The best destination for musicals
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s almost no better way to pass an evening than dinner and a show. You can always see your favorite band or the latest Hollywood blockbuster hit, sure; but why not try something a bit more theatrical–something like a musical? Musicals have been growing in popularity over the past 4 decades and for good reason– the lights, the lyrics, the choreography. It’s no wonder Hamilton alone has made over half a billion dollars since its 2015 opening. And while we all know New York City is the place to be when it comes to Broadway hits, it’s certainly not the only one. Here are five of the best destinations for musicals that aren’t anywhere near the Big Apple.
1. London, England
Just west of the city and north of the River Thames is London’s iconic theater district, The West End. You can see a few of the city’s staple shows (like Wicked which has been playing in London for the past 13 years!) or catch something a little fresher. We recommend checking out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You may not be in Hogwarts, but London is about as close as you can get.
2. Paris, France
Since we are talking about art and culture, Paris is bound to make its way onto the list. It is, after all, the City of Lights. And though it’s more likely known for attracting big-name musicians or its infamous cabaret scene, musicals in Paris have become increasingly popular. This is a great chance to get a little added culture on your next trip to the fashion capital of the world as many popular shows have been fully translated into their native language (and what a better way to practice your rusty French skills?). Shows like Sisters Doing It In Paris (inspired by the 1992 film Sister Act), Parisian Cats, and even Ghost are worth their ticket price. You also have more family-friendly shows like Peter Pan and Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which are perfect for getting your kids to love musicals as much as you do! Don’t speak French? No worries. You’ve got plenty of options to catch your favorite shows in English!
3) Tokyo, Japan
Anime, electronics, manga and…musicals? Absolutely. Tokyo has been attracting musical lovers for years. And no other production company is more renown for their performances than the Shiki Theater Company. The Shiki Theater Company has stages all over Japan, though the most popular (or at least the one offering the most shows) is in Tokyo—as you may expect. Standard favorites such as The Lion King, Cats, and Aladdin are currently playing. Want a truly unique experience? These shows are available in Japanese which is fun but may not be for everyone. That’s why the Shiki Theater Company uses “subtitle glasses” to translate dialogue/lyrics into English, Chinese and Korean. It feels incredibly futuristic, but we’d expect nothing less from this tech-driven city!
4) Toronto, Canada
It’s true, Canada isn’t just for maple syrup. It’s also pretty great at recreating the magic of Broadway. Just a stone’s throw away from NYC (ok, more like a 1.5-hour flight), Toronto’s Entertainment District has helped popularize musicals in Canada, thanks to Mirvish Productions. Back in the 1960’s, Ed Mirvish acquired the Royal Alexandra Theater and has since masterfully put on shows such as Les Misérable, Rent, and Wicked to name a few. It’s hard to capture the magic in a bottle that is Broadway, but Mirvish Productions has, somehow, found a way. A few of the current releases include Come From Away (winner of the best musical around the world!), The Band’s Visit, Piaf/Dietrich and Girl From The North Country.
5) Las Vegas, Nevada
Though in the same country as New York, Las Vegas is actually further away from Broadway than most cities on this list (excluding only Tokyo). But when you think about visiting Sin City, catching a musical may not immediately come to mind—but it should. If there is one thing that Vegas has, it’s the kind of budget that big production musicals need to thrive. Vegas has created a musical scene that rivals Broadway and is sure to leave even the harshest critics satisfied. So skip the blackjack table (or just hit them afterwards) to see some shows you likely can’t find anywhere else like Mean Girls, Evil Dead The Musical, or How The Grinch Stole Christmas (which is great for hitting Vegas with the family).
One final thought
Broadway may be the most famous destination in the world for musicals, but it certainly isn’t the only one. When you’re traveling abroad, you still have tons of great options for catching your favorite show. The only problem? Sharing your experience with your loved ones. BNESIM has got you covered as it’s become the best international data sim card on the market. With BENSIM, you can text, call, or upload photos from your night out onto Instagram with reliable, high-speed internet. So while you may be buying a ticket-for-one to your favorite show, you can be sure to send parts of your magical evening to family and friends back home!