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Broadway Musicals 2014: Fun and Appropriate Shows for School Trips to NYC

This year, Broadway Musicals are more popular than ever with student tour groups going to New York City.  I usually recommend the most sought after tickets on Broadway to student trip leaders. This article contains my selection of musicals popular in 2014. If an educational travel company works far enough in advance (six months to one year) we usually can obtain group tickets to the performance of choice.  For many school trips, large blocks of tickets are required.  So, working in advance as much as possible is key to obtaining a block of seats for the musical of choice.

Since the popularity of Disney’s High School Musical, many student travelers are interested in attending a Broadway Musical. For some, it is an once-in-a-lifetime event. Make it special for students by making them part of the process. Teachers may discuss which musical to see while still in the planning stages of a student trip.

Here are my recommendations for student travel groups in the 2014 Broadway season:

Wicked is one of the most popular shows on Broadway in 2014.

Wicked
This popular musical offers a new twist on the Wizard of Oz, told from the perspective of the green, (bad?) witch.  Audiences will get to know Glenda, the good witch, too.  Wicked turns ideas about magic and the Wizard of Oz upside down, and does it with terrific songs and a great storyline that follows the novel, Wicked, closely.  For audiences, the stage set of Wicked will offer some special supernatural surprises showing the depths of the power of Oz with digital light and sound effects and phenomenal stage construction.  Wicked is taking the U.S. by storm, offering shows in major cities, too.  But there’s nothing like seeing Wicked on Broadway.

Mamma Mia is filled with Abba songs. Audiences sing-a-long.

Mamma Mia
Many people expect Mamma Mia to be an Abba tribute. It’s true that the musical uses Abba’s music in the Broadway Musical production. The storyline for the musical is unique, and originally written, with Abba songs woven through it. It’s about a woman in search of her real father, and on her wedding day, three of her mother’s former boyfriends present themselves. Mamma Mia is set in the era of Abba music, the 1970s, and uses retro costuming and stage sets to glamourize the period.  This musical is now celebrating its 10th year on Broadway!  Dancing Queen, and the signature song, Mamma Mia are some of the songs audience anticipate. It’s the kind of musical where you will see people dancing and singing along.

The Lion King
This epic production of Disney’s The Lion King is not to be missed. This musical has it all.   Thanks to costuming and scenery that captures the magic of Africa, an all star cast headed by Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa and Gareth Saxe as Scar and music and lyrics that inspire — The Lion King is one of the hottest tickets on Broadway.   In New York City there are eight performances each week.  Teachers interested in taking classes to see The Lion King need to book as far in advance as possible.

The Phantom of the Opera
This Broadway Musical has been a top running show for decades and can be considered an all time classic.  With the lyrics to The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Weber, the soundtrack has become familiar to many.  Learn more about the Phantom, a mysterious male figure who resides in the depths of the Paris Opera house, and roams the building whenever he pleases.   The Phantom is in love with Christine, a new, young chorus singer he helps teach – and catapults to operatic fame.  The costuming, scenery, music and dance are sure to thrill and captivate any student group audience.

Seeing a show on Broadway in New York City is a wonderful experience for any student.  Selecting the show is often difficult for trip leaders, because there are so many excellent, worthwhile musicals to see. This is my own selection of Broadway Musicals that are popular right now – and appropriate for student travel groups. There are numerous other plays student groups may enjoy or educators may find Broadway Musicals which parallel their curriculum in some way.  Learn more by visiting Broadway.com.

Include a Broadway musical in a school trip to New York City. Book a school trip today by visiting http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

High School Orchestra Takes Performance Trip to New York City

Deb Wesoloski has been the Orchestra Director at Berea High School in Berea, Ohio, for 25 years. As an enthusiastic, popular teacher who is passionate about music and loves to introduce her students to new cities and influences, she has always tried to make travel a part of her curriculum. Wesoloski believes education should be hands-on, interactive, and as multifaceted as possible. So, she takes her student musicians on tour every three years.  In March of 2011, the group traveled to New York City, where they had the privilege and thrill of performing at the United Nations headquarters.

Student Trip Includes United Nations Performance
“The UN was by far the best venue we’ve ever played on a tour,” said Wesoloski. “This has been our favorite destination ever! We performed a variety of selections, from standard classics by Tchaikovsky to contemporary/popular favorites like Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida’” and Green Day’s “21 Guns”. We learned our music in nine weeks, or about one school quarter. The students had the opportunity to see new sights and to perform for an audience outside our district, which always brings out very positive reactions. Students were excited that many audience members videotaped our performance.” The whole experience gave students a feeling of ambition and adventure, and gave them a taste of what life as a professional orchestral musician in the big city could be like.


Student Tour Sites in NYC

The group visited a range of New York’s world-famous landmarks: the Empire State Building, NBC Headquarters, Chinatown, Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They also took a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and attended a performance of the Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera”. The legendary lights of Broadway, the hustle of the big city, and the experience of being up close to the performers was unforgettable. New York worked its magic on the group. “We chose these places because they were all diverse and had cultural and historical points of interest all the students could enjoy and learn about,” said Wesoloski. “New York has something for everybody, and I wanted the students to be able to soak it all up and get as much as they could out of it, which they did,” she added.

Post Trip Wrap Up at School
Upon their return, Wesoloski’s students had extended discussions about their trip, comparing impressions and reliving and reevaluating their adventure through the lens of their new knowledge and experience. Their photos and accounts of the trip were posted in school publications, making the whole enterprise into a multimedia project that could be shared with everyone. Many of the students seemed changed by the experience, increasingly compelled to pursue their dreams and their potential as musicians—which, of course, was exactly what Wesoloski hoped the trip to New York City would inspire.


Having a Tour Guide Who Works Well With Musicians

“Our experience was excellent,” Wesoloski said. “Our tour guide was superb and knew the city inside and out, and made sure set-up of the performance went perfectly smoothly.” The guide had answers to every question they asked, and her expertise and enthusiasm made the whole trip an exciting whirlwind and a pleasure. No stone was left unturned. “It was everything we’d hoped it would be,” said Wesoloski.
Visit www.EducationalTravelConsultants.com to request a quote for a student trip.