Nothing but an hour-long train ride stands between Stags and the bustling city of New York, N.Y. Due to Fairfield University’s extremely close proximity, students often visit NYC for internships, weekend trips and of course, Broadway shows. The Fairfield University Student Association offers students four opportunities per year — two per semester — to attend Broadway shows at discounted prices, usually between $40 to $50. From “Wicked” to “Kinky Boots” to “Something Rotten,” FUSA provides students with a variety of musicals throughout the year to best ensure that students with different interests are able to find a show and witness the unmatched talent on Broadway.

Later on in the summer, FUSA will discuss what Broadway shows they think Stags will enjoy seeing this upcoming semester. For the past two years, FUSA has chosen to bring students to see the Broadway hit, “Wicked.” “Wicked” won three Tony Awards in 2004, including Best Actress for Idina Menzel, Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design. If you only have the time and money for one Broadway show this semester, be sure to choose “Wicked.” The beautiful combination of dance, music, comedy and drama is what makes it a must-see Broadway musical.

A relatively new musical people should keep an eye out for this semester is “Dear Evan Hansen.” “Dear Evan Hansen” premiered on Broadway on Dec. 4, 2016 and recently won six Tonys during the 2017 Tony Awards including: Best Orchestrations, Best Performance by an Actress, Best Performance by an Actor and overall Best Musical.

“Dear Evan Hansen” stars Ben Platt, commonly known for his role as Elder Arnold Cunningham in “The Book of Mormon,” and as Benji in “Pitch Perfect.” In this musical, Platt tells the story of a high school boy struggling with a social anxiety disorder who is trying to find himself amidst the chaos of high school. Reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones reviewed “Dear Evan Hansen.”

It is the heart of a superbly crafted and performed show that is unafraid of complexity and ambiguity,” stated Jones. “’Dear Evan Hansen’ is the first great American musical about social media — a democratizer, comforter, amoral facilitator of witch hunts and general pox Americana that has upended everything from family mealtime to who gets to occupy the Oval Office.”

Another musical to keep in mind during your weekend trips to the city, or to watch out for from FUSA, is “Hello Dolly!” “Hello Dolly!” won two Tonys at the 2017 award show for Best Revival Musical and for Best Actress (Bette Midler). The play is currently being shown as a revival to the 1964 musical, and reviews praise Midler’s stunning performance as Dolly Gallagher. Ben Brantley wrote a raving review of “Hello Dolly!” for The New York Times.

“Back on a Broadway stage in a book musical for the first time (can it be?) since ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ half a century ago, Ms. Midler is generating a succession of seismic responses that make Trump election rallies look like Quaker prayer meetings,” stated Brantley.

Peter Travers, critic for the Rolling Stones also wrote a highly supportive article of Midler.

“It really is a cultural moment when Miss M steps up top the plate to make her starring debut in a Broadway musical and knocks it out of the park,” stated Travers. “‘Hello, Dolly!’ is a song-and-dance warhorse, over half a century old, that Midler twists a little, stirs a little, shapes a little, molds a little and –voila! – it’s a musical comedy dream for a new generation to discover.”

A trip to Broadway is a must-do experience for Fairfield students, and FUSA provides Stags with the opportunity to see the best musicals for discounted prices each year. Be sure to keep an eye open for this semester’s best Broadway deals of your favorite musicals.

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