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Beat the Heat With These Six Shows for Your Fourth of July Week

One of the best ways to celebrate our country's independence is onstage.

The Fourth of July is upon us. Family, friends, and neighbors will come together to celebrate all things American. In today's political climate, however, if you're feeling the need to take a day (or two) off from the politics and stress, we have six Broadway and off-Broadway shows to help you celebrate outside of traditional fireworks and cornhole. These shows will offer you the opportunity to pledge your allegiance to theater while still being able to imbibe at intermission and keep you celebrating independence long after the fireworks have burned out.

The cast of School of Rock jams at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre.
(© Matthew Murphy)

1. School of Rock

A musical jam session that the whole family can enjoy, School of Rock features some of Broadway's most talented kid-musicians. Fans of the classic Jack Black movie from 2003 will not be disappointed with this musical adaptation. With songs from the movie as well as original music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, this show tells the story of a defeated guitarist and his plan to win the Battle of the Bands with students from the class he substitutes. Focusing on the friendships one can build across all ages, this lighthearted musical has something for everyone. And school will be in session for a 2pm matinee on July 4.


A scene from Broadway's SpongeBob SquarePants.
(© Joan Marcus)

2. SpongeBob SquarePants

Another show that is perfect for the whole family, this Tony Award-winning musical features music written by some of America's favorite artists (Sara Bareilles, John Legend, the Flaming Lips, and more). The famous talking sponge is played by the talented Drama Desk Award-winning Ethan Slater. Though things may get serious down in Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob SquarePants is sure to bring a smile to your and your family's faces. While the residents of Bikini Bottom are taking a Fourth of July day hiatus, they are adding a show on Monday, July 2.


RuPaul's Drag Race favorite Peppermint (center) stars in Head Over Heels.
(© Joan Marcus)

3. Head Over Heels

If you liked Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, or Spring Awakening, Head Over Heels is the show for you. From the visionaries of the above shows, this fierce new musical features music by the quintessential 1980s all-female rock band the Go-Go's. If you want to jam out to songs like "We Got the Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," and more, you're going to want to head to the Hudson Theatre for this hilarious, rock-filled musical. Head Over Heels is in previews and officially opens July 26. Though they'll be cooling their heels on July 4, go and fall for them earlier in the week so you have something to buzz about at your BBQ.


A scene from Drunk Shakespeare.
(photo courtesy of Drunk Shakespeare)

4. Drunk Shakespeare

The title is self-explanatory, and it doesn't get much better than that. Five Shakespearian actors meet in the Lounge, surrounded by books and craft cocktails. After one actor has at least five shots of whiskey and proceeds to perform a role from a Shakespeare play, the sober actors must try to keep the script on track. Keep your Fourth of July party going for the rest of the week (they have late shows on Thursdays and Fridays) and celebrate America the right way — by having some drinks and listening to a play by a British guy!


Puffs plays off-Broadway at New World Stages.
(© Hunter Canning)

5. Puffs; or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

The only thing longer than the grand finale of any fireworks display is this play's title. '' Puffs; or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic" focuses on that one great and famous school of Witchcraft and Wizardry where several not-so-great things happened. However, this is the story of the Puffs, who were there too, just trying to get through the day. "Puffs" offer a fresh look at one of the world's favorite stories, reimagining what a boy wizard can be. While they disappear for the Fourth, it is the perfect show to take young ones to during the long holiday weekend: Saturday and Sunday matinees offer slightly altered performances so that kids ages 8 and up can enjoy the show, too!

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