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Thanks to stellar musicals like Hamilton and Waitress, Broadway has once again stepped into the spotlight of popular culture. For many visitors to the city, however, Broadway is uncharted territory – and especially so for those traveling with young children. Many shows feature adult themes, heightened vocabulary, and questionable content for little adventurers. So, which Broadway shows are perfect for younger minds? Here’s our roundup of the 5 best Broadway shows for kids.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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“Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?” This beloved Broadway musical, based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, is celebrating its 13th anniversary on Broadway. A show once panned by critics in a 2003 opening season has now earned a spot as one of the most popular musicals of the last two decades. Wicked follows two ambitious schoolgirls in the Land of Oz – one becomes Glinda the Good Witch and the other, the Wicked Witch of the West. Rather than simply dazzle audiences with flashy sets and classic dance steps, Wicked immerses viewers in a land of imagination and wonder. Stephen Schwartz’s commanding score, paired with the haunting backstory of a misunderstood green witch, create a welcoming, entertaining introduction to Broadway. 222 W. 51st St.; get tickets to WickedContinue to 3 of 6 below.
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“Nobody else is gonna put it right for me. Nobody but me is gonna change my story.” In 1988, author Roald Dahl published a mystical book about a precocious little girl named Matilda. This mysterious 5-year-old comes to life on stage in the theatrical adaptation of Dahl’s seminal novel at the Shubert Theatre (the show's put on eight times a week). The Tony Award-winning musical, called “the best family musical in years” by the Chicago Tribune, transports the audience into Matilda’s world as a misunderstood yet mighty kindergartener. Fans of the original work will delight in seeing their beloved childhood characters on the stage. The moving and hilarious music and lyrics are by comedian Tim Minchin. With its inspiring message of courage, self-actualization, and faith, Matilda makes the grade for kids. 225 W. 44th St.; get tickets to MatildaContinue to 4 of 6 below.
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“Proud of your boy, I’ll make you proud of your boy.” Based on the classic 1992 film by Walt Disney Studios, Aladdin has made a grand entrance worthy of Prince Ali himself at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Starring Tony Award-winner James Monroe Iglehart as the laugh-out-loud Genie, this Broadway musical takes the heart of the original animated film and molds it into a mature story with a deeper plot and themes of love, loss, and family. Though several characters, like the monkey Abu and the squawking bird Iago, have been altered from the original, the overall show maintains a close reflection to the animated motion picture. With memorable moments like the Genie’s transformation of the protagonist into a dazzling prince and the inevitable magic carpet ride of Aladdin and Jasmine, Disney Theatrical Productions has struck family gold in Agrabah. 214 W. 42nd St.; get tickets to AladdinContinue to 5 of 6 below.
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School of Rock
“Repeat after me, I pledge allegiance to the band.” School of Rock takes its cues from the 2003 cult classic film, starring Jack Black. The plot mirrors the film with a few rocking songs by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber stirred into the musical mix. On stage, a host of endearing and talented actors – most under the age of 16 – assume the roles of students at Horace Green, a preparatory school at which a certain burnt-out rocker finds himself substitute teaching. The killer score – reminiscent of Webber’s famous Jesus Christ Superstar and Aida – impresses even the skeptical younger crowd. 1634 Broadway; get tickets to School of RockContinue to 6 of 6 below.
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“You can change the world when you change your mind.” Another Broadway musical based on a film, Kinky Boots is an unexpected family hit. With a score by rocker Cyndi Lauper and book by legend Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots delivers a powerful, upbeat ambiance paired with a moving, passionate story of believing in oneself. The tale focuses on a failing shoe factory and one son’s idea to turn that family business around – with a little help from a drag queen named Lola. This dazzling musical features eye-catching costumes, sing-along music, and a heartfelt story line to draw in viewers both young and old. 302 W. 45th St.; get tickets to Kinky Boots