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The All-American Guide to Broadway Musicals in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Radcakes loves to rehearse in the rain. So does Michael Park.

Hey hey, America! What is up? Welcome to the one day of the year you pay any attention to Broadway musicals, besides the night of the Tony Awards. And let’s be real: You don’t even care that much about the Tony Awards. So, for moms who are up early stuffing the turkey, general insomniacs, and enthusiastic theater nerds across the nation, we give you our guide to what’s what on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. No, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele won’t be standing on a float, surrounded by dancing M&Ms this year, but there’s plenty of other stuff to savor — hours before all the tryptophan hits your system.

This is a musical about turn-of-the-century newsboys who sing and dance, because that’s what turn-of-the-century newsboys did in between being impoverished and starring in Disney movies. Another thing that the Newsies like to do? Sing and dance in Herald Square, duh. In fact, they sing and dance in Herald Square EVERY MORNING. Because they’re Newsies. So what you’re seeing on the parade telecast is just a basic thing that happens all the time in New York City. This show stars this guy named Jeremy Jordan… I mean… a guy named no one.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Besides having the longest title in the history of musicals, this is that show that stars Harry Potter. That’s basically it. Oh, you want to know more? Well. It’s an ancient satire that doesn’t really play like satire anymore, but that’s probably director Rob Ashford’s fault, so I shouldn’t blame the material. Anyway. The good news is, if the cast performs “Brotherhood of Man”—and they always do—it’ll save you about $150 a ticket and several hours of your life. No reason to see the show after you’ve seen the best part for free. You’re welcome, America.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Yes. This is the show that dropped some people. And concussed some others. I mean, they’re not likely to bring all the rigging and shit for flying out onto 34th Street, so the chances of major bodily injury or death are slim. Mostly, you’ll probably just be forced to listened to several minutes of whiney U2-esque pop rock. But don’t despair. You’ll also get to see star Reeve Carney, and he’s hot as hell. All is not lost. Plus, if its cold and Spidey didn’t stretch enough, you might get to see someone tear their groin. That’s exciting, right?

Anything Goes
This is a very old musical that doesn’t make any sense anymore, but you won’t care because the girl who stars in it is named Sutton Foster, and she is the queen of all badassery and if she was actually going to be on the Macy’s Parade, probably even your Dad would come to the TV and watch for a minute because she’s really hot. Too bad, though. She’s not going to be on the parade because she’s a big star, and who wants to freeze their ass off in Herald Square on Thanksgiving Day when they can be home, snuggling on the couch with Bobby Cannavale while other people handle the cooking and the belting and things.

Sister Act
This is a show about singing nuns! It’s really good! It’s not about anything else besides singing nuns. Just lots of singing nuns. That means that no one in this show has sex or kisses anybody, but there is a huge statue of the Virgin Mary that’s all bedazzled like a disco ball, and it spins around. Because that’s what disco balls do. You probably won’t see that on the parade because it’s too big to move around. I mean, it moves around. But it only moves around inside the theater where it’s at.

This is a show where Roger in Rent plays someone else. You can tell he’s someone else because he’s ten years older and doesn’t have any tattoos. The general story of Memphis is about how white people saved rock and roll and fixed all the racism on earth and then sang a song about it. Bon Jovi wrote the songs. It’s good. You know that it’s good because it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. That’s what the sign says.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Do not change the channel. Those are indeed men dressed as women. Here in the big city we call them drag queens. And yes, they’re singing a song you already know. No poncy show tunes here. Just men dressed as women singing Madonna. It’s okay to sing along and tap your toes. In fact, you totally should! Because that will totally prove to your dirty liberal friends and family that you’re not closed minded! You like the gays when they’re not hitting on you! See, you’re even tapping your toes and singing along with Drag Queens!

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