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7 Feel-Good Shows to Put a Smile on Your Face

Recharge your batteries with plays and musicals that are designed to lift your spirits. logo

As the days get longer and the sun begins to shine more, we all look to shed our winter blues in favor of the warm fuzzies of springtime. What better way to lighten your mood and put a spring in your step than with some feel-good shows that are all about lifting our spirits! Along with the highly anticipated Hello, Dolly! and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, here are some other inspiring and flat-out hysterical shows running now in New York that are designed to raise the number on your happy index.

For tickets, click on the hyperlinked title of a show.

Things never seem to go right for the zany cast of The Play That Goes Wrong.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

1. The Play That Goes Wrong
Here's a play that lives up to its title. This uproarious British farce has had audiences rolling in the aisles since it crashed (literally) onto the stage of Broadway's Lyceum Theatre earlier this month. In it, a troupe of actors try to put on a play that suffers one hilarious catastrophe after another. You can leave your thinking cap at home for this rollicking laugh riot, complete with zany characters and nonstop shenanigans. Just when you think they can't push the envelope anymore, they come back with a truly nutty and gasp-inducing second act that takes the pratfalls to a whole new level.

Adam Chanler-Berat and Phillipa Soo star in the new musical Amélie.
(© Joan Marcus)

2. Amélie
Based on a beloved French film and starring the radiant Phillipa Soo (recently seen in Hamilton), Amélie plunges audiences into the whimsical, iridescent world of a young Parisian woman who loves to bring joyful moments to the people around her. But will that delightful do-gooder ever learn to do the same for herself? With charming tunes by Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen, this colorful canvas of a musical will have you seeing la vie en rose.

The original cast of Broadway's Kinky Boots, which won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
(© Matthew Murphy)

3. Kinky Boots
If you haven't yet met Lola, the fabulous drag queen of Broadway's Kinky Boots, then where have you been? She's been kicking up her heels and raising up our spirits in this Tony-winning musical since 2013. With music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, this story of acceptance and triumph in the face of adversity will have you on your feet as Lola and the cast show you one of the most fun-filled finales on Broadway. Everybody say yeah!

Percy Jackson (Chris McCarrell, center) and his friends go to war against the god of war in The Lightning Thief.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

4. The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
If you have kids who like superheroes their own age, then The Lightning Thief is the hilarious, feel-good show you'll want to treat the whole family to. Meet Percy Jackson, a teenage outsider who suddenly discovers that his father is one of the Greek gods — and Percy has his own superpowers to prove it. Based on Rick Riordan's popular young-adult series, this show is filled with special effects, white-knuckled battle scenes, and inspirational songs that wow young and old. The Lightning Thief will leave you thunderstruck.

The cast of Come From Away come together for a lively musical number.
(© Matthew Murphy)

5. Come From Away
This surprise hit is one of the most exuberant, life-affirming musicals you'll see this season. It tells the true story of the more than 6,000 travelers whose planes were forced to land in a small Newfoundland town on 9/11, and of the welcoming denizens who took them in with open arms. With its folksy score, lively choreography, and brilliant cast, this musical might just restore your faith in human kindness. Come From Away feels like a big hug to the world.

Dewey (played here by Alex Brightman) rocks out with his students in Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock.
(© Matthew Murphy)

6. School of Rock
School is in session at the Winter Garden Theatre, but this zany, fun-filled classroom is one you won't have any trouble getting the kids to go to. Andrew Lloyd Webber's rocking musical tells the story of wannabe metalhead Dewey, who poses as a teacher and gets a group of incredibly talented students to enter Battle of the Bands. Bring the whole family to this jam session, and don't be surprised if your teen begs you for a guitar on your way out of the theater.

The cast of On Your Feet! has audiences on their feet night after night.
(© Matthew Murphy)

7. On Your Feet!
Break out your dancing shoes and get ready to jump into a conga line at the feel-good musical explosion that is On Your Feet! This high-energy show tells the inspiring story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan as they made their way with pluck and a whole lot of talent from Cuba to the United States to create the Latin pop powerhouse group known as the Miami Sound Machine. The stage comes to life with exciting dancing and an exuberant beat that will get your feet tapping. The rhythm is definitely gonna get you.