A Broadway musical is one of the must-sees in New York City. While a bunch of Tony Award winning musicals have graced the stage, there have also been a lot of flops. It’s even more upsetting when there was a lot of hype surrounding the musical. Here are 10 regrettable broadway musicals you need to know about.
1. New York, New York
Based on a movie of the same title, the Broadway musical New York, New York is about struggling artists in the big city who attempt to follow their dreams and fall in love in the process. “You could give me free tickets to see New York, New York again, and I wouldn’t go,” writes one commenter. “I only stayed for the whole thing because I heard the last number is excellent, but it was not worth sitting through that slog of a show.”
2. A Beautiful Noise
This Neil Diamond jukebox musical opened in late 2022, but even fans of Neil Diamond think the show falls flat compared to Neil’s talent. One respondent shared that their mother is a massive Neil Diamond fan but disliked the show. “She also thought it was boring and was annoyed everyone around her was singing,” they claim.
3. The Woman in White
The Woman in White is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber that takes place in mid-1800s Britain when townspeople begin to notice a ghostly woman dressed in white. But one contributor describes it as a production about “Victorian ghost collides with a theme park simulator ride. I left at intermission so as not to snore and disturb others,” they note.
4. We Will Rock You
This jukebox musical featuring Queen’s greatest hits is about a unique rock duo with the task of brightening a dismal, conformist society on the brink of collapse with a hefty dose of classic rock music. One musical theater fan watched the show as a kid and has despised it ever since. “It barely has anything to do with Queen itself. One of the characters was unironically named Scaramouche. I can’t remember how much of the story is a fever dream and how much is real,” they volunteer.
5. War Paint
War Paint is a musical based on the true stories of two competitive 20th-century beauty and cosmetics entrepreneurs who shaped American beauty standards for decades. “It was the most disappointing show I’ve ever seen,” indicates one musical lover. “Men writing about women, reducing both women to having no real inner life except wanting a boy to like them, reducing any substance they ever had to terrible romance tropes, and self-defeating pseudo-feminism” were their chief complaints.
When a woman moves to New York for a fresh start in life, she meets two friends in a park who each tell a story of a potential path that can shape her future in this Broadway production. What was intended to be a romantic and inspiring show put many to sleep. “If/Then was disappointing because almost everyone in the cast was amazing, but the plot was meh, and the songs all sounded the same.”
7. In Transit
This one-act musical is unique because it’s performed entirely in a capella. It’s an ensemble play about a group of New Yorkers traveling on the N.Y.C. subway, each with different yet relatable destinations and stories. But some viewers found the show tiresome. “I wanted to leave so bad during intermission only to find out there was no intermission,” someone explains.
8. Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
While taking Spider-Man’s classic story onto the stage could have been an impressive production, people who saw the show found it “shapelessly terrible.” One audience member even adds that the show’s creators must have had the idea to “make Spidey fly around the theater. And then they ran out of ideas for the story or music.”
This midwestern-set musical is about a couple who must postpone their wedding when a crop blight decimates the corn in their small town. “I’ve seen worse shows than Shucked, but they were at least fun-bad. The mostly bland score of Shucked lets down a pretty good and funny story.”
10. Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is a musical about a teenage boy struggling with bullying, social anxiety, and depression who finds himself in an unlikely situation after the tragic death of a classmate and a misunderstanding by his parents. One forum member writes, “I loved the soundtrack until I saw the show.”
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