See these Broadway shows based on your favorite halftime show
Sporting events are kind of like theatre: There’s an audience, there’s live entertainment, and there are thrills and suspense as you watch how the spectacle in front of you will end. And no sports game is more theatre-like than the biggest football game of the year, not least of all because there is, kind of, actual theatre involved. Depending on how much you like football, the halftime shows can be even more exciting than the game itself. The performances often have the glitz, glamour, and cast size of Broadway productions. Which is why we at TodayTix love watching them!
If you watch football just for the 15-minute halftime shows, then you’re bound to love two hours’ worth of a real, live show even more. And if you’re a sports fan looking to get into theatre but don’t know where to start, let the Super Bowl be your guide. Who says arts and sports can’t mix? We have recommendations for which Broadway or Off-Broadway show you’d like best based on the musical style, headliners, and content of your favorite halftime shows. After you’ve rallied your team of friends for a watch party, make plans to see one of these shows next!
Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Hadestown
Anyone else think Stevie Wonder would make a divine Hermes in Hadestown? Fans of his soulful jazz performance at the 1999 game will enjoy going way down to Hadestown, a contemporary retelling of Greek myths. Just as the 1999 show blended multiple musical styles — Gloria Estefan and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy added Latin pop and big-band jazz flair, respectively — Hadestown employs folk, rock, New Orleans jazz, and more to retell Orpheus’s journey to the underworld to rescue his lover, Eurydice, from hell. If you were grooving along to Wonder, Estefan, and BBVD’s tunes, you’ll be livin’ it up on top at Hadestown!
Diana Ross: Company
Between “Baby Love,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and more, Diana Ross covered all the ups and downs of love in her 1996 medley. And Bobbie, the leading lady of Company, knows all too well that you can’t hurry love. Company sees her and her friends wonder why she can’t settle down as she celebrates her 35th birthday. Songs like “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Being Alive” and their composer, Stephen Sondheim, are as renowned as Ross and her own catalogue. For theatregoers who love catchy, classic, sometimes-romantic music like hers, Company will keep you hangin’ on!
Bruce Springsteen: David Byrne’s American Utopia
Bruce Springsteen’s own Broadway show has closed, but if you enjoyed his 2009 halftime show and love classic rock, you can see another Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on stage instead. David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, is on Broadway with the second engagement of his theatrical concert. American Utopia is a mix of his career hits, new music, and personal musings about life, unplugged but thoroughly rousing. Whether you had your glory days in the ’80s, were growin’ up on Byrne’s music, or just love a good rock show, American Utopia will satisfy your hungry heart.
Madonna: The Book of Mormon
If you like your religion with a dose of raunchiness, Madonna always delivers. No one else could pull off a transition from LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” and the rap/pop diva bop “Give Me All Your Luvin'” to an angelic rendition of “Like a Prayer,” complete with a full gospel choir, like she did in 2012. The Book of Mormon is quite the same — the infamously irreverent musical comedy about Mormon missionaries in Uganda isn’t exactly church-approved, despite the title. But with gut-busting laughs and plenty of energy, it sure is heavenly to watch.
Katy Perry: The Play That Goes Wrong
Remember when Left Shark was The Meme of 2015? Katy Perry was putting on a dreamy, bubbly rendition of “Teenage Dream,” but we couldn’t take our eyes off the background-dancing shark who, er, was a little hot n’ cold when it came to hitting the beats. But that only made the show more fun to watch — and if you were one of the people who enjoyed (and/or memed) the antics, you’ll love The Play That Goes Wrong, which is full of whimsical physical comedy. The mishaps of the amateur theatre troupe portrayed in The Play That Goes Wrong, whose opening night is hindered by missing props, crumbling sets, and fainting actors, would be the subject of so many Twitter memes. Left Shark would fit right in with the players.
Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige: Hamilton
The 2022 show lineup, a reunion of celebrated rappers from the ’90s on, is a hip-hop lover’s dream. If you’re ready to lose yourself in their music and drop it like it’s hot, why not get a ticket to go back to the ’90s — the 1790s, that is — on Broadway at the most famous rap musical there is? Hamilton uses rap and hip-hop music to tell the story of the titular Founding Father, and you gotta believe this Pulitzer-winning show delivers impeccable rhymes and rhythms. Will the real Alexander Hamilton please stand up?
U2: Come From Away
U2 had one of the most heartfelt performances in halftime-show history; the band performed in 2002, and their set paid tribute to all those who had died at 9/11 mere months before. Come From Away on Broadway also draws on the 9/11 attacks, telling the story of the Newfoundland town that sheltered thousands of displaced plane passengers when the U.S. airspace closed. Like U2’s set, Come From Away is ultimately about hope and resilience amid tragedy and will touch your heart. In telling the stories of the people who gave their time, possessions, and support to others in a time of need, the musical celebrates the best of humankind.
Bruno Mars: Little Shop of Horrors
Suddenly, Bruno! Bruno Mars’s 2014 performance — not to mention his entire music career — blended pop, R&B, soul, and more, and he always adds an unmissable touch of funky, old-school flair to his songs. Fans of Mars’s slick, classic sound will enjoy the ’60s rock and roll, doo-wop, and Motown music of the Off-Broadway treasure Little Shop of Horrors. A hapless flower shop worker gets fame and fortune upon discovering an exotic plant — but he has to figure out how to satisfy its unending thirst for blood. Dark comedy and smooth, catchy tunes like Mars’s? That’s what we like!
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira: Chicago
When Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart team up to headline a showstopping vaudeville act in Chicago, it’s an iconic moment. Think of them like Shakira and Jennifer Lopez in 2020: Watching one powerhouse woman sing and dance is captivating on its own, but as fans of their performance know, putting two of them together takes the show to a whole other level. And like in J. Lo’s and Shakira’s performance, dance takes center stage at Chicago. Sultry, fierce choreography is on full display all throughout this musical that’s as timeless as these women’s careers.
Prince: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Prince’s 2007 performance is often called the greatest halftime show of all time. His high-octane, elaborate medley of his greatest hits felt like a full-out concert, and just reaffirmed his status as a musical legend. You might remember that he even threw in “Proud Mary,” the greatest hit of another rock icon: Tina Turner! Prince may be gone, but you can still don your raspberry beret, hop in your little red Corvette (or on the subway), and see “Proud Mary” and all of Turner’s greatest hits instead on Broadway at Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. This show feels like a rousing Turner concert, too, celebrating the trailblazing career of the Queen of Rock and Roll.
Lady Gaga: Six
If Lady Gaga walked onstage at Six, she’d blend right in with the Queens — her sequined leotard from her 2017 halftime show perfectly matches their own dazzling costumes, and Catherine of Aragon would so wear her spiky gold blazer. Not to mention, Gaga’s upbeat pop performance perfectly matches the energy of Six, which reimagines the six wives of Henry VIII as a contemporary pop group of their own, retelling their bad romances with the king in their own words. You’ll want to just dance along with the Queens, and forget a poker face — you’ll be smiling for all 80 minutes of this fun musical.
Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child: Intimate Apparel
If Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child’s 2013 performance made you lose your breath, then get ready for emotions to take you over at Intimate Apparel. This show couldn’t be more different musically from the iconic girl group — Intimate Apparel is an opera, while Destiny’s Child are R&B queens — but the show is all about the power of sisterhood. Even when the characters’ romances fall through, they find strength in their fellow independent women trying to make it in 1905 New York. Oh, and if you couldn’t take your eyes off Beyoncé’s stylish, sexy outfits, get ready to see some of the most gorgeous costumes ever at Intimate Apparel, as the main character is a womenswear seamstress.