Broadway is one of the most revered New York attractions and practically a rite of passage for anyone visiting the city. And going to the theatre is possibly one of the best things to do in NYC at night. With hundreds of musicals, plays and performances taking place daily, both on and off Broadway, finding the perfect one takes some careful navigation.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list that showcases the best in New York City entertainment so all you have to do is make your way to the nearest box office.
Sit back, relax and take a bite out of the Big Apple with our guide to best New York shows:
On Broadway Shows
A landmark of theatreland and an instant Disney classic, The Lion King has become the most successful Broadway show and musical in history since the first performance in 1997. Relive the movie we all know and love in a dazzling new way as you follow the colourful story of Simba’s quest to take his rightful place as King. One of the most fun things to do in NYC with kids, prepare to be blown away by the costumes, sets and attention to detail throughout the performance.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to the Minskoff Theatre
Discover the untold story of Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. A must-see for anyone who grew up watching The Wizard of Oz and believes there’s more to the tale than Dorothy let on. A firm favourite on Broadway for the past 15 years, it has won countless awards including a Grammy and three Tony’s. Expect to sing along to show stopping musical numbers such as ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Popular’ days after watching this one.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to the Gershwin Theatre
The Book of Mormon
If you’re wondering what to do in NYC, take it from us when we say you’ll want to book a ticket for the nine-time Tony award winner of Best Musical, The Book of Mormon. Side-splittingly funny, the musical follows two young missionaries who are sent to Uganda to try to convert citizens to the Mormon religion…what could possibly go wrong?
Composed by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon is not for the easily offended.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
Hamilton: An American Musical
Experience the worldwide phenomenon in the city that started it all. Partly sung, partly rapped, Hamilton is the vivid retelling of the American Founding Father. Alexander Hamilton’s life imagined by Lin-Manuel Miranda after he was inspired by the 2004 biography written by historian, Ron Chernow.
Through its diverse choice of cast and innovative musical numbers, the Broadway show successfully challenges how we view American history and has received an unprecedented amount of critical acclaim. With sold out performances most nights of the week we recommend booking this show as soon as you’ve sorted your flights and hotel in NYC.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to Richard Rodgers Theater
The Phantom of the Opera
The longest running musical on Broadway and one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best creations, Phantom is a gripping story that stays with you long after you’ve watched the show. Spend an evening being transported to 19th century Paris. The Phantom falls in love with vocalist, Christine, and teaches her how to become the star of the Opera House he inhabits before she falls in love with another and leaves him in the shadows plotting his revenge. Worth going for the iconic boat scene alone, each act is orchestrated to perfection and sure to give you goose bumps.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to The Majestic Theatre
Off Broadway Shows
If you’re on the lookout for something other than a musical, look no further than Stomp, an off-Broadway show that fuses together dance, comedy and music into a performance you’ll never forget. Using familiar everyday objects such as bins, shopping carts and newspapers, the cast transform them into instruments that provide the catchiest of beats and take the audience on a rhythmic adventure. Since it’s humble 1991 beginnings in Brighton in the United Kingdom, it’s easy to see why this show has enthralled audiences all around the world.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to Orpheum Theatre
Who said puppets weren’t cool anymore? Avenue Q is the outrageously funny performance that parodies children’s television through the use of puppets. Following the everyday lives of the puppets and humans in the Avenue Q neighbourhood, the plot navigates the tricky world college graduates experience as they find their first jobs, fall in love and encounter other New York challenges.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to New World Stages
Blue Man Group
Not everyone likes audience participation on a night out, but if you do, Blue Man Group is the show for you. Described as a multi-sensory experience, expect lots of comedy, artistic expression and encouragement to get up and become part of the show. With most websites selling cheap theatre tickets for this show, simply browsing before booking could save you up to 50% on tickets, which makes an evening spent with actors covered in blue paint even more special!
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to Astor Place Theatre
Watch the story of how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons became international superstars. The musical is structured into four parts or ‘seasons’ and each is narrated by a different member of the band who gives his own perspective on its history and music. Look forward to the most beloved songs from the iconic band such as ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘December 1963’ and ‘Rag Doll’, a must-see for anyone who loves this era of American Rock and Pop music.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to the New World Stages
An experience different to all others on our list of stuff to do in New York City at night, The Imbible is a boozy brunch musical you won’t soon forget. With 3 different shows to choose from, you can choose the performance that most takes your fancy. We recommend ‘A Spirited History of Drinking’ which promises to take guests on an immersive journey and leave them entertained, educated and a little tipsy from the cocktails on offer. This is ideal for travellers who want to experience theatre with a twist.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to the New World Stages
Did you know the only difference between on Broadway and off Broadway shows is the size of the theatre? Typically, any show that seats less than 499 theatre-goers is classed as being off Broadway, so whether you decide to see one or all of these shows during your time in the city, you’re bound to experience some of the top things to do in New York. And once the curtains are drawn and the cast have taken their final bows, book a table for dinner at one of the Best Restaurants in New York…