'Omigod You Guys' – State Theatre New Jersey's Broadway series is to die for
As someone who grew up going to see live theater, I've seen a lot of truly amazing Broadway shows. From "Wicked" to "Moulin Rouge," I've been lucky enough to experience the magic of Broadway on more than one occasion.
But still, it's difficult for most people to actually go into New York City and see a live show. While Rutgers has a direct line into the city, finding tickets for shows you genuinely want to see is still expensive and often tricky. Luckily, the State Theatre New Jersey offers a more accessible and cheaper option with its Broadway series featuring various touring companies.
I've seen quite a few productions there, having enjoyed the theater's comeback season following the pandemic. So I think for any theater fans at Rutgers, this series is an amazing alternative to seeing a Broadway show. And since the venue has just announced its 2023 to 2024 season, I'd like to go over some of the best shows coming to the New Brunswick stage.
I've seen "Chicago" on Broadway, and I was even in my high school's production of the musical, so it's unquestionably one of my favorite shows of all time. "Chicago," set in the titular city, follows a few notorious characters living there during the 1920s.
The musical starts with a bang, literally, as the main character Roxie Hart shoots the man she's been having an affair with. The show then follows Roxie as she and one of her cellmates Velma Kelly try to get away with their crimes scot-free. And in their defense, "he had it coming."
One of Bob Fosse's signature musicals, as he co-wrote the book and choreographed the numbers, "Chicago" is moody, sexy and surprisingly hilarious at times. You'll find yourself rooting for and against the characters and viciously entertained by the almost acrobatic choreography.
The prisoners of the Cook County Jail will be in town from November 18 to November 19 this year, so get your tickets now!
Most people are familiar with the 1985 film "Clue," but there's an added bonus that comes from seeing it live. Wacky, hilarious and starring a unique cast of characters, "Clue" is a murder mystery that both spoofs the mystery genre and takes it seriously.
Modeled after the board game, "Clue" brings the pieces you played with as a kid to life while adding its own new perspective to the table. In my opinion, "Clue" is by no means a masterpiece, but if you go into it ready to not take it too seriously, you'll have a lot of fun and share a lot of laughs with the audience.
You can take part in solving the mystery from April 27 to April 28, 2024.
This is a special addition to the season for me because I saw this same show at the State Theatre when I was a kid. "Annie" is a classic for a reason, with its lovable protagonists, moving musical numbers, dynamic choreography, villains that are easy to root against and ending that'll make you smile.
For anyone that somehow doesn't know the plot of "Annie," which seems impossible considering the number of times it's been rebooted into different movies, the musical follows a group of orphans living in New York City during the Great Depression and the titular character who gets temporarily adopted by a wealthy man named Mr. Warbucks.
Considering its popularity, some may think the musical is a bit overhyped. But almost every song in the soundtrack is a banger, and you'll have them stuck in your head for weeks afterward.
You can meet little orphan "Annie" from February 2 to February 4, 2024.
"Legally Blonde – The Musical"
I've never been a huge fan of movie-to-musical adaptations, as they usually end up as soulless money grabs from producers trying to stay relatable and draw in younger crowds. But "Legally Blonde" is quite the exception as it seems to actually have its own creative vision separate from its source material.
After getting broken up with by her long-term boyfriend, the musical's protagonist, Elle Woods, follows her ex to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. But along the way, she discovers her own passion for practicing law and learns to become her own person.
It's cliché but fun, with catchy songs and costume changes that could make Barbie jealous. Unlike the other shows on this list, I've never actually seen the musical version of "Legally Blonde" and have only seen the movie version. But I've listened to the soundtrack a few times and have gotten a few numbers stuck in my head after they've become popular TikTok sounds.
This one's coming up this Friday and Sunday, so grab your tickets quickly if you want to see it. It would make the perfect early Mother's Day gift for any rom-com-loving mom.
Though there are a few other shows on the list, these are four I'd make a priority for any Broadway-loving fan. Still, if you love theater, make sure to check out the list for yourself. Whatever you end up seeing, it'll make for a show-stopping night.