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Broadway is back, baby!
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Well, maybe not quite yet. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s stage lights won’t officially go back on until September. But thankfully, Lin Manuel Miranda’s much-anticipated movie adaptation of “In the Heights,” out June 11, will hold over all the Broadway fans until “Springsteen on Broadway” returns at the end of the month, marking the first live concert on Broadway post-pandemic.
And there’s lot of merch to celebrate the occasion, including these brand new “In the Heights”-inspired Fila sneakers, released this week in collaboration with Foot Locker. Crafted in a color palette of white, grey purple and berry, the shoes nod at “In the Heights” Spanish elements with the lyrics “El Sueñito” and “Pacencia Y Fe” embroidered on the sides. The musical’s logo is also embroidered on the tongue.
Miranda’s “In the Heights,” adapted from the original screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes, follows a tight-knit community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, centered around a lovable bodega owner played by Anthony Ramos. Manuel, Vanessa Hudgens, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Barrera and Ariana Greenblatt also star.
But if you’re more of a “Hamilton” or “Wicked” stan, here’s a roundup of the best musical merch to buy yourself or a friend as we wait for the real-life Broadway to open its curtains again.
‘In the Heights’ X Fila Sneakers
Whether you’re a true New Yorker at heart, or an annual trip to Broadway is enough for you, you can always embody the city spirit with these fresh sneakers from Fila. The limited-edition sneakers are classic in style but include fun nods to the NYC-centric musical with a bright color palette and embroidered lyrics from the now movie musical “In the Heights” on the sides.
‘Oklahoma’ DVD Starring Hugh Jackman
Readying for the Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster “Music Man” extravaganza? There’s no better way to get hyped than binge watching Jackman’s collection of musical numbers. But while you’re reliving his time as “The Greatest Showman,” the nasal glory that was his Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” or even perusing bootleg clips from “The Boy From Oz” (although we highly recommend revising Peter Allen’s original videos on DVD whenever possible) we urge you to make time for his earlier work in “Oklahoma!”
What you will witness is a baby-faced, boy genius on the cusp of breaking in this 1999 London performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein production. Is it as good as the recent 2019 revival, irrelevant they’re both brilliant. But if you’re on the Jackman kick, his surrey with the fringe on top will live on as one of the actor’s greatest performances of all time. It’s an absolute delight and will get you all kinds of excited for his next role as Professor Harold Hill.
‘567 Broadway! A New Musical Workout
Theater might not be a sport but it should be considering the athleticism required of Broadway triple-threats on stage. Learn from the best in this musical workout video, featuring choreographer and Broadway performer Joseph Corella as he leads viewers through intensive dance-centric workouts, all to your favorite show tunes. Before the pandemic Corella used to teach his Broadway workout classes in real life in Los Angeles. If there’s ever a chance to take these classes again in person, do not hesitate. They’re pure joy and often populated with star-studded cameos.
Broadway Sheet Music Collection
Any good theater kid worth their dance shoes knows the value of a well-curated music book. Before heading back into the beloved piano bars like Brandy’s, Marie’s Crisis or Tramp Stamp Granny’s it might be time to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” if you catch our drift.
This songbook, which includes sheet music for vocals, piano and guitar, includes 39 songs from Broadway’s biggest hits, such as “Come From Away,” “Newsies,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Waitress,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Hamilton” and “Kinky Boots” among dozens more. Don’t be the only person in the bar who doesn’t know the lyrics to “She Used to Be Mine.”
Ultimate Broadway Card Game
Trivia lovers and theater nerds are cut from the same cloth, meaning this Broadway card game, which tests players’ lyrics knowledge from a wide array of musicals, is the perfect challenge. It comes with 100 song cards, featuring lyrics from “Chicago,” “Mamma Mia,” “Jersey Boys,” “Grease” and more.
‘Hamilton’ Vinyl – Original Cast Recording
If you never ended up splurging for $1000-plus “Hamilton” tickets, and you never got the lucky draw in the “Hamilton” lottery, then a vinyl recording with the original cast is the way to go. And if you’re getting into the vinyl Broadway collecting game you may we recommend “Wicked,” “The Pajama Game,” and “Hadestown” as well.
‘A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z’
This beautifully illustrated picture book is a perfect way to indoctrinate young kids into the Broadway cult at an early age by using a roster of the biggest Broadway stars’ names as an alphabet lesson. The acclaimed book features a cavalcade of Broadway’s most legendary stars, from Tony Award winner Audra McDonald to Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli.
Elton John ‘Tommy’ Print
Elton John has ostensibly never been more in his element than as The Pinball Wizard in the 1975 musical film “Tommy.” This print features an image of John on stage, starring as the cocky pinball champion of the world, wearing his signature 7-foot tall boots. You can buy the black and white print at Art.com or get it framed or even turned into a canvas of your choosing.
On Broadway: From Rent to Revolution
This book will not go unappreciated by anyone with an emotional connection to the stage. The visual and oral history pulls back the curtain on the last twenty years of Broadway, revealing the creative process involved in bringing a show to life. It’s a collection of hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, concept art and posters, in addition to candid and intimate personal anecdotes from stars such as Mark Ruffalo, Lin Manuel Miranda, Dolly Parton and more. A great read before the release of the film “Tick, Tick… Boom” which tells the story of “Rent” playwright Jonathan Larson, directed by Miranda.
‘Les Miserable’ 10th Anniversary Concert on DVD
There are two kinds of “Les Miserables” fans. Those that consider the 10th anniversary concert starring Colm Wilkinson and Lea Salonga a staple of theater, and those are not fans. Despite the 25th anniversary celebration with stars as big as Nick Jonas, the 10th anniversary is simply the best. It’s the closest you can get to a live Broadway recording of the show with original cast members. The DVD set also comes with a bonus dic featuring 50 minutes of the the making of “Les Miserables.”
‘A Chorus Line’ Poster
Give an ode to the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Chorus Line” with this vintage-style art print that features black-and-white outlines from everyone’s favorite unstable, New York-based dancers.
Broadway Jigsaw Puzzle
This 1000-piece puzzle includes images from dozens of everyone’s favorite musicals, including “Chicago,” “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “The Jersey Boys” and more. But what makes it so special is that the board was painted by award-winning illustrator Jim Mellett, who spent months rendering beautiful tributes for his favorite shows.
‘Hamilton’ Lyrics Poster Prints
This artistic wall art is for anyone who has all the “Hamilton” lyrics memorized. Bonus points if you can rap them as fast as Lin Manuel Miranda. Whether your favorite lyrics are from “The Schuyler Sisters,” “Aaron Burr Sir” or “My Shot,” Amazon’s Yellow Bird Art & Design Store is sure to have exactly what you’re looking for.
Buy: Hamilton Motivational Quotes Set – Gift for Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway Play Lyrics Fans – Alexander Hamilton Musical Merchandise Wall Art, Home Decor Poster Prints for Living Room, Bedroom, Office $18.95
If your Playbills are crowding your fridge doors and jamming up your junk drawers, and you just can’t find it in your heart to throw them away, then this Playbill binder organizer is for you. There’s no reason to not be shameless in your musical geek-dom and give your favorite Broadway momentos a permanent place to live.
Ticket Stub Diary
If you’re not into hoarding playbills, but prefer a smaller memento, preserve your stubs (whether it was from the front row or nosebleeds) with this adorable ticket holder, whose pages come with clear sleeves to slide your stubs into. There’s also space in the margins to record your memories.
Official ‘CATS’ T-Shirt
It’s a classic that will never go out of style. Fight us. If Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger in the 2019 live action adaptation of “CATS” didn’t scare you off from the iconic T.S. Eliot play then you’re a loyal fan. This classic shirt features the musical’s original imagery, with two cat eyes peaking out on the chest above the name scrawled out in white lettering.
The LOX Hoodie
Support New York theater workers impacted by the pandemic with this LOX hoodie. Made in collaboration between Jake Gyllenhaal and the iconic NY fish purveyor Russ and Daughters, the proceeds from every sale will go to the Actors Funds. The hoodie also nods to New York Forever, a non-profit campaign dedicated to bringing the city back to life.