10 must-see musicals on the West End

10 must-see musicals on the West End

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

When I learned that we would be moving to the United Kingdom, I quickly Googled how far our new base was from London. Less than an hour by train, London’s West End beckoned. As a lover of all things musical, I couldn’t wait to catch a show. The only question was, which one to watch? With so many choices, here is a list of 10 must-see musicals on your next trip to London.

42nd Street
Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The iconic tale of a bright-eyed girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania with dreams of making it big on Broadway is a must-see. With dazzling choreography and featuring songs such as “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and “I Only Have Eyes for You,” this West End revival features the musical talents of Sheena Easton.

Aladdin
Prince Edward Theater

Transport yourself to the dusty streets of Agrabah and discover the tale of Aladdin and his three wishes. Complete with the exuberant Genie, villainous Jafar and lovely Jasmine, you’ll find yourself singing along and enjoying this magic carpet ride.

The Book of Mormon (ending March 31)
Prince of Wales Theater

Suitable for audiences ages 18 and older, “The Book of Mormon” follows the adventure of two Mormon missionaries sent to a dangerous Ugandan village. The unsuspecting duo attempt to share the Book of Mormon with the locals, where exploits and shenanigans ensue. Written and directed by the creators of “South Park,” expect plenty of crude humor and explicit language.

Hamilton
Victoria Palace Theatre

Newly opened in December 2017 (meaning tickets have gone quickly), “Hamilton” tells the story of ill-fated founding father Alexander Hamilton. With a narrative told from his frenemy Aaron Burr, the hip-hop based musical makes this history lesson amazing to watch. 

Kinky Boots
Adelphi Theatre

Winner of multiple Tony awards and inspired by true events, meet Charlie Price — a down-on-his-luck man who recently inherited a shoe factory from his father. Struggling to keep the business going, Charlie meets Lola, a cabaret drag-queen in need of new, sturdy stilettos. As their strange partnership forms, this unlikely pair discovers that they have more in common than they think.

Les Misérables
Queen’s Theatre

Based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, “Les Misérables” opened on the West End in 1985, making it the longest-running musical on the West End. Set in the gritty 19th century, witness the struggle of Jean Valjean, a man who spent 19 years imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. After breaking parole, he is relentlessly hunted by police inspector Javert. With classic tunes, “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More” and “On My Own,” this story is one of love, courage, sacrifice and redemption.

The Lion King
Lyceum Theatre

Join Simba, the heir apparent to the Pride Lands, as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and courage back to his kingdom.  Based on the 1994 blockbuster, “The Lion King” transforms the majestic Lyceum Theatre into the lush plains of the Serengeti. Featuring the music of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice, you’ll be amazed by the sheer herds of zebras, giraffes and more.

Mamma Mia!
Novello Theatre

Sophie is a newly-engaged woman, searching for her father. Unbeknownst to her mother, she’s written three potential candidates — all of whom show up at the same time. This hilarious and heartwarming show features tunes from Swedish pop group, Abba.

School of Rock
New London Theatre

Dewey Finn has dreams of being a rock star, but reality comes crashing down. Needing extra cash for rent money, he impersonates his roommate as a substitute teacher. He discovers a wonderfully talented group of musically-inclined students and plots to enter the Battle of the Bands. Rock on!

Wicked
Apollo Victoria

See another side to “The Wizard of Oz” that you haven’t seen! Before Dorothy Gale, Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow made their debut, there was another story to be told. Two opposing schoolmates, Glinda and Elpheba, forge an unlikely friendship that will be tested as they fulfill their destinies of good and wicked.

Ticket buying tip: Check with the Information, Ticket and Travel (ITT) offices at RAF Alconbury, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath for discounted tickets.

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