Must See Matinees! Let Your Favorite Sitcom Help You Choose a Broadway Musical
April 2nd, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Three of Broadway’s most beloved musicals (Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella and Mamma Mia!) are shaking things up and introducing Thursday matinee performances. How perfect is that for planning a long weekend in NYC? Thursdays have always been a great day for entertainment thanks to NBC’s “Must See TV,” a programming model that ruled television for nearly thirty years. Below, BroadwayBox helps you pick which Thursday matinee musical to see based on your favorite Must See TV sitcom or drama.
The Cosby Show
If you want strong family values, loving parents and stubborn kids—with a side helping of the warm and fuzzies—you want Mamma Mia!.
It may not be Rochelle, Rochelle, but Cinderella is a musical with a woman’s name, and, more importantly, Douglas Carter Beane’s topical, sly humor is right up Jerry, Elaine and George’s alley. Though imagine the diner talk about Cinderella rewrites? “She took the shoe back; it was on the stairs and she just took it back. Just thanks for the ball, but I’m taking this shoe.”
The title character in The Phantom of the Opera is very much like the missing Crane brother: he loves the opera, he’s slightly pretentious and he appreciates a beautiful woman.
Three guys, three women, everyone pretty much pairs off and you’re guaranteed a great time just being near them. If you switch Friends’ Central Perk to a taverna in Greece, you’d have Mamma Mia!
Liz Lemon would applaud the new Cinderella because she’s not just some damsel in distress; this Ella is a smart, funny young woman who is politically minded and dedicated to change. Next Anna Howard Shaw Day, look for Liz and Criss at the Broadway Theatre.
If you feed off the drama and suspense of a show like ER, check out Broadway’s long-running hit Phantom of the Opera. Like on ER, there are love triangles, death and co-workers who are far too involved to each other’s lives.
If you were invested in the shenanigans of Dunder Mifflin’s crazy crew, get your comedy fix at Cinderella. The musical revival has all the romance of season two Jim and Pam and the comedy of the Michael Scott years.
Will & Grace
Disco dancing, men in spandex, fabulous women and ABBA, sounds like Jack McFarland’s dream come true. There’s no musical more fun for Will and Grace fans than Mamma Mia!.
Mad About You
You love a good love story and you will love this one. The Phantom of the Opera is Broadway’s most iconic romance—a tortured artist and the woman he adores. And if you can survive Paul and Jamie’s divorce, you can make it through the end of Phantom.
If you know the lyrics to the Cheers theme song, chances are you know some ABBA lyrics too. So head over to see Mamma Mia at the Broadhurst Theatre, where no one knows your name, but you’re always glad you came...went.
Just Shoot Me
If you appreciated the fashion aspect of Just Shoot Me, then just wait until you see William Ivey Long’s Tony-winning Cinderella gowns. Also, Fran Drescher’s Madame is like the Nina Van Horn of the enchanted forrest.
Parks and Recreation
If you love a strong female lead, Mamma Mia! is the musical for you on a Thursday afternoon. Like Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope, Donna is just an average woman trying to have it all: career, family, romance and fun.