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10 Shows Your Teen Is Going to Be So Into

Theater nerds, mean kids, and psychotic cheerleaders: New York has a show for every species of teen.

It's a great time to be a teenage theatergoer. The New York scene has everything from musicals about high school loners and vengeful cheerleaders to plays about Harry Potter and Harry Potter wannabes. We put together a list of the 10 top shows currently running in the Big Apple that feature teenage characters — and sometimes actual teens! Seeing all 10 of them would be totally fetch.

Click on the title of a show below to learn more and to purchase tickets.

Alice by Heart

A scene from MCC Theater's Alice by Heart, featuring music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater.
(© Deen van Meer)

Spring Awakening fans are likely to be drawn to Duncan Sheik's latest foray into teenage love and heartbreak. Alice by Heart invites audiences into Lewis Carroll's Wonderland via a bomb shelter in war-torn London during the Blitz. All the familiar characters are there — the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts — and all the illogical moments of adolescence seem to make sense in that fantastical world. This is a rabbit hole you'll enjoy going down.

Be More Chill

Jason Tam plays the Squip, Will Roland plays Jeremy, and Lauren Marcus plays Brooke in Be More Chill.
(© Maria Baranova)

If only there was a way to turn from dud to stud overnight! Well, there is! — at least in Joe Iconis's phenomenally popular new musical, Be More Chill. Will Roland plays Jeremy Heere, a self-described loser who has his brain rewired by a nanocomputer that teaches him how to — you guessed it — "be more chill" as he suddenly rockets into the cool-kid stratosphere, but the cost of popularity might be too high. The musical became an underground sensation after it premiered in New Jersey in 2015. Now Broadway audiences get to see why.

Dear Evan Hansen

Alex Boniello and Andrew Barth Feldman in a scene from Dear Evan Hansen.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Being a teen can be lonely and depressing. Maybe that's why so many high schoolers are in love with the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen. Sixteen-year-old newcomer Andrew Barth Feldman recently stepped into the title role as the young outcast who thinks that becoming a social-media hit is the key to losing his angsty blues, but instead he risks losing himself. With its catchy score and timely story, this Tony-winning musical shows that even when you're lost, you will be found.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Jenny Jules, Matt Mueller, Diane Davis, James Snyder, and Jonno Roberts in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Want to be your teen's hero forever? Get them tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre. The Tony-winning sequel to J.K. Rowling's book series may seem to be a daunting view — it's nearly six hours in two parts. But young and old sit rapt for the entire duration thanks to fantastic special effects, great acting, and the opportunity to revisit some of our old literary pals. If that's not enough, check out the cavernous Lyric Theatre, which is newly renovated to look like it's straight out of Hogwarts, and peruse the gift shop, which themes its merchandise around the different twists and turns of plot.

If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhf*cka
Closes March 31!

Mirirai Sithole, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Phumzile Sitole, Rotimi Agbabiaka, and Níkẹ Uche Kadri in a scene from If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhf*cka.
(© Joan Marcus)

Sometimes pretty people can be awful. That's what several young women find out in Tori Sampson's dreamlike, fast-paced play about ditching jealousy and finding your own self-worth. Sampson takes audiences on a riotous, mythological journey in the fictional land of Affreakah-Amirrorikah with self-centered beauty queen Akim and her envious friends who have a hard time staying on good terms with her, but the real struggle is finding their own fabulousness inside. Maybe beauty is more than skin-deep.

Mean Girls

Erika Henningsen, Krystina Alabado, Taylor Louderman, and Kate Rockwell in Mean Girls.
(© Joan Marcus)

Want to give your teenager a resonant story about lunchroom politics without having to walk away in tears? Mean Girls is the answer. The Broadway musical, which is getting ready to celebrate its first anniversary at the August Wilson Theatre, offers all the Tina Fey humor we loved back in 2004, while turning up the volume on sisterhood, acceptance — and dumb Karen jokes. If you and the teen in your life already love the movie, this show will be a guaranteed winner, and might even prompt a healthy conversation about daily life maneuvering the high school jungle.

The Prom

Josh Lamon, Michael Potts, Beth Leavel, Isabelle McCalla, Caitlin Kinnunen, Brooks Ashmanskas, Christopher Sieber, Angie Schworer, and Courtenay Collins lead the cast of The Prom, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, at Broadway's Longacre Theatre.
(© Deen van Meer)

High school prom can be either the best night of your life or the most stressful thing ever, but nothing compares with Emma's dilemma in the hit musical The Prom. All she wants is to do is attend with her girlfriend, but of course, some closed-minded grownups won't allow it — until a bunch of C-list celebs rally behind Emma, with hilarious results. With its snappy score and timely message, The Prom gives a voice to teens who want to be treated just like everybody else regardless of whom they love.

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

Puffs has been running off-Broadway since July 2017.
(© Hunter Canning)

If you have a Harry Potter fan in your household but a six-hour, two-part play isn't in the cards, how about an hour-45-minute comical riff on the Potterverse? Meet Wayne and his nerdy band of fellow wizards and witches in training. A few familiar characters, such as Cedric Diggory, make appearances, but Puffs goes places the Harry Potter story never dreamed of. There's some magically colorful language at the evening shows, so it you have young kids or preteens, you might be better off at the family-friendly Saturday and Sunday matinees.

We Are the Tigers
Closes April 1!

The off-Broadway slasher musical We Are the Tigers runs through April 1.
(© Mati Gelman)

Here's a musical unlike any you've seen before. We Are the Tigers takes a hilariously campy teenage slasher-movie premise and adds a musical score along with some killer choreography performed by a team of cheerleaders. It's perfect for teens who like their laughs and scares in the same sitting. You'll have to jump into gear quickly to see this one, though — it closes April 1.


Ginna Claire Mason will assume the role of Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked beginning April 9.
(© Joan Marcus)

It's not easy being green. Just ask Elphaba, the misunderstood, emerald-skinned witch in Broadway's long-running hit Wicked. This Wizard of Oz-themed blockbuster is the first Broadway show that many youngsters see, so if your teen hasn't had the chance to hear Glinda sing "Popular" or witness Elphaba's dramatic Act I closer, you may want to check this one off the list. With well-known songs such as "Defying Gravity" and a story line that every high schooler can relate to, Wicked is one of Broadway's best-ever shows for teens.

Check out New York's wide variety of shows on our Broadway listings page here and our off-Broadway listings page here.