Friday, July 04, 2008

In The Pursuit Of (Theatrical) Happiness

In The Pursuit Of (Theatrical) Happiness

In observance of this, the 232nd birthday for the United States of America, I'm taking this national holiday off.

But if you're in New York and feeling particularly patriotic, yet still wish to see a great Broadway show, here are my picks for the shows that will make you proud to be an American:

In The Heights - What could be better than a Tony-winning Best Musical that celebrates the incredible melting pot that is America? And with its first act showstopping number "The Club/Fireworks" that specifically celebrates Independence Day, this is a quintessential American musical. (Ironically, this show is dark on July 4, but it's open for business the rest of the holiday weekend.)

August: Osage County - Finally, a contemporary American play that's both a critical and commercial success. And Time magazine's top play of the past year. And a Pulitzer Prize winner. And the winner of the Tony for Best Play. Playwright Tracy Letts summed it up best in his acceptance speech by noting wryly about its producers, "They did an amazing thing. They decided to produce an American play on Broadway with theatre actors." Amen. (The July 4 performance begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT.)

Hairspray - John Waters' 2003 Tony Award-winning Best Musical remains, in essence, a glorious paean to the American spirit and ability to right itself. Despite its 1962 setting, it remains a hopeful show for our nation's very future. (The July 4 performance begins at 3:00 p.m. EDT.)

South Pacific - As we continue to lose the last of our "greatest generation," this gorgeous Tony Award-winning Best Revival of a Musical reminds us why these heroic men and women are held in such high esteem historically. This ultimate All-American Rodgers and Hammerstein tuner may just make you want to stand up and cheer. (The July 4 performance begins at 8:00 p.m. EDT.)

Thurgood - There's one Broadway show that not only honors one of the 20th Century's most important patriots, but it serves as an excellent history lesson, too. This riveting one-man show respects the achievements of our nation's first African-American Supreme Court Justice and his enormous contributions toward racial equality and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans. (The July 4 performance begins at 8:00 p.m. EDT.)

Happy Independence Day!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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2 Comments:

At 04 July, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Steve,
What a terrific list! I'm in total agreement with everything you've said. And of course you know that all of these shows are among my absolute favorites - in large part because of what they say about American history, about the American spirit. They are perfect choices for Independence Day. (Or any other day!)

Have a wonderful, relaxing Fourth of July!

 
At 04 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Glad you enjoyed these picks, Esther. Just thinking abuot them makes me smile.

Happy Fourth!

 

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