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The best Broadway onstage romances to see now for Valentine’s Day

January 26, 2022 by Joe Dziemianowicz
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Love is in the air. Yes, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, but when you’re in the vicinity of the Theatre District, that’s always an atmospheric given. After all, romance is a fundamental fuel and building block of plays and musicals. Broadway’s slate of current and upcoming shows shines a bright spotlight on an array of romances, illuminating the delights, splendors, and (reality check) imperfections of love.

The Broadway shows playing now cover all types of love: forbidden romances, enemies-to-lovers, showmances, long-standing marriages, and more, in time periods ranging from the 18th century to today. Love has always been a many-splendored — and complicated — thing, and Broadway musicals and plays cover all its ups and downs. Here are some fine Broadway romances to see on stage now.

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Hamilton and Eliza in Hamilton

Hamilton: Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning megahit musical about the life, times, and legacy of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton has been called a hip-hop history lesson. That fits, with its keen-eyed and exhilarating focus on the forging of the American experience. That said, equally central is the musical’s story of Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler, who becomes his wife. Their marriage has plenty of ups and downs, so the show also offers an invaluable lesson (as in, bring Kleenex) in matters of the heart. “Forgiveness. Can you imagine?” We can.

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Orpheus and Eurydice

Hadestown: Orpheus and Eurydice

Just when you think it’s impossible to summon fresh insights or emotions from the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, creator Anaïs Mitchell goes and blows your mind – and those expectations. As Hadestown retraces the age-old story of Orpheus going to the underworld to rescue his love, Eurydice, this 2019 Best Musical Tony Award winner boasts some of the most striking stage pictures now on Broadway (cue the lamps) and stirring earworms (“Wait For Me”). The show is a reminder not just of the lengths one can go for love, but also of the roadblocks that can rise up at every step of the way.

Get Hadestown tickets on TodayTix.

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera: Christine and Raoul (and the Phantom)

The famous falling chandelier gets all the attention in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ear-tickling, Tony-winning musical retelling of Gaston Leroux’s 1909 novel set in the Paris Opera House and its subterranean underbelly. But there’s much more to see than that lone light fixture. That includes too many eye-popping costumes to count in the song “Masquerade” and an evocative world where candles rise up from the mist. Add a disfigured Phantom obsessed with Christine — a young soprano who’s taken with the dashing Raoul — and you’ve got a triangulated romance for the ages. Truly. It’s Broadway’s longest-running show.

Get The Phantom of the Opera tickets on TodayTix.

Satine and Christian in Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Moulin Rouge! The Musical: Christian and Satine

If you’re looking for a sexy spectacle, search no further. This one comes with a windmill, an elephant, and a “sparkling diamond” of a showgirl who descends on a swing (move over, Phantom chandelier). Nearly six dozen pop love songs stretching from Elton John’s “Your Song” to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and far beyond emerge in this lavish musical set around 1899 in the titular Paris cabaret. Like the 2001 movie of the same name, the show wraps its intoxicating eye- and ear-candy around an all-consuming romance between Satine, a cabaret star, and Christian, a songwriter, that’s gummed up by outside forces. 

Get Moulin Rouge! The Musical tickets on TodayTix.

Plaza Suite

Plaza Suite: Sam and Karen Nash, Roy and Norma Hubley, and Jesse Kiplinger and Muriel Tate

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick play three different couples who meet in the same hotel room in this revival of Neil Simon’s 1968 Broadway comedy, composed of a trio of one-acts. No doubt the stars’ performances will be informed by their own offstage marriage as they play a couple revisiting where they honeymooned, a producer and a former flame, and spouses whose daughter gets cold feet about tying the knot. Previews begin March 28, and all things considered, a romantic comedy would feel very good right about now.

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Aladdin: Aladdin and Jasmine

Who doesn’t love a classic rags-to-riches romance? Of course, Jasmine is a princess from the start, but the titular character of Aladdin begins as a lowly street urchin. When he finds a wish-granting genie in a magic lamp, he uses a wish to become a noble prince and win Jasmine’s heart. Perhaps the best part of this love story, though, is that Aladdin first meets Jasmine before his transformation, and she’s already endeared to him then — it’s just royalty protocol that she marry a noble. Aladdin may have needed the Genie to look the part of a prince, but the power of love worked its magic on the pair all on its own.

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Nick and Diane Marson in Come From Away and real life
Left: Sharon Wheatley and Lee MacDougall (center) as Diane Gray and Nick Marson in the original Broadway cast of Come From Away. Right: The real-life Nick and Diane Marson.

Come From Away: Nick and Diane Marson

Sometimes out of tragedy, there’s a glimmer of happiness to be found that helps you weather it. That’s the premise of Come From Away at large — an inspired-by-real-events musical set in a Newfoundland town that welcomed thousands of displaced travelers after 9/11 — but it’s particularly true for two plane passengers: Nick Marson and Diane Gray. One long-single and one long-divorced, they met on their flight while it was grounded in Canada and spent much of the following week in each other’s company. They knew it was odd to find romance in such a tragic situation, but they couldn’t help but fall. Long story short, the two are married now and are frequent visitors to the show. Who else can say they can watch their very own love story on stage during date night?

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The Music Man

The Music Man: Harold Hill and Marian Paroo

Can a con man change his stripes and do the right thing? Can a prim librarian who always goes by the book come to see the world — and herself — in a different way? Those are questions at the heart of Meredith Willson’s warm and tuneful 1957 musical, now in a new production starring Hugh Jackman as flimflammer Harold Hill and Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo. If you told us there is a more persuasive and plainspoken song about the transformative powers of romance than “Till There Was You,” we’d think you were trying to con us.

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Beanie Feldstein and Ramin Karimloo as Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein

Funny Girl: Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein

In this hotly anticipated musical revival, Beanie Feldstein, last seen on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, plays quick-witted comedian Fanny Brice, a role famously originated by Barbra Streisand in 1964. Threaded with iconic songs by composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill including “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” the show charts Brice’s career triumphs and bittersweet romantic tribulations. Ramin Karimloo plays gambler Nicky Arnstein, Fanny’s eventual husband whose past casts a dark cloud over their romance. Performances begin March 26, bringing Funny Girl to Broadway for the first time in 58 years. Consider us people who can’t wait to hear “People” — and everything else in the show.

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