as what “may just be the most woke musical since Hair,” Jagged Little Pill is the story of a suburban family that appears perfect and put-together from the outside but is forced to confront pressing and important issues such as drug addiction, changing gender and sexual identities and sexual assault.

Derren Brown: Secret
Broadway is a home for more than just traditional theatre, as it has proven in recent years past through shows and engagements such as In Residence on Broadway, The New One, and Oh, Hello on Broadway. From now until Jan. 4, you can head over to the Cort Theater and check out Derren Brown: Secret. After a sold-out Off-Broadway run at the Atlantic Theater Company, the English illusionist and two-time Olivier Award-winner brings “his unique brand of mind reading, persuasion and psychological illusion” to Broadway. Be warned, though; you might leave Derren Brown: Secret with more questions than answers.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
After almost five years on Broadway, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will be ending its tenure at the Stephen Sondheim Theater this fall, on Oct. 27, a run that will make it the 27th longest-running musical in Broadway history. As the title suggests, Beautiful: The Carole King musical is the biographical jukebox musical of pop singer-songwriter Carole King, whose journey is told from her days as a plucky high school student and is bookended by her 1971 Carnegie Hall concert. With a score featuring King hits such as “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “The Locomotion” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” and supplemented by other music that colored her early years, you are going to want to see Beautiful before it takes its final Broadway bow next month.

Harold Pinter’s Betrayal is back on Broadway this autumn, with a limited engagement at the Jacobs Theater that closes Dec. 8. Starring the show-stopping trio of Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Marvel Universe film), Zawe Ashton (British television shows Not Safe For Work and Fresh Heat) and Charlie Cox (Daredevil, Boardwalk Empire), Betrayal comes straight from its standing room-only run from the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre. Betrayal is told in reverse (a strategy perhaps best known to American audiences as being employed in the Kaufman and Hart play and subsequent Sondheim musical adaptation Merrily We Roll Along), and, regarded as one of Pinter’s greatest works, is the story of a scandalous extramarital affair that brings new meaning to what it means to betray someone you love.

Audiences just “cain’t say no” to Oklahoma!, and neither will you. Oklahoma!, the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece that is often cited the first book musical (where every aspect of the production – script, music, lyrics, and dance – contributes to telling the story), has been reinvented completely for this seventy-fifth anniversary production. While Oklahoma! is considered by many to be the epitome of the classic book musical, this production strips its source material down to its barebones, reinventing the score by transforming the music into genres associated with Oklahoma and the South: rock, folk and country. And even better, complimentary chili and cornbread are served at intermission. Come experience this classic musical as you never expected it to be.

The Sound Inside
If you’re looking for something dramatic, psychologically thrilling and starring Mary-Louise Parker of Showtime’s Weeds, then The Sound Inside is the show for you this fall. The Broadway writing debut of Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, The Sound Inside is the story of Bella Baird, a confident, alone-by-choice creative writing professor at Yale, who is strangely drawn to her student, the brilliant yet guarded Christopher Dunn (Will Hochman in his Broadway debut). The play explores this palpably and increasingly tense teacher-student relationship, while “driv(ing) forward to a stunning conclusion.” The Sound Inside, currently in previews, runs at Studio 54 until Jan. 12.

David Byrne’s American Utopia
Between Derren Brown: Secret, Freestyle Love Supreme (a freestyle rapping experience featuring many of the people connected to Hamilton) and David Byrne’s American Utopia, you can experience a wide range of alternative theatrical experiences on the Great White Way this season. The Broadway bow of David Byrne, a Scottish-American singer-songwriter, will be the New York leg of his hit American Utopia tour, and he’ll be stationed at the Hudson Theater from Oct. 4, to Jan. 19. You’ll be able to savor songs from Byrne’s album of the same name, while he is joined onstage by an incredible group of musicians from all around the globe.

Come From Away
If your idea of a great musical is something heartwarming and inspiring, then Come from Away is where you want to be this fall. It’s a common misconception that Come from Away is about Sept. 11, 2001 – anyone who’s seen it would happily tell you that it’s about Sept. 12, as well as several days that followed. The musical, which won a Tony for its direction, brings us to the tiny town of Gander in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where 38 planes were ordered to land in response to the terrorist attacks of eighteen years ago. Come from Away is not about tragedy; instead, it’s about what happens when people come together to ensure the safety and security of those unexpectedly affected by it and the unconditional kindness that can and does exist in this world.

The Play That Goes Wrong
You don’t need to go see a Broadway show to enjoy the magic of live theatre in New York City this fall! The Play That Goes Wrong, which did have a run of almost two years on Broadway, is an off-Broadway show currently playing at New World Stages. If your idea of an incredible time at the theater is defined by uproarious laughter and comically nonsensical farce, then The Play That Goes Wrong is absolutely for you. It’s a play about putting on a play – a 1920s murdery mystery, in fact – and everything that can go wrong does go wrong. That’s really about it.

There’s nothing like enjoying a Broadway mainstay, and with Halloween around the corner, Wicked is the perfect musical to attend this fall with those you love. Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the musical explains to us how exactly the Wicked Witch of the West, actually named Elphaba, became known as such and how and why she and Glinda the Good were actually friends before Dorothy dropped in. Featuring a score from Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin), many of Wicked’s musical numbers, including “Popular,” “Defying Gravity” and “For Good” have become musical theater classics. It may not be easy being green, as Elphaba could surely tell you, but it’s definitely easy to love this musical, which just surpassed its 16-year mark on the Great White Way.

By Mikey Miller
(Photo: Joan Marcus)

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