These four Broadway shows celebrate love in their own unique way.
Love is in the air on Broadway this month, and there are a few productions that perfectly fit the mood inspired by the year’s most romantic holiday. In addition to poignant stories and critical praise, many have star power that make choosing a show as much about the story as about the talent bringing it to life.
As one of the newest love stories running on Broadway this month, Constellations may be the most intricate as well. Hollywood icons Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, October Sky) and Ruth Wilson (The Affair) both make their Broadway debut in the American premiere of Nick Payne’s fascinating story about one relationship with infinite possibilities. Gyllenhaal previously appeared off-Broadway in the 2012 production of If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, which was also written by playwright Nick Payne. In Constellations, Gyllenhaal plays a beekeeper who meets a quantum physicist (Wilson) at a barbecue, where the two instantly hit it off. The play follows the rest of their relationship’s ups and downs, with scenes that imagine how their lives might be turning out in parallel universes. Exploring universal themes of free will and the boundless potential of a first encounter, Constellations is sure to have theatergoers entranced.
Like Constellations, the contemporary new musical If/Then highlights themes of choice and the different possible directions life can take. The musical follows two parallel storylines in the life of Elizabeth, a late 30-something city planner who moves back to New York to restart her life in the city of infinite possibilities. Starring Tony winner Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent, “Frozen”) as Elizabeth, If/Then is written by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning creators of the rock musical Next to Normal, which graced Broadway from 2009-2011. Critics praise If/Then as a smart, romantic, fresh and stylish original musical that, in what seems to be rare these days, is not revived from old material. Any theatergoer who, in their own life, often looks back in “what if?” reflection will find satisfaction in the intellectualized musical unfolding on stage.
For a breathtaking and classic musical full of heartbreak and passion, Les Miserables has been moving audiences throughout the world for years. Now making its third appearance on Broadway, Les Mis features unforgettable songs including, “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” and “One Day More.” Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Miserables is an uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. One of the most celebrated musicals in history, the musical was adapted into a major motion picture in 2012 starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway.
If you’re looking for a lighter love-themed musical with a lot of laughs, Honeymoon in Vegas will not disappoint. Based on the hit movie and starring Tony Danza (“Who’s the Boss?,” “Taxi”), Tony Award nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin), and Brynn O’Malley (Annie), Honeymoon in Vegas is a hilarious musical about a regular guy with an extraordinary fear of marriage who finally gets up the nerve to ask his girlfriend Betsy (O’Malley) to marry him. But, when they head to Las Vegas to get hitched, smooth-talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza), looking for a second chance at love, falls head-over-heels for Betsy. What happens next? You’ll have to see to find out, but let’s just say it’s filled with catchy music, skydiving Elvises, sexy chorus girls, and red-hot romance!
(Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)