The Best of Broadway: Shows to See Now
There’s a lot of good stuff happening on and off Broadway right now, and we’ve gotten some questions about what’s the best. Here’s what we’ve seen and loved, along with the other shows we’ve heard are amazing (and maybe not yet open). As you work your way through the list, try TodayTix: You can snag day-of tickets at marked-down prices—they’ll even hand-deliver them to you before the show.
Circle in the Square Theatre
Award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth’s mystery-slash-drama, The River, is at the end of its very limited NYC run (it closes on February 8). As expected, Hugh Jackman brings his A game. Plus, The Circle in the Square Theater is set up in such an intimate way that the audience gets immersed in the somewhat twisted storyline, which makes the whole experience pretty special.
The Barrymore Theatre
Hot on the heels of a successful West End run and fresh to Broadway, director Marianne Elliott and playwright Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s beautiful novel is great. If you haven’t read the book, here’s the gist: A boy with Asperger’s syndrome sets out to investigate the death of a neighbor’s dog, and adventure ensues. Supported by a brilliant cast, the staging brings the inner workings of the boy’s complicated mind to life—the effect is nothing short of hypnotizing.
Anyone who is a fan of Larry David’s particular brand of caustic humor has probably already started counting the days to his much-anticipated Broadway debut. A Fish in the Dark is a comedy about death and how people deal with the aftershocks, which is an interesting topic all in itself. And if watching Larry David in all his brilliantly awkward glory isn’t enough of a draw, Rosie Perez and Rita Wilson (to name just two members of the 15-deep cast) should do the trick.
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
Here’s what you need to know about Peter Morgan’s The Audience: It stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II (the second time she’s taken on the role), it’s directed by Stephen Daldry (of Billy Elliot fame), and somehow manages to flawlessly cram 60-years worth of history—with appearances by Dakin Matthews as Sir Winston Churchill and Judith Ivey as Margaret Thatcher—into a little over two hours. It was impossible to get tickets in London, so get on this one. Previews begin February 17.
The Manhattan Theatre Club
At first sight, Nick Payne’s Constellations my seem like a typical date play, but look a little deeper and you’ll find the romance between beekeeper, Roland (Jake Gyllenhaal) and theoretical cosmology physicist, Marianne (Ruth Wilson) anything but typical. Sure, the play explores the intricacies of relationships but it also touches on big-picture stuff—how the universe holds infinite outcomes for any situation, for example.
The Vineyard Theatre
Inspired by the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company—a very real shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn—Brooklynite is a collaborative effort between Peter Lerman, Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon. It’s a musical about a regular guy who wants to become a superhero and an actual superhero who wants to be a regular guy.
Motown is a musical for people who don’t necessarily like musicals, but really love music. It tells the story of Berry Gordy—the man who put Motown on the map—by way of elaborate song-and-dance numbers inspired by Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and more. It’s currently in the midst of a cross-country tour (back on Broadway in 2016) so make sure to check the schedule.
The Stephen Sondheim Theatre
Officially, Beautiful is centered around Carole King, but this feel-good musical also about the complexity of relationships—specifically that of King and her ex-husband, songwriter Gerry Goffin, and their rivals Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. But still, this is a massive Broadway production, so expect lots of singing and dancing.
The 59E59 Theaters
This is one of those beautiful live theater experiences that stays with you long after the curtain goes down. Tapping into L. Frank Baum’s lost works for inspiration, a hybrid cast of giant puppets and actors tells the backstory of how the Woodsman morphed into a heartless Tinman.
Hamilton is the latest hit from Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights), who wrote and stars in this stage adaptation of Ron Chernow’s book, Alexander Hamilton. What makes this production unique is that it’s set to modern day hip-hop. In this telling of events, in addition to being a founding father and George Washington’s right-hand man, Alexander Hamilton funnily enough, is also an excellent rapper.
The Lynn Redgrave Theatre
This small, one-man musical that already enjoyed a very successful run at the Manhattan Theater Club last year is back for a limited engagement. You’ll love watching writer-slash-musician Benjamin Scheuer sing his way through a sweet coming-of-age story with help from not one but six guitars.
The Classic Stage Company
The only way to make Ivan Turgenev’s classic tale of unrequited love even more enticing is to cast Peter Dinklang and Taylor Schilling (of Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black, respectively) as the leads. Snag your tickets now, the off-Broadway production ends its run in less than a month.