Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Category Archives: 10 Best List

The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #1

West Side Story Originally called East Side Story about a romance between a Catholic boy and a Jewish girl on the Lower East Side, the crown jewel in Leonard Bernstein’s oeuvre had a gestation of 10 years, during which time street gang warfare in west Midtown became front page news and the subject matter of …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #2

In the Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda’s star-making (and Tony Award-winning) breakthrough centers on one of the great set pieces of New York City life – the corner bodega. Our narrator is a store owner from the Dominican Republic who has settled in Washington Heights with a bustling community that will familiar to virtually all New Yorkers. …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #3

Wonderful Town Based on Ruth McKenney’s memoir My Sister Eileen about two small-town Ohio girls acclimating to the bohemian world of Greenwich Village, Leonard Bernstein’s celebration of the artistic life begins with a tour of the neighborhood: “On your right, Washington Square, right in the heart of Greenwich Village.” The focus on outsiders making a …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #4

Guys and Dolls Set around the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, this Damon Runyon fable gives us the bad old Times Square. Not the porn-filled inferno from 40 years ago, but the one from 40 years before that, filled with gamblers, bookies, and sewer rats whose souls desperately needed saving. From …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #5

Rent Nearly a quarter century old now, Jonathan Larson’s fantasia on the East Village before gentrification was seen as the most edgy and contemporary take on life in the city that New York theatregoers had seen in a generation. Based on Puccini’s La Boheme, Paris is traded for Gotham and tuberculosis takes a back seat …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #6

On the Town Written during the height of World War II, when three sailors meeting the loves of their lives only to then return to their ship was an ending more fraught with worry than it would be today, Leonard Bernstein’s comic opera (adapted from his ballet) benefitted enormously from Comden & Green’s collaboration. The …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #7

Hello, Dolly! Like the city in which it is set, Jerry Herman’s masterpiece is a work of reinvention. Adapted from a Thornton Wilder farce, in turn adapted from an older European play, this musical’s title character has been a feather in the cap of many of musical theatre’s greatest stars: Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Mary …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #8

Newsies Based on a flop movie, this hit musical recouped its $5-million investment in only seven months, the fastest Disney show on Broadway ever to turn a profit. Inspired by the 1899 newsboy strike against Joseph Pulitzer, the show revels in period Gotham settings, from the New York World offices, to flophouses, to Bowery theatres, …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #9

42nd Street When show business takes a look at itself, it can be unflinching or glorious. In this case, it is definitely the latter—a splendid confection of a tale about a big tap show from the audition process to opening night. Based on the Busby Berkely film about the Depression-era performers, at a time when …

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The Top 10 Greatest NYC Musicals — #10

Nothing is more intrinsic to New York than Broadway Theatre. And within that world, the musical is the most widely and deeply loved form of entertainment. This year, Beautiful New York has chosen to forego the extravagant lists of 50 or 100 gems at a time, and we have returned to our original vision of …

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