It's no secret that Broadway doesn't exactly have a reputation for appealing to the average male demographic. And while I would argue that if the guys just gave most of the fine musicals on Broadway a chance that they would be surprised at how much they like them, virtually no show appeals to everyone. Thankfully, there are several productions that wives, girlfriends, etc... shouldn't have to drag their men to, and if they do, shouldn't be hearing any complaints afterward. After all, as Neil Patrick Harris said in his hilarious opening number at this year's Tony Awards, "Broadway's not just for gays anymore." So if you need help picking a show that you can enjoy with the "buds" and "bros" in your life, take a look at this list:
(1) Rock of Ages: Perfect for the guy who still head bangs to the hair bands of the 80's, the guy who had/has his own garage band, or the guy who just loves sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Rock of Ages delivers the songs of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and Journey, among others, with a rags-to-riches story of an aspiring rocker and his starry-eyed girl.
(2) Catch Me If You Can: Based on the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio/Tom Hanks movie and the true story of infamous conman Frank Abagnale, Jr., this show has even more despicable yet charming criminal activity and womanizing, and a rare concentration on realistic and poignant father-son relationships.
(3) Jersey Boys: Older guys may well remember the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and younger guys will appreciate the Sopranos-esque elements of the sometimes-shady story of the rise and fall of the legendary group. They were, after all, just a bunch of guys from Jersey.
(4) The Book of Mormon: Guys need little convincing to see the out-of-control humor of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in this Tony-sweeping musical, so this one is easy (if you can get tickets).
(5) Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: For the comic book geek inside every guy, Spider-Man is the perfect indulgence. Superheroes, supervillains, web-slinging; what's not to like? I have a feeling guys are actually going to be dragging the girls to this one.
(6) How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: For any guy who has ever tried to climb the ladder of the business world while also trying to get the girl, this classic musical is a great choice. And even guys are curious to see Harry Potter sing and dance.
(7) Million Dollar Quartet: This show shouldn't be a hard sell to any guy who appreciates truly classic rock and roll. Featuring the songs (and characters) of Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, Million Dollar Quartet is a trip back to a legendary jam session at the height of rock's glory days.
(8) Avenue Q: This riotous show won the holy trinity of Tony Awards (Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score) for its outrageous and often inappropriate hilarity, and paved the way for shows like The Book of Mormon. Tackling topics from racism to internet porn to schadenfreude, you won't believe the things that come out of the characters' mouths. As if that weren't enough, there is actually a puppet sex scene. Enough said.
(9) Stomp: For an escape from the traditional "book musical," take your man to Stomp. It is an explosion of rhythm featuring anything that makes a sound, from brooms to garbage cans and everything in between. He'll be stomping his feet days later.
(10) Wicked: I know, this seems like an odd choice, but this insanely popular blockbuster musical has got to be doing something right; it has been playing to sold-out houses for almost eight years! Granted, it does focus on the friendship between the misunderstood Elphaba and the pretty-in-pink Glinda, but the immensely popular Oz mythology, the socio-political themes, and the universal debate over the nature of good and evil provide something for everyone. And I challenge anyone to watch the stunning Act I finale, "Defying Gravity," live without getting chills.