These Broadway shows are brought to life using the latest in theatrical technology
We live in a technological world with many amazing wonders to behold. As one of the world’s great cities, New York is at the cutting edge of everything from advancements in architecture to capturing the latest fashion trends. New Yorkers and tourists alike have many opportunities to experience the city in new and imaginative ways, from virtual tours to interactive museum exhibitions. The Broadway theatre is no exception. Not only at the forefront of the American theatre scene with its depth of talent, creativity, and storytelling, the Great White Way is at the forefront of theatrical technology, utilizing special effects that rival any Hollywood feature. When paired with the magic of live theatre, the stunning technology of Broadway creates truly unforgettable experiences. The shows Phantom of the Opera, Matilda, Wicked, and Blue Man Group are all examples of live spectacle and sensational special effects at their best.
Perhaps one of the first musicals to truly soar utilizing modern technology and dazzling special effects is the audience favorite and current longest running musical in Broadway history, The Phantom of the Opera. With it’s flying chandelier, the classic love story inspired by Gaston Leroux’s novel, whisks audiences throughout the lavish Paris opera house, from it’s opulent grand staircase to the haunting crystal lake beneath its stage. The musical tells the story of the young opera diva Christine Daae, whose love for a dashing Count is threatened by her jealous and mysterious tutor, the infamous Phantom of the Opera. With a sumptuous score by Andrew Lloyd Weber and featuring the beloved songs “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” and “Masquerade,” The Phantom of the Opera is a flashing and luscious feast for the eyes and ears sure to satisfy any theatre or special effects aficionado. (The Majestic Theatre, 247 W. 44th St. New York, NY).
With eye-popping dance sequences, feats of acrobatic delight, and whimsical set pieces, Matilda is another musical adaptation of a classic novel that wows audiences with its special effects. Inspired by the Roald Dahl novel, Matilda is story of the spirited Matilda Wormwood as she navigates a fantastical world filled with valiant heroes and scheming villains, including her lackluster parents and cartoonishly cruel principal, Miss Trunchbull. With a knack for storytelling, mischief, and even magical powers, she inspires those around her to stand up for what they believe in while facing their fears. Imaginative theatrical effects bring the magic of Matilda to life as she sings her way into theatergoer’s hearts with the soon-to-be classic songs “When I Grow Up” and “Revolting Children.” From swinging dancers to flying students and disappearing cakes, Matilda has it all! (Shubert Theatre, 225 W 44th St. New York, NY).
Known as much for its inspirational story and music as its jaw-dropping special effects, the blockbuster hit Wicked is a sure bet for anyone looking for a first class Broadway spectacle. The musical takes place before the action of the Wizard of Oz and is the untold story of Glinda the Good Witch and Elpahba, the young woman who would become the Wicked Witch of the West. With a now classic score by Stephen Schwartz featuring “The Wizard and I,” “For Good,” and the powerful anthem “Defying Gravity,” Wicked is a story of love, friendship, and self-acceptance in the face of adversity. This dazzling production features flying monkeys, daring dragons, glittering dance numbers, fanciful costumes, and of course an Act One finale that truly defies gravity. (The Gershwin Theatre, 222 W 51st St. New York, NY)
Thrill-seeking audiences looking for an electric experience need look no further than Off-Broadway’s long running hit Blue Man Group. A fusion of live music, explosive movement, and ingenious theatrical tricks, Blue Man Group is a visceral experience that leaves its viewers on a natural high. The three person nouveau-Vaudevillian performance utilizes percussion, comedy, and original music to create a communal and primal experience. The family-friendly show’s current iteration features classic “Blue Man” moments while incorporating new pieces highlighting today’s most current technology. (Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette St. New York, NY)