The Broadway National Tour circuit is a $4 billion annual industry in the United States, supporting artists and businesses around North America. Musicals are the bread and butter of Broadway, and the same is true of the national tours.
The following list of shows ranges from new revival tours, such as the Tony Award-winning Anything Goes, to old favorites like Les Miserables and Wicked. Fortunately, all of these productions have cast album soundtracks that can tide you over until you can see show in your area.
Roundabout Theatre Company
Cole Porter's music definitely hit the right note in 2011 with the Broadway revival of Anything Goes
, bringing Tony winners Sutton Foster and Kathleen Marshall together, each snagging yet another Tony Award, and the production winning Best Revival. Though Sutton is not currently starring in the National Tour, the show has set sail and will dock in a port-o-call near you soon.
The National Tour of Billy Elliot the Musical
has everything -- great songs by Sir Elton John and Time Rice and amazingly talented kids. The show has explicit language, so it may not be suitable for smaller kids. Potty mouth aside, this Tony Award-winning musical is a crowd-pleaser for sure.
'The Book of Mormon'
A show that is definitely not for kids, The Book of Mormon
took the 2011 Broadway season by storm. The show won a dazzling 9 Tony Awards and the initial performances of the National Tour sold out before the tour even started. Getting a seat at BOM
in New York or on tour is difficult, but worth the effort.
Fela the Musical
Fela! the Musical
, is a three-hour long journey into the music and activism of Fela, a Nigerian activist. Filled with songs, drums, ethnic music, and energetic dancing, Fela!
is a feast for the eyes and ears.
Flashdance the Musical
Broadway-bound, this National Tour production of Flashdance the Musical
brings all the favorite songs from the 1980's film, including the Academy Award-winning anthem "What a Feeling." Look for Flashdance
to bring its electric musical style to a city near you.
A re-imagined version of the cult classic, Jekyll & Hyde
by Frank Wildhorn, this show is one of the most anticipated on the National Tour scene. J&H
is on a 25-week tour before hitting the boards of Broadway in 2013. Featuring Rock of Ages'
Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox, the 2012 concept cast album is a bit hit-and-miss, so it will be interesting to see what changes have been made for the National Tour... and what changes will be made again for its Broadway revival run.
The 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys
, has taken the world by storm. With tours all over the world, a second National Tour of Jersey Boys
started recently to handle the demand for this high-energy show. The original production is still playing on Broadway, with productions around the world, wowing audiences at every turn and dizzying falsetto high note.
The original Broadway production of Les Miserables
has not been gone from New York all that long, but the National Tour of Les Miz
is one of the hottest tickets to get. With the 2012 release of the film starring Russell Crowe and Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman, a whole new generation of movie fans is sure to be converted to Musical Theatre.
Disney's The Lion King
needs no introduction since it is one of the most popular children's films of all time and a blockbuster stage show as well. Safe for the entire family
, The Lion King
is a sure bet when other shows may be a tad over the head for the youngsters.
Memphis the Musical
is the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical that brought R&B, blues, and a bit of soul to the Great White Way. With the love of music at the heart of a controversial love story, the National Tour of Memphis
retains every drop of sentimentality of this fan-favorite that crosses boundaries musically and culturally.