Those of us theatre fans lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance from New York know the pleasure of a trip to Broadway: sitting in a legendary theatre that has hosted legendary shows which have captivated audiences for decades; marveling at the talent of some of the best stage actors of our time; experiencing the thrill of the biggest, best new plays and musicals first hand.
Broadway is really a remarkable place, but luckily, the most successful of these shows often pick up and take it on the road for audiences across the country, and in some cases, the world, to see. Those wishing to get out and see the shows that they have read about, heard the cast albums of, and seen represented on the Tony Awards can make a short drive to their local performing arts center and get a taste of the magic. And this summer's season is full of hits old and new.
Take a look below at the shows currently making their ways across North America.
(1) Wicked: One of Broadway's biggest successes ever, this Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell) musical packs the Gershwin Theatre every night, and it also has not one, but two national touring companies on the road.
(2) The Book of Mormon: The surprise hit of the 2011 Tony Awards, this musical from the foul-mouthed creators of South Park and Avenue Q is spreading its message across the world, with productions thriving on Broadway, in London, and across the US.
(3) Jersey Boys: The hits that defined a generation are presented live in this story of the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, showing on Broadway, in Vegas, and on tour.
(4) Les Miserables: Perhaps Broadway's most beloved musical of all time, Les Mis has surged in popularity once again following the release of the new film version starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
(5) The Lion King: A hit with kids and adults alike since the film debuted in 1994, The Lion King's stage adaptation is one of the most visually entrancing shows ever conceived.
(6) West Side Story: This show, an absolute musical theatre classic, is now almost as iconic as the play on which it's based, Romeo and Juliet.
(7) Beauty and the Beast: A hit on Broadway for years, Belle, Beast, Gaston, and the rest of the cast of characters are still creating magic for new audiences.
(8) Rock of Ages: Another musical that has since had a film adaptation (albeit not a very successful one...), Rock of Ages is truly the rock concert of Broadway shows, featuring hits by Journey, Pat Benatar, Styx, and more.
(9) War Horse: It is unusual for a play to have the same level of success as a musical on Broadway, especially when it is not a star vehicle. This innovative play has elegant puppetry and a gripping story.
(10) The Addams Family: It was just a matter of time until this creepy, kooky family got a musical. It's just what fans would expect with an added twist: Wednesday is all grown up and in love...with a NORMAL boy!
(11) Catch Me If You Can: Based on the same true story as the film of the same name, Catch Me If You Can features glitzy production numbers as well as tender moments, all within an inventive narrative form.
(12) American Idiot: This is a must-see for Green Day fans. This one-act, 90-minute show is an exhilarating bombardment of light and sound, guided by the tunes of the hit album it's named after.
(13) Priscilla Queen of the Desert: One word: fabulous. Showcasing some of the most over-the-top costumes ever created for a musical and some big disco hits, this show is pure neon with a real heart.
(14) Sister Act: Fans of the film fell in love with Whoopi Goldberg in the starring role, and her spirit fills this show, which also features a new score by Alan Menken (Aladdin, Enchanted) and some very spirited nuns.
(15) Flashdance: This show hasn't actually made it to Broadway yet, but it's on its way! The classic film is adapted for the stage as one girl chases her dream against the odds. What a feeling!
See schedules and find tickets to these shows at Ticket Liquidator!