8 Broadway in Chicago family favorites

It’s no secret that Chicago is home to incredible drama, comedy and improv, but how about Broadway shows? Based on a sneak preview this past summer, that’s not much of a secret, either.

Here are my family’s favorites for the upcoming Broadway in Chicago season (and the ones we’ve already added to our wish lists):

Chicago’s own Abby Mueller was a crowd favorite at the sneak peek with a tune from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Like a little Tony and Grammy acclaim with your musicals? This story of King’s rise to fame while “writing the soundtrack for a generation” will hit all the right notes. Dec. 1-Feb. 21, Oriental Theatre.

Disney Presents The Lion King. Do you even need more incentive to see this one? Fine: The cast is gorgeous and so is the soundtrack, and it is, in a word, awesome. Dec. 2-Jan. 17, Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Gotta Dance really brings the “all ages” appeal with the hilarious tune “Age Appropriate.” The show’s premise? A group of diverse, over-60 newbie dancers who’ll have their first performance in front of 20,000 people at center court during a basketball game. Based on an incredible true story, with incredible dance moves. Dec. 13-Jan. 10, Bank of America Theatre.

Wouldn’t it be great if life really could be a cabaret? Roundabout Theatre (as part of its 50th anniversary season) invites you to leave your troubles outside with Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s Tony Award-winning production of Cabaret. Of course it’s full of the songs you love to sing in the shower. Feb. 9-21, Bank of America Theatre.

If/Then’s premise follows one woman and two possible life paths in New York City. If you like a little heartstring-tugging alongside your soaring ranges, then you’ll want to get your tickets for this one ASAP. Feb. 23-March 6, Oriental Theatre.

“I Only Have Eyes for You” is a nod to the glamour of the standards and a bygone era with the iconic 42nd Street. Called “the quintessential backstage comedy,” fans of Busby Berkeley’s 1938 movie will rediscover the starry-eyed joy in this sparkling revival. March 8-20, Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Answer that doorbell, guess who’s back? “You and me but mostly me” from The Book of Mormon was an end-of-the-show surprise at the sneak peek met with positively British Invasion reception. This is the one that’s shattered all the records, and with good reason, too; it’s irreverent, earnest, and worth seeing again and again. June 28-Aug. 14, Bank of America Theatre.

Even if you cannot imagine a Newsies without Christian Bale (or, say, a life without him), you’ll still enjoy the heck out of Disney’s vibrant and harmony-filled adaptation of underdogs seizing the day. (Two Tony Awards can’t be wrong!) July 28-Aug. 7, Oriental Theatre.

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