Must-See Musicals This Summer

Check out these vibrant musicals coming to the Twin Cities this summer.

With the vast range of theaters in the Twin Cities producing some of the best productions in the country, it’s easy to find a show for any theater fan this summer. There is a little something for everyone, from Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” for the kids to “Fellow Travelers” for Opera aficionados and “Hamilton” for musical theater fans.

Disney’s “Newsies”
Through September 29
Talkin’ Broadway calls Chanhassen Dinner Theatres “Newsies,” “An enormously entertaining, highly polished, and heartwarming production!” Disney’s “Newsies” is based on the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer sets new rules that make it harder for the newsies to make a buck, Jack Kelly and his friends rally all the newsies in New York City and strike against all publishing giants.

Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax”
Through June 10
Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” has been captivating adults and children alike for generations. In “The Lorax,” silky soft Truffula trees provide the perfect ingredient for a neat new garment, but when demand skyrockets, who will speak for all the trees in the Truffula forest? When the last tree is chopped down, will losing paradise be worth it? Come enjoy the most beloved environmental tale of all time at the Children’s Theatre Co.

June 5-10
“Chicago” has been a Broadway phenomenon since it started in 1975 and is the longest-running Broadway musical in history. The hit musical has won six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, and a Grammy. “Chicago” is a musical satire on celebrity and crime set in 1920s Jazz Age Chicago. The story follows Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, both women are accused of murder and try any way they can to gain their freedom, with no regards to justice. “Chicago’s” dazzling music and dance numbers never disappoint. See the phenomenal performance for yourself on the Orpheum stage.

“Fellow Travelers”
Select dates June 16-26
The  Minnesota Opera‘s newest production, “Fellow Travelers,” follows college graduate Timothy Laughlin and handsome State Department official Hawkins Fuller as they have a love affair in 1950s Washington, DC. Unfortunately for the two men, communists were not the only enemy during the McCarthy-era Lavender Scare. The governments implicit and explicit hostility directed towards “homosexual tendencies” generates a world of fear and shame for the two lovers. “Fellow Travelers” speaks to the significance of being one’s self and the courage it takes to stand against political oppression.

“West Side Story”
June 16-August 26
The Guthrie Theater takes on one of the most iconic American musicals. The play centers on two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, in Manhattan’s West Side in 1957. When Tony forms feelings for Maria, the sister of a rival gang member, a rumble is planned. The two lovers are caught between an age-old feud with no foreseeable escape. Musical legends Bernstein and Sondheim created unparalleled hits such as “Maria,” “Tonight,” “Cool,” and “I Feel Pretty.”

“Mamma Mia!”
July 17-August 5
Sixty million people around the world have enjoyed writer Catherine Johnson’s jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” And now, audiences can enjoy the hit show on the Ordway‘s stage. The classic musical features a mother, a daughter, three possible dads, and an unforgettable trip down the aisle. This light-hearted tale of family and friendship features ABBA’s timeless songs such as “Take a Chance on Me,” “Dancing Queen,” and “SOS.”

August 29-October 7
“Hamilton” needs no introduction. It has won 11 Tony Awards and become a monumental success, even changing the “language of musicals,” according to Ben Brantley of the New York Times. Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner Lin Manuel Miranda wrote the story about one of our most colorful Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Not only does “Hamilton” rip up the musical theater rulebook, but it also features a cast of ethnically diverse actors playing the roles of America’s Founding Fathers. Don’t miss your chance to catch this praise-worthy show at the Orpheum.