Summer is the season of tourism and what better way to enjoy an evening in Chicago than catching a fun musical or play? Sit down in the cool theater and feel the excitement as the spotlights flash on and the curtain begins to rise. And don't forget that you are in the most popular part of Chicagoland - the Downtown Loop area and theater district - which means there are great Chicago restaurants and activities perfect for before or after the show. Chicago is home to some of the best shows of our times, whether they are straight from Broadway in New York City or they are destined to be there one day soon. The five major theaters in Chicago are the Oriental Theatre, the Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Bank of America Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre and the Broadway Playhouse. Check out our picks for the best current and upcoming Broadway shows in Chicago, Illinois.
Current Broadway shows in Chicago:
- Pinkalicious the Musical: Based on the children's book Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, this musical is one of the few great shows that the kids will love. Not only is this musical funny and entertaining, but it is all about a girl who eats so many pink cupcakes she turns herself pink! Pinkalicious' struggle to turn back to her normal color is full of great family values such as kindness, honesty and healthy eating. Pinkalicious is now playing at Broadway Playhouse and tickets are available here.
- Rock of Ages: Take a trip to the 1980's with this awesome rock-based musical. With covers of all of the best 80's power ballads, expect all of your favorite songs by Styx, Journey, Twisted Sister and more. Don't forget that this is still a musical, though, and there is a plot, the distinguishing factor making this show different from just a concert. The sappy rock love story will have you grinning in your seat while the tunes of your past serenade the whole audience. Get your tickets here.
- Year of the Dragon Cirque Shanghai: While this might not be your traditional Broadway-type show, Cirque acts are continually making their name in big-scale productions. The Year of the Dragon Cirque Shanghai is a local favorite in Chicago and the summer season isn't complete without a trip to the Navy Pier to see the death-defying acrobatics of these performers. With fun acts like the Wheel of Death and the motorcycle troupe, the whole family will be excited and entertained by this fun Chicago show. Click the above link and look for the green "Book Now" button for tickets.
Upcoming Chicago Broadway shows:
- Rain - A Tribute to The Beatles: Opening at the Oriental Theater tomorrow, (Tuesday, June 26th) Rain - A Tribute to The Beatles will bring the beloved music of one of rock's greatest bands to Chicago. The tribute band Rain covers the full set of The Beatles songs and even uses the same gestures, voices and sounds as the famous originals! Going to this show is like seeing the Beatles in their prime. Rain will only be playing in Chicago from June 26th to July 1st so get your tickets quickly!
- Les Miserables: This musical is a classic in the Broadway world. Following the emotional turmoil of the French Revolution, the songs are powerful, the acting serious and the experience completely unforgettable. Playing at Chicago's Cadillac Palace from November 14th to December 2nd, Les Miserables celebrates its 25th anniversary of success on the stage.
- The Book of Mormon: This adult-themed Broadway comedy has been making news ever since it first hit Broadway. With nine Tony awards, critical acclaim from all of the hugest sources including the New York Times and Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, The Book of Mormon is sure to surprise and entertain all audience members ready to laugh.
- War Horse: Another serious and dramatic Broadway show to come to Chicago, War Horse takes place at the beginning of World War I and follows the unlikely heroes Joey, a horse who ends up fighting on both sides of the war, and Albert, the boy who misses his horse so much that he embarks on a journey to the ends of the earth to find him. Perhaps the coolest part about this musical is the lifelike horse puppets that bring the force of these huge animals to life on the stage.
With all of these great Broadway shows coming to Chicago this summer and fall, vacationers and locals alike will have no trouble staying entertained! Have you been to any of these shows? Do you have tickets to upcoming shows already booked? Let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter!