Broadway Show Review  

Broadway Show Reviews

Broadway Show Review - Content, Age Restrictions and Our Broadway Show Recommendations

line Broadway tickets can be an expensive, so it's important that before you purchase your Broadway ticket, you know you've picked the right play or musical.
Consult our Broadway reviews guide below to help you determine which Broadway Show is the best choice for your group or family.
In each entry, we list the suggested age provided by the theater, as well as our own show summary and recommendations.
You can purchase Broadway tickets by clicking on the link under the name of each Broadway Show.
Blue Man Group Off-Broadway Show

Blue Man Group
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Summary Three blue-painted men create music, art, and hilarity in unusual ways in this unique and long-running Off-Broadway show.
All Ages. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation Blue Man Group brings comedy, multimedia, lighting effects, and interactive elements together to form an original theatrical experience that is unlike anything you've seen before. Because the show mostly employs visuals, music, and action (rather than words), it is great for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
The Book of Mormon Broadway Show

The Book of Mormon
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Summary A pair of dealistic young Mormons fly to the African country of Uganda to spread the gospel and are challenged by the poverty and violence that they encounter in this original new Broadway musical from the successful creators of the TV show South Park (Matt Stone and Trey Parker), in collaboration with Avenue Q's Bobby Lopez..
Parental advisory: explicit language. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation Reminiscent of the irreverent and hilariously profane tone of the Comedy Central's South Park, The Book of Mormon also boasts truly shocking, in-your-face satire that pushes boundaries. However, the Tony Award-winning The Book of Mormon is not just about shock value. This original Broadway stage musical is surprisingly warm-hearted and often very sweet-spirited. Featuring relatable and funny characters ranging from Mormon missionaries to African warlords, tuneful numbers that are often hysterically funny, and a heartfelt message regarding the value of faith, The Book of Mormon deserves its reputation as one of the great new musicals of the 21st century. However, just because this sell-out show is THE hot ticket on Broadway, don't assume it's appropriate for everyone. Some aspects of The Book of Mormon will be genuinely shocking to many people's sensibilities, especially if they are not used to extreme satire. Blasphemy, vulgar language, violence, and sharp satire that deals directly with the horrible conditions that many African people live in are all elements of The Book of Mormon's plot.

Chicago Broadway Show

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Summary Roxie Hart kills her lover and becomes a celebrity in this cynical satire of corruption in the criminal justice system set in 1920s Chicago.
May be inappropriate for 12 and under.
Our Recommendation There is virtually no set in Chicago, so don't go expecting big visuals or bright colors. The appeal of this long-running Broadway revival is the sharp humor, the Bob Fosse-style choreography, and the jazzy tunes by Kander & Ebb (e.g. "All That Jazz"). Skimpy costumes, suggestive dancing, and sassy anti-heroines who murder without remorse make this musical suitable for more mature audiences.
Jersey Boys Broadway Show

Jersey Boys
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Summary This biographical Broadway musical tells the story of how a group of tough young guys from Jersey became internationally renowned hit makers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
May be inappropriate for 12 and under. (Strong language.) Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation Jersey Boys is a smartly-written play about four men chasing after -- and dealing with the pitfalls of -- fame and an unforgettable concert rolled into one. Wonderfully sung and staged versions of all the Frankie Valli/Four Seasons hits are here, from "Walk Like a Man" to "Can't Take My Eyes Off You".
The Lion King Broadway Show

The Lion King
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Summary Based on the Disney animated feature, The Lion King is about Simba, a young lion who flees his home after being convinced that he was responsible for his father's death.
Disney recommends its productions for ages 6 and up.
Our Recommendation Though some aspects of this Broadway adaptation of the movie still seem a bit too cartoon-y, the new African-inspired music and director/designer Julie Taymor's breathtaking puppetry and stage effects make The Lion King Disney's most innovative and theatrical show so far.
Mamma Mia Broadway Show

Mamma Mia!
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Summary Set in the Greek isles, Mamma Mia incorporates 23 tunes by pop group ABBA into its story about soon-to-married Sophie, her free-spirited single mom Donna, and three men from Donna's past -- one of whom, Sophie hopes to discover, is her father.
May be appropriate for ages 4 and older. 
Our Recommendation Mamma Mia has become a worldwide smash since its London debut in 1999, and its biggest fans are usually the middle-aged crowd who fondly remember the disco days of ABBA. Women in particular enjoy watching fun-loving Donna and her two best friends reminiscing about their youth, when they were in a singing trio. Since the plot is a bit thin and the tone decidedly silly, the upbeat Mamma Mia is best appreciated as a big Broadway-style ABBA concert.
Newsies Broadway Show

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Summary In 1899, New York City newsboys go on strike in this stage adaptation of the cult-favorite Disney movie musical.
Appropriate 4+. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation It took 20 years, but the flop-turned-cult hit movie Newsies is finally on Broadway. Stirring ensemble numbers like "Carrying the Banner," "The World Will Know," and "Seize the Day" (the score is penned by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman) are as good as ever, and all the more exciting in a live setting with an energetic cast of talented young singer-dancers. Several new songs (most of which are fine if not remarkable on first hearing) have been added to fill out the show, many existing songs have had lyric changes, and there are a number of plot and character alterations. While not all of the changes seem necessary, most serve the story fairly well. Newsies is not without weaknesses, but overall it is an enjoyable and inspiring real-life tale with phenomenal dancing and great songs -- a perfect musical for the whole family.
Once Broadway Show

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Summary When an Irish street performer meets a Czech immigrant, they develop an unexpected friendship and fruitful musical collaboration in this beautiful and complicated love story.
(Contains limited profanity, including the “f” word, but is otherwise an extremely wholesome show.) Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation From a purely musical standpoint, Once presents a uniquely beautiful experience in the theater. The folk-rock score that first caught audiences' attention on the big screen in 2007 now shimmers even moreso onstage, where it's played and sung by a cast of talented performer-musicians. The movie's gentle love story is also nicely rendered in this stage version of the film. But where Broadway's Once falters is in the tone of the script, which comes off as rather cutesy, featuring several characters that are quirky to the point of cartoonishness. This tone clashes with the music itself, which is passionate, earthy, and lyrical. That frustrating contrast notwithstanding, Once remains a musical gem that is well worth experiencing live in the theater.
The Phantom of the Opera Broadway Show

The Phantom of the Opera
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Summary A disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House becomes obsessed with a beautiful singer named Christine and "haunts" the owners until they make her the star of the opera.
There are a few scenic effects that might frighten young children, but there is no objectionable language or content.
Our Recommendation This romantic musical tends to be especially liked by female audiences, but in its 25-year Broadway run it has become popular with viewers of all kinds. The lush Andrew Lloyd Webber score boasts modern classics "Music of the Night" and "All I Ask of You". Despite the Phantom's penchant for singing seductive ballads, though, he is also a very tortured character whose obsessive feelings for Christine drive him to some drastic and violent measures.
Rock of Ages Broadway Show

Rock of Ages
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Summary Set in L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, both in L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. Rock of Ages takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair!
Appropriate for 14+ (Strong language). Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Our Recommendation From the lighter-shaped lights they hand you when you walk into the theater to the beer being served by vendors during the performance, Rock of Ages has the feel of a rock concert. Oh, yeah, and then there's the music. If you lived through the '80s (and have happy memories of listening to the radio or watching MTV during that time), then you're likely to be grinning like an idiot and desperate to sing along as the energetic cast belts out melodic rock hits like Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive," Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again," and Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is". Sure, the story and dialogue is silly (sometimes deliciously, sometimes cringingly), but when they start singing "Don't Stop Believing," you'll be waving your lighter in the air with everyone else.
Wicked Broadway Show

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Summary In this Broadway musical based on Gregory Maguire's novel (a "prequel" to The Wizard of Oz), we learn how Elphaba, a sensitive and misunderstood college student in Oz, came to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Recommended age for children is 8 years and up. There is nothing of a vulgar or sexual nature, but there are adult themes.
Our Recommendation This popular Broadway musical is especially loved by tweens, who can relate to its tale of a young woman struggling to fit in, but audiences of all ages can appreciate the themes about prejudice and friendship, as well as the pop-infused score by Stephen Schwartz. If you're thinking of bringing your pre-tweens, bear in mind that, as in The Wizard of Oz itself, there are some scary scenes.