What Broadway show should I take my parents to?

They’ll be here early next month…what’s getting rave reviews these days? I’ve never been into musicals, but I’d be happy to accompany them to one. I think they’d like anything with broad appeal that’s not too racy.


You can’t go too far wrong with Les Miserables.

Oh you certainly can. Terrible, overrated show.

Hairspray and Mamma Mia! (are they both still playing?) are both light and fun. I’m desperate to see Wicked.

Wicked was awesome, but I don’t know how you can have a soul and disklike Les Miserables.

Personally, I liked Avenue Q more than anything I have seen on Broadway in the past few years, but I don’y know how your parents would react to simulated puppet sex.

(Singing) The Internet is for porn…

If you don’t want racy, avoid Spring Awakening. An entire song about masturbation in front of mom and pop? Not going to happen, I’m assuming.

I also recommend Wicked. And Chicago. Some might find Chicago a bit racy, but I personally found it pretty PG-13. Nothing worse than you’d find in an episode of Friends. Out of everything that I’ve seen so far on Bway still playing, it’s my favorite show.

My parents are coming to visit me in NYC in about a month and we have tickets to see Walmartopia, which looks like it will be pretty good. It is brand new though so I can’t tell you much about it.

Isn’t Walmartopia off-Broadway, though?

WICKED is fine but geared more towards tweens than adults, although they would enjoy it.

I highly recommend THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, especially if they are already a fan of musicals. It’s original, very witty, filled with self-references, and has the great Joanne Worley and original Tony-winning star Beth Leavel in it.

Avoid the touristy stuff–MAMMA MIA, PHANTOM, LES MIZ, COLOR PURPLE (although Fantasia is supposed to have revitalized this) etc.–and try something that might not tour.

I also recommend CURTAINS, HAIRSPRAY, and THE JERSEY BOYS, all with broad appeal and mostly original music; the first one is brand new and has theater greats Karen Ziemba, Debra Monk, and Tony-winner David Hyde-Pierce and is the last Kander & Ebb score ever. Their CHICAGO revival is still running too, and is a little creaky but in fine shape.

Next door to the massive WICKED is the terrific little musical THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, which is perfect esp. if they’re teachers. There is one song about ‘My Unfortunate Erection’ in which the 13-year-old hero laments his loss in the face of ill-timed noticing of a pretty girl in a sweater, but that’s a raunchy as it gets. It’s sweet and clever.

Too bad they missed FROST/NIXON and GREY GARDENS, which were both great.

Zoggie, WALMARTOPIA is in the famous Minetta Lane Theater in Greenwich Village, a survivor of the first off-Broadway emergence of the early 60s. THE FANTASTICKS was a couple of blocks away and the Provincetown Playhouse was near Washington Square Park; the ML is the only survivor and is a nice little house in a fascinating neighborhood.

I can personally vouch for Drowsy Chaperone and Jersey Boys being real crowd pleasers. The latter is just about jam-packed with music and has an infectious energy.

I saw Spelling Bee a few weeks ago. It’s very funny and has some audience participation.

It’s also probably closing at the end of the year or so. I got my tix on TKTS, and even so it didn’t sell out.

Double, triple and quadruple recommend either and/or both of these. We took my in-laws to see Jersey Boys earlier this month, and they both LOVED it. My father-in-law was leaning forward and tapping his toes throughout the entire thing.

Have fun!

Second that; it’s the only play I’ve seen, and I think my dad would have loved it.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.