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- Posted:Saturday, March 1, 2014
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Musical theatre has been around for years and has long been a popular interest for many people. Today, more than ever, there are more theatres filling up and productions running in cities around the globe. The popularity of musicals has grown thanks to contemporary and innovative shows and even television shows incorporating the concept of musical theatre itself. Its fans are generally more than willing to travel as there are only certain places that will be showing the latest production or run of a show.
For years there were only two top runners in locations for musical theatre; however, the location stage for musical theatre is starting to broaden. Here’s a list of our top locations to see the latest productions and last runs of your favourite musicals.
London’s West End has always been a forerunner in showcasing the best of the best in musical theatre. Today, the theatres of the West End are as busy and lit up as ever as fans flock nightly to see their favourite London musicals on the big stage or catch the opening night of the newest hit in the musical theatre world. London is also a destination where people will travel to with the sole purpose of catching a West End show as the city is renowned for its spectacular shows. If you’re visiting London soon then make sure to check what’s playing in the theatre district of the West End while you’re there so you don’t miss out on the experience of a London musical.
Want to see some uniquely British productions? How about Billy Elliot or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or you could catch a classic like Porgy and Bess (opening in July) or Miss Saigon, or a modern classic like Wicked. The Irish are making a name for themselves in musical theatre as well, with Once and the Commitments both making a huge splash in London's West End. Of course, you can't forget to catch Monty Python's Spamalot before it closes on April 12.
If you are looking to catch a long-running musical theatre show in Canada then Toronto will be your best bet. The theatres and stages of Toronto have played host to some of the world's most popular shows.
A new theatre season is kicking off for 2014 and opening in the next couple of months are American Idiot, Chicago, The Lion King and Queen's musical We Will Rock You. Later in the summer you can catch the Tony Award-winning Titanic and South Park's The Book of Mormon.
Canada is, of course, the home of Cirque du Soleil, and Toronto is hosting two big productions this year - Varekai, starting on May 21, and Kurios, opening on August 28.
You can find full listings of musicals, plays, dance performance, operas and more at the official Toronto Theatre website.
The theatre district in New York is simply referred to as Broadway. You will find New York’s theatre district located just off Times Square and it is regarded as the crème de la crème of musical theatre in the English speaking world. Many world-famous musical productions started off in small off-Broadway theatres before making it to New York’s bigger stages and travelling the world. Anyone with an interest in musical theatre would not leave New York without taking in at least one Broadway musical.
You'll be absolutely spoilt for choice in New York, with more musical productions than you can shake a glittery stick at...and that's not even counting the off-Broadway productions! Here you'll find everything from ongoing classics like Chicago and the Lion King to new revivals of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera to newer pop productions like Kinky Boots and Once. Personally, we're thinking of hopping a plane to catch Alan Cumming reviving his role as MC in Cabaret, running for 24 weeks from April 24 at Studio 54.
The 'slow' season of January, February, September and October is when you're most likely to find tickets to the most popular shows on Broadway. Don't forget to look around online for discounted tickets with promo codes or last-minute ticket releases.
Check out the New York Theater Guide for information on dates and locations.
For Spanish-language musicals, the best place to catch the most popular ones is Madrid. Madrid is brimming with art and culture so it’s no surprise to learn that you will catch a musical production here, too.
In fact, Spain has its own form of musical theatre called zarzuela. This originated in mid-17th century Madrid and had a huge resurgence in popularity after the death of Franco. You can expect to see a lot of traditional Spanish dress in zarzuela musicals, so it's definitely a visual feast.
Upcoming musicals in Madrid include Aladdin and an audience-participation-heavy Rocky Horror Picture Show (Rocky Horror Dramakuin Show). We also recommend checking out Viva la Zarzuela, opening in May 2014.
Chicago is no stranger to top musical productions as it often plays host to many travelling shows. Chicago has a small theatre district however the shows it stages are world famous. If you are visiting Chicago make sure you check the listings for Chicago musical theatre as you could be surprised to find an award winning show being staged.
This is the city to go to if you really want to see the all-American shows that come to mind when you say the word 'musical'. Opening between now and the end of May 2014 are Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, the Wizard of Oz, the Sound of Music and Mamma Mia! You can get tickets for shows opening all the way into next year on the Chicago Theater website -- personally we'd be excited to see Motown - the Musical or Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein.
Photos courtesy of PromoMadrid, Simon James, Mike Fleming and Clint Photo. All images used under the Creative Commons license.