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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Political Plays

by Ben Togut

From presidential campaigns to government scandals, there has been a wealth of political plays on Broadway in recent years. Featuring politicians both real and imagined, these plays provide audiences with intrigue and insight, exploring notable periods of history and how political dynamics affect relationships. 

The Best Man, which opened on Broadway in 1960. Written by Gore Vidal, The Best Man is about two candidates facing off in the presidential primaries, each with flaws that threaten their personal lives and political careers. When the play premiered, it was widely understood as an analogue to that year’s Democratic Convention and as well as a critique of the Democratic Party. The Best Man was adapted into a film in 1964 and has been revived twice—in 2001 and 2012—featuring Broadway veterans such as James Earl Jones, Christine Ebersole, and Angela Lansbury.

Life on the Stage: Frost/Nixon : Jacob Burns Film Center

Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon, which opened on Broadway in 2007. The play dramatizes a contentious set of interviews between President Richard Nixon and British broadcaster David Frost, examining Nixon’s presidency and his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Starring Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as David Frost, the play was later adapted into a film by Ron Howard with Langella and Sheen repeating their original roles.

On Broadway: 'NOVEMBER'

David Mamet’s November, which opened on Broadway in 2008 starring Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf. Just as in politics, elections are at the crux of many political plays. Billed as a satire, November focuses on an unpopular president in the days leading up to his second election. The production was praised for its sharp humor as well as the strength of its performances, with Metcalf receiving a Tony nomination for her role as Carlice Bernstein, the president’s secretary.

Hillary and Clinton' Review: Play With Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow
Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Hillary and Clinton, which premiered on Broadway in 2019. Written by Lucas Hnath, Hillary and Clinton takes place in an alternate universe, focusing on the struggles of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign and her relationship with Bill Clinton. Starring Laurie Metcalf as Hillary Clinton and John Lithgow as Bill Clinton, the play was applauded for its witty writing and unique exploration of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s marriage.

All The Way (Broadway, Neil Simon Theatre, 2014) | Playbill
Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

All the Way, which premiered on Broadway in 2014 with Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon. B. Johnson. Written by Robert Schenkkan, the play focuses on Johnson assuming the presidency and his campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Cranston received high praise for his performance as Johnson, which led to him winning his first Tony Award. In 2016, All the Way was adapted into a film, with Cranston reprising his role as LBJ.

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

The Great Society, which opened on Broadway in 2019 starring Brian Cox as LBJ, is Schenkkan’s continued exploration of Johnson’s presidency. The play examines the events following the president’s re-election in 1964, including the rise of the civil rights movement, the worsening of the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. In addition to Cox, the original Broadway production featured Gordon Clapp as J. Edgar Hoover, Marc Kudisch as Richard J. Daley, and Bryce Pinkham as Robert F. Kennedy.

Current political representations on New York stages include Patriots, diving into Russian leadership; Suffs, which dramatizes the suffragist movement; and An Enemy of the People, which depicts the reaction of a small-town government and local press to a public health scandal. Soon to come is N/A, which will have its world premiere at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse. Starring Holland Taylor and Ana Vilafañe, the play focuses on two prominent congresswomen, generations apart, and is based on real people and events.

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Broadway's Best Cover Story

Best Broadway Shows of 2024

With the 2023-2024 Broadway season in the books, here is a recap of all the productions that have opened in this season, many of which are now competing for recognition at this year’s Tony Awards!

New Musicals:

Once Upon a One More Time (Marquis Theatre)

  • Opening Date: June 22, 2023
  • Closing Date: September 3, 2023

Here Lies Love (Broadway Theatre)

  • Opening Date: July 20, 2023
  • Closing Date: November 26, 2023

Back to the Future: The Musical (Winter Garden Theatre)

  • Opening Date: August 3

Harmony (Ethel Barrymore Theatre)

  • Opening Date: November 13, 2023
  • Closing Date: February 4, 2024

Days of Wine and Roses (Studio 54)

  • Opening Date: January 28, 2024
  • Closing Date: March 31, 2024

Water for Elephants (Imperial Theatre)

  • Opening Date: March 21, 2024

The Outsiders (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 11, 2024

Lempicka (Longacre Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 14, 2024
  • Closing Date: May 19, 2024

Suffs (Music Box Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 18, 2024

Hell’s Kitchen (Shubert Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 20, 2024

The Heart of Rock and Roll (James Earl Jones Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 22, 2024

The Great Gatsby (Broadway Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 25, 2024

Illinoise (St. James Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 24, 2024
  • Closing Date: August 10, 2024

Musical Revivals:

Merrily We Roll Along (Hudson Theatre)

  • Opening Date: October 10, 2023
  • Closing Date: July 7, 2024

Spamalot (St. James Theatre)

  • Opening Date: November 16, 2023
  • Closing Date: April 7, 2024

The Who’s Tommy (Nederlander Theatre)

  • Opening Date: March 28, 2024

The Wiz (Marquis Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 17, 2024

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club (August Wilson Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 21, 2024

Gutenberg! The Musical! (James Earl Jones Theatre)

  • Opening Date: October 12, 2024
  • Closing Date: January 28, 2024

New Plays:

Grey House (Lyceum Theatre)

  • Opening Date: June 6, 2024
  • Closing Date: July 30, 2023

Just For Us (Hudson Theatre)

  • Opening Date: June 26, 2024
  • Closing Date: August 19, 2023

The Cottage (Hayes Theater)

  • Opening Date: July 24, 2023
  • Closing Date: October 29, 2023

The Shark Is Broken (John Golden Theatre)

  • Opening Date: August 10, 2023
  • Closing Date: November 19, 2023

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

  • Opening Date: October 3, 2023
  • Closing Date: November 19, 2023

I Need That (Todd Haimes Theatre)

  • Opening Date: November 2, 2023
  • Closing Date: December 30, 2023

Prayer for the French Republic (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

  • Opening Date: January 9, 2024
  • Closing Date: March 3, 2024

Patriots (Ethel Barrymore Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 22, 2024
  • Closing Date: June 23, 2024

Mary Jane (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 23, 2024
  • Closing Date: June 2, 2024

Mother Play (Hayes Theater)

  • Opening Date: April 25, 2024
  • Closing Date: June 16, 2024

Stereophonic (John Golden Theatre)

  • Opening Date: April 19, 2024
  • Closing Date: July 7, 2024

Play Revivals:

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch (Music Box Theatre)

  • Opening Date: September 27, 2023
  • Closing Date: February 4, 2024

Appropriate (Hayes Theater & Belasco Theatre)

  • Opening Date: December 18, 2023
  • Closing Date: June 23, 2024

An Enemy of the People (Circle in the Square Theatre)

  • Opening Date: March 18, 2024
  • Closing Date: June 23, 2024

Doubt (Todd Haimes Theatre)

  • Opening Date: March 7, 2024
  • Closing Date: April 21, 2024

Uncle Vanya (Vivian Beaumont Theater)

  • Opening Date: April 24, 2024
  • Closing Date: June 16, 2024
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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Shows for Kids

Whether you’re a New York local or planning your family’s very first trip to the city, it can be challenging to figure out which of Broadway’s bevy of options are right for the children in your life. The Broadway’s Best Shows editorial team has assembled our recommendations based on age group (5-10, 11-14, and 14-18), and we’ve also included information about what might be scary or confusing (i.e., humor for grown-ups) so that you can make an informed decision. While the very young might not have the attention span for a three-hour movie, luckily, Broadway blockbusters have intermissions! 

Note that most theaters only permit children ages 4 and up, so be sure to check the website.

For elementary school-aged children 

Water For Elephants

This heart-pounding adventure story about running away to the circus features mind-blowing stagecraft, puppetry, and an emotional, universal story, ideal for someone’s first Broadway show. While it was not explicitly created with kids in mind like Lion King was, and does not talk down to audiences, nothing in the story is too scary for young children – note that a very sick circus horse dies early in Act 1, but (spoilers!) the circus animals actually get to save the day in Act 2. Theatergoers of all ages will be awed by the real circus performers onstage. 2 hrs 45 mins with intermission. 

The Lion King

This long-running stalwart has been the first Broadway show many children ever see, for a reason – Julie Taymor’s awe-inspiring puppetry, a straightforward story and easy humor, Elton John’s songs that are still bops, 30 years in. Don’t let the Disney of it all fool you – the grownups will not be bored either. (Good luck steering your kid away from the mind-blowing amount of merchandise for sale in the lobby.) 2 hrs 30 mins with an intermission. All children require a ticket, even if sitting in a caregiver’s lap. 

For middle schoolers and tweens

SIX

Henry the 8th’s six wives (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) are now LIVE on Broadway! A pair of young musical theater writers from England cleverly turned this 17th-century history into a pop concert a la the Spice Girls or Little Mix, and it’s become a Broadway smash. It’s got a cheeky, British sense of humor, and every song is an earworm. It’s bubbly, feisty fun for fans of the Barbie movie, and for children who’ve recently grown out of their “princess phase.” 80 minutes, no intermission. 

Suffs

Inspired by the real-life suffragists who fought to get women the right to vote, Suffs is a thrilling story of female friendship and resilience that fans of Little Women, Annie, and Matilda will love. It’s an opportunity to learn about real-life history even though the show doesn’t feel like homework, and theatergoers will leave feeling inspired. Note that there’s some light swearing, and some incredibly relatable real-life misogyny. 2 hours 45 minutes with intermission. 

The Outsiders

Your sixth-grader is probably required to read S.E. Hinton’s novel for school, so why not take them to the new musical adaptation, which is a vast improvement on the 1980 movie version? The classic tale of teen gang warfare between the rich and the poor in 1960s Telsa is infused with electrifying choreography and soulful, bluegrass-inspired music. The production confronts difficult ideas like how the poor Greasers are trapped in a cycle of poverty, and as a content warning, two of its adolescent characters die (one by suicide.) 2 hours 45 minutes with intermission. 

For high schoolers 

Cabaret

Cabaret’s portrayal of wild Weimar Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party is probably too dark for children under age 13, but its sexuality, thematic maturity, and sheer brilliance is ideal for teenagers hungry for something raw and angry. The 2024 production directed by Rebecca Frecknell wants to spark conversations about the connections between 1930s Germany and today, and dresses the characters in contemporary clothes. Themes of choosing to stand up for what you believe in will resonate with high schoolers. The production runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, with an optional hour long pre-show before curtain time. 

Stereophonic

For the high schooler who’s obsessed with today’s rock stars like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish, who’s done extensive research to figure out who a Taylor Swift song is really about, or who loves Daisy Jones & The Six, this behind-the-scenes look at the recording of a fictional album in 1976 will be a huge crowd pleaser. Its sharply crafted characters, strong humor, and amazing original songs by Will Butler are sure to impress. Older generations in your group will love the allusions to Fleetwood Mac recording Rumours, and the Beatles’ Get Back documentary. Note that the show is period-accurate and includes extensive drug abuse, as well as adult language and intense emotional abuse among the band’s artists. We pinky-promise that the show’s 3 hour runtime flies by, leaving you wanting even more. 

…and for the kid who says they ‘hate theater’ 


The Book of Mormon

The key to this show’s success, now running on Broadway for 13 years, is its sense of humor, refreshingly brutal and snarky. Written by the South Park team, it’s foul-mouthed, juvenile, and crass, perfect for kids too embarrassed or annoyed by the razzle dazzle of Broadway. (It’s okay – jazz hands aren’t for everyone.) Its irreverent humor will entertain the Dimension 20, Rick and Morty, or even PewDiePie fran in your life. It runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with a

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Broadway's Best Cover Story

Broadway’s Best Guide to Spring 2024

It is an absolutely packed spring ahead on Broadway, with 18 new plays and musicals set to open in March and April ahead of the cutoff date for this year’s Tony Awards! 

Here is Broadway’s best guide to all the first previews, opening nights, and closing nights in the near term:

Water for Elephants

Where: Imperial Theatre

Opening: March 21

This circus-centric musical, based on the best-selling novel, combines emotional highs and lows of musical theater with the literal highs and lows of trapeze and aerial stunts. Starring Grant Gustin and Isabella McCalla, with direction by Jessica Stone and music by PigPen Theatre Co. For more information, click here.

The Who’s Tommy

Where: Nederlander Theatre

Opening: March 28

The rock opera that changed music history. The Who’s Tommy arrives on Broadway, pushing the boundaries of musical theater to the tunes of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ ‘Amazing Journey,’ and more iconic classic rock. For more information, click here.

The Outsiders

Where: Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

Opening: April 11

The all-American tale comes to the stage. Set in 1967 Tulsa, this thrilling musical portrays the battle between the Greasers and the affluent Socs. A story of friendship, family, and self-discovery, with a Roots Rock-infused score by Jamestown Revival. For more information, click here.

Lempicka

Where: Longacre Theatre

Opening: April 14

A sweeping musical portrait of Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka, who changed art and culture forever. Directed by Tony winner Rachel Chavkin and starring Eden Espinosa as the title artist. For more information, click here.

The Wiz

Where: Marquis Theatre

Opening: April 17

A reimagined version of the beloved musical, following Dorothy’s journey through Oz. Soulful music, vibrant characters, and a fresh twist on a classic tale starring Wayne Brady and Nichelle Lewis. For more information, click here.

Suffs

Where: Music Box Theatre

Opening: April 18

A captivating exploration of the women’s suffrage movement, set against a backdrop of courage and determination. Written by and starring Shaina Taub, this historical retelling is transferring to Broadway following its sold-out run at Off-Broadway’s Public Theater (sounds familiar…). For more information, click here.

Stereophonic

Where: John Golden Theatre

Opening: April 19

Closing: July 7

Blending song and story in a totally new way, Stereophonic by David Adjmi chronicles the making of our central band’s new album. Very Fleetwood Mac/Daisy Jones & The Six-coded, the play is every music lover’s dream. A limited engagement, so catch it while you can! For more information, click here.

Hell’s Kitchen

Where: Shubert Theatre

Opening: April 20

A gritty, intense semi-autobiographical musical set in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, written by one of our biggest pop stars. Exploring loyalty, betrayal, and survival, Alicia Keys combines her hits with new music to tell her own story, in her own words. For more information, click here.

Cabaret

Where: August Wilson Theatre

Opening: April 21

The iconic Kander & Ebb musical set in pre-World War II Berlin, featuring memorable songs and captivating characters, is back on Broadway ten years after its latest revival. Starring Eddie Redmayne as the Emcee reviving the role following its run across the pond, Gayle Rakin joins as Sally Bowles for the Broadway transfer. For more information, click here.

The Heart of Rock and Roll

Where: James Earl Jones Theatre

Opening: April 22

A high-energy celebration of rock music, love, and chasing dreams, this brand new musical features the music of Huey Lewis and the News. For more information, click here.

Patriots

Where: Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Opening: April 22

Closing: June 23

Set in post-Soviet Russia, this history play portrays the power struggle between billionaire Boris Berezovsky and the rising politician Vladimir Putin. Tony and Emmy Award nominee Michael Stuhlbarg stars as Berezovsky, with direction by Rupert Goold. For more information, click here.

Mary Jane

Where: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Opening: April 23

Closing: June 2

Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams leads this compassionate story of a single mother facing impossible family circumstances. Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Herzog, it explores inner strength, friendship, and unflagging optimism. For more information, click here.

Uncle Vanya

Where: Vivian Beaumont Theater

Opening: April 24

Closing: June 16

Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece comes back to life in this new adaptation from Heidi Schreck, starring Steve Carrell alongside a who’s who of top-notch Broadway talent. It delves into unrequited love, aging, and disappointment. For more information, click here.

The Great Gatsby

Where: Broadway Theatre

Opening: April 25

Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel, this new musical features music and lyrics by Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen, and stars Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada. Follow the impassioned tale of eccentric millionaire Jay Gatsby and his tragic pursuit of Daisy Buchanan. For more information, click here.

Mother Play

Where: Hayes Theater

Opening: April 25

Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel brings her latest to Broadway in a new production for the non-profit Second Stage. The memory play stars Jessica Lange, Jim Parsons, and Celia Keenan-Bolger for this limited run. For more information, click here.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Love Songs

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are some of our very favorite love songs from the musical theater canon. Enjoy!

‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific

This Rodgers & Hammerstein classic embodies the essence of love at first sight. Its lush melody and romantic lyrics perfectly capture the magic of falling in love. ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ earns its spot for its enduring popularity and its ability to evoke the wonder of romance.

‘Tonight’ from West Side Story

In this poignant duet, Tony and Maria express their love despite the tensions surrounding them. Leonard Bernstein’s sweeping score and Stephen Sondheim’s heartfelt lyrics make this a Broadway classic. The song was originally written as a solo for Tony, but Sondheim and Bernstein later decided to turn it into a duet to heighten the emotional impact of the scene. ‘Tonight’ is noted for its emotional intensity and its status as a quintessential Broadway love ballad.

‘You Matter to Me’ from Waitress

In Sara Bareilles’s musical adaptation of Waitress, Jenna finds solace from her abusive marriage with love interest Dr. Pomatter. With the tender lyrics of ‘You Matter to Me,’ the two affirm their love for each other and relish in finding a partner to requite their affection. It’s a beautiful moment of vulnerability and calm amid a tumultuous journey for our protagonist.

‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady

Eliza Doolittle’s joyous declaration of love and newfound freedom is captured beautifully in this Lerner and Loewe masterpiece. It is theatrical lore that Julie Andrews, who originated the role of Eliza on Broadway, recorded the song in one take, despite having a cold at the time. The recording went on to become a bestseller and a treasured classic.

‘As Long As You’re Mine’ from Wicked

This haunting duet between Elphaba and Fiyero in the smash hit Wicked represents the intensity and passion of forbidden love. Stephen Schwartz’s evocative lyrics and soaring melody make it unforgettable for its contemporary appeal and its portrayal of love amidst adversity. Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz, as Broadway’s original Elphaba and Fiyero, respectively, enter the canon of musical theatre love songs with this number.

‘Changing My Major’ from Fun Home

In Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s adaptation of the Alison Bechdel memoir graphic novel, Alison’s sexual awakening is depicted with this euphoric tune. She bashfully declares her fascination with Joan, as Tesori’s anthemic melody and Kron’s authentic lyrics beautifully convey the rush of emotions, and the freedom of her self-discovery. It’s both a song about love of another, and also about self-love and finding courage in your own identity. Alison’s vulnerability and newfound understanding of both herself and her feelings for Joan make it a powerful and relatable number.

‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent

This iconic anthem celebrates love in all its forms, urging us to measure our lives in the love that surrounds us. Jonathan Larson’s poignant lyrics and memorable melody have made it an enduring favorite for all theatre kids. Larson is said to have written ‘Seasons of Love’ in just one night, capturing the essence of the show’s themes in a burst of creativity. The act two opener is listed for its universal message and its significance in the modern Broadway repertoire.

‘So in Love’ from Kiss Me, Kate

Cole Porter’s sultry jazz waltz is a declaration of passion and desire. Its sophisticated lyrics and lush melody make it a standout in the Great American Songbook. ‘So in Love’ was famously covered by jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, whose rendition became a jazz standard in its own right. This song is remembered for its timeless elegance and its portrayal of love’s intoxicating allure.

‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ from Jesus Christ Superstar

Mary Magdalene’s soul-searching ballad in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera is a poignant exploration of love and devotion. Its questioning melody and introspective lyrics resonate deeply across generations since the musical’s 1971 debut. Yvonne Elliman, who originated the role of Mary Magdalene on Broadway, was initially reluctant to sing the song due to its religious themes, but was convinced when Webber performed it for her in his flat. She ultimately delivered a captivating performance that became a highlight of the show, with its emotional depth and its unique perspective on love.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Shows Closing in Winter 2024

While some Broadway shows are lucky enough to run for decades with no signs of slowing, others set out only to play for a finite time in a limited engagement, or, unfortunately close earlier than they had hoped, due to the unpredictable nature of the industry. 

Here’s a recap of what you need to see in the next month before they disappear from the Broadway boards for good:

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Gutenberg! The Musical! – January 28

Bud & Doug, as played by Josh Gad & Andrew Rannells, are soon to hang their hats (of the yellow baseball variety) as they end their limited Broadway engagement at the James Earl Jones Theatre on January 28. With this metatheatrical musical directed by Alex Timbers, the duo reunited on Broadway for the first time since originating the lead roles in The Book of Mormon together back in 2011.

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – February 4

Leslie Odom, Jr. returned to the stage for the first time since Hamilton in September 2023 when he opened the first-ever revival of Ossie Davis’s Purlie Victorious in the titular role. Starring alongside Kara Young in this “outrageous comedy,” as director Kenny Leon put it, Odom, Jr. has put this 1961 play back on the map and you only have a couple weeks left to experience it. Final performance Sunday, February 4.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Harmony – February 4

With music by Barry Manilow and a book & score by his longtime collaborator Bruce Sussman, Harmony came to Broadway in the fall to retell the true story of the Comedian Harmonists. This moving musical darkly dramatizes the rise of Naziism across Europe as it collides with the hopes and dreams of this part-Jewish group of traveling singers. The histori-musical ends its Broadway run on February 4.

Photo by Curtis Brown

How to Dance in Ohio – February 11

Based on the HBO documentary of the same title, this peppy new musical recounts the highs and lows of a group of young adults on the Autism spectrum, as they learn all the skills and behaviors needed ahead of their group therapy program’s spring dance. The show introduces audiences to seven of these young adults, all played by actors who are also on the spectrum. Featuring standout performances from Liam Pearce and Caesar Samoya, endearing storytelling helmed by Sammi Cannold, and authentic representation across the board(s), don’t miss your chance to dance along with this inspiring company until February 11.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Appropriate – March 3

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ family drama made its Broadway debut in late 2023, ten years after it was initially performed in Washington, D.C. Sarah Paulson, Elle Fanning, and Corey Stoll lead the cast as the Lafayette family comes to terms with its dark ancestral past. The play is running in a limited engagement at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater through March 3.

Prayer for the French Republic – March 3

Joshua Harmon’s epic exploration of Jewish identity and perseverance over generations of persecution and hate landed on Broadway as the first new show of 2024. Following its smashing success Off-Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club has transferred the David Cromer-directed three-act to the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, where its short run is scheduled through March 3.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Most Anticipated Shows of Winter 2024

After the first Broadway opening of 2024, “Prayer for the French Republic” at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 9, Broadway’s winter theater season is off to a strong start. To keep the celebration alive, Broadway’s Best Shows presents a peek at some of the most anticipated shows set to grace the stage between now and the spring equinox on March 19, 2024. From romance-centered musicals to intense classic dramas and one-person spectacles, the next couple of months promise a diverse roster of new Broadway offerings.

secondary preview
Photo by Ahron R. Foster

Days of Wine & Roses

Where: Studio 54

Opening: January 28

Following its world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company last year, “Days of Wine & Roses” brings its poignant tale of love and struggle to Studio 54, with powerhouse performances by Brian D’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara and an original score by Adam Guettel (“The Light in the Piazza”) in tow. For more information, click here.

Doubt

Where: American Airlines Theatre (soon to be renamed the Todd Haimes Theatre)

Opening: February 29

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a revival of “Doubt” with powerhouse duo Tyne Daly and Liev Schreiber taking center stage. Off-Broadway stalwarts Zoe Kazan and Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play) round out the cast. This is the first revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning 2005 play. For more information, click here.

Rob Madge's My Son's a Queer to Receive Special New York Industry  Presentation | Playbill
Photo by Mark Senior

My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You Do?)

Where: Lyceum Theatre

Opening: March 12

Direct from a critically acclaimed London premiere, Rob Madge makes a splash on Broadway with their one-person show My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You Do?). Madge’s compelling storytelling and charismatic stage presence promise an evening of laughter, tears, and a celebration of love and acceptance. For more information, click here.

The Notebook

Where: Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

Opening: March 14

As iconic as the beloved novel and film, “The Notebook” takes a new form as a musical at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. With music by songstress Ingrid Michaelson, get ready for a romantic and emotional journey as three pairs of performers play lovers Noah and Allie at different stages of their lives. For more information, click here.

An Enemy of the People

Where: Circle in the Square Theatre

Opening: March 18

Directed by Sam Gold and featuring Jeremy Strong (“Succession”) and Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”), the latest revival of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People features a new adaptation by Amy Herzog (of last season’s A Doll’s House). Strong plays a doctor who uncovers corruption and pollution in a close-knit vacation spa town. For more information, click here.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best “Broadway Week” Shows – Winter 2024

Mark your calendars because New York City Tourism + Conventions is back with a show-stopping extravaganza – Broadway Week! And it’s not just a week; it’s a theater lover’s dream that stretches from January 16 to February 4! Yes, you read that right – more than a week of Broadway bliss awaits you.

Here’s the scoop: NYC Broadway Week is your golden ticket to the finest theatrical productions, all available at a fabulous 2-for-1 deal. The stage is set, the actors are ready, and the only missing piece? You! Grab your tickets to the Broadway’s best without breaking the bank!

Here is our list of some of the best shows available for this season’s offer:

Hamilton

First up on our list is the phenomenon that took Broadway by storm – Hamilton. Join Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the rest of the Founding Fathers in this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical that seamlessly blends hip-hop, R&B, and traditional show tunes. One of the hottest tickets in town, don’t throw away your shot to witness the magic of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece!

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Gutenberg! The Musical

If you’re in the mood for laughter, look no further than Gutenberg! The Musical. Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad reunite for the first time since their Book of Mormon days in this comedy where two aspiring writers attempt to sell their “masterpiece” – a musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg. Only in performances through January 28, so don’t miss out!

& Juliet

For a fresh take on a classic, look no further than & Juliet. This innovative pop musical, powered by the music of Max Martin, reimagines Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, giving Juliet a chance to rewrite her own destiny. This modern twist on the timeless tale of love is a must-see for romantics and rebels alike!

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Purlie Victorious

Ossie Davis’s landmark 1961 play Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch is back on Broadway for the first time in over 60 years! Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young star in the roles that Davis and his wife Ruby Dee originated in the original production. Set in the American South, this gem of a revival promises powerful performances and an unforgettable journey that will tug at your heartstrings.

Photo by Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman

Spamalot

If you’re a fan of irreverent humor and absurdity, Spamalot is the show for you. This Tony Award-winning musical returns to Broadway to lovingly mock the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in true Monty Python style. Some of Broadway’s brightest stars, including Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Michael Urie, James Monroe Iglehart, and Alex Brightman are giving laugh-out-loud performances nightly at the St. James Theatre!

Prayer for the French Republic

Last but certainly not least is Josh Harmon’s latest, Prayer for the French Republic. This thought-provoking epic play explores the continuation of antisemitism around the world by contrasting the experience of a Jewish family in Paris across two periods of recent French history. The new play opened on Broadway on January 9, 2024 after a successful Off-Broadway run last season.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to snag your 2-for-1 tickets to these Broadway gems. Whether you’re a seasoned theatergoer or a Broadway newbie, NYC Broadway Week is your chance to savor the magic of live performances at a price that can’t be beaten!

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Performances of 2023

What is a Broadway show without the actors at its core? Here, we single out the singular talents that burned bright on Broadway stages this year. Prepare to be enthralled as we navigate some of the exceptional performances that have defined the essence of Broadway in the year 2023.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Sean Hayes in Good Night, Oscar

In a surprise to no one, the top mention in this year’s list goes to Sean Hayes for his Tony-winning turn as Oscar Levant in Doug Wright’s play. Whether it was his tickling of audiences’ ribs or the ivories in his rendition of ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ a performance this special does not go unnoticed. In his return to the Broadway stage after performing An Act of God in 2015, Hayes asserted himself as a theatrical powerhouse, and he will surely be welcomed back to the stage in seasons to come.

Photo by Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman

Annaleigh Ashford in Sweeney Todd

After icons including Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Imelda Staunton, and Christine Baranski have all filled the role of Mrs. Lovett, you wouldn’t think there were any crumbs left in the material with which to do something new, make a unique choice. It is our utmost pleasure to report that Ms. Ashford finds them all, and then some. With her wit and vocals in hand, Ashford manages to almost recreate this tried and true character, begging her castmates to catch up as she runs off with their show.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Kara Young in Purlie Victorious

Fresh off her second Tony Award nomination for Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living (which was in turn fresh off her first Tony Award nomination for her Broadway debut in Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s), Young displays a different facet of her enormous talent and versatility as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins in Purlie Victorious. In this role, Young delivers a masterclass in comedy in all its forms: physical, verbal, satirical, and the like. Her prowess, a must-not-miss performance, is on display nightly at the Music Box Theatre through February 4, 2024.

Jodie Comer in Prima Facie

This year, Comer brought her Olivier-winning performance in Suzie Miller’s one-woman legal drama stateside, where she added yet another trophy to the mantle. Known to New York audiences primarily for her television career, Comer’s stage acting wowed as she spun this heavy tale with authenticity, nuance, and sheer power.

Photo by Andy Henderson

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer in Spamalot

As the Lady-of-the-Lake, Kritzer is the Standout-of-the-show! In a series of sparkly Jen Caprio gowns, she evokes Broadway divas like Liza Minelli, and adds the touch of Broadway glamor that holds the looney world of Spamalot together, making it not just a salute to Monty Python, but an exceptional stage musical on its own. Director Josh Rhodes wisely gives Rodriguez Kritzer ample opportunity to improvise, making the show fresh every night (see: the floored social media reactions from the audience that found out the SAG-AFTRA strike had ended because Leslie announced it live onstage and in character.) It’s a delight to watch her lead the company in her 8th Broadway show, and a treat to hear her belt to the rafters. 

Michael Urie in Spamalot

Urie has a sterling reputation as a comedic heavy hitter, from prior credits like Torch Song Trilogy, Buyer and Seller, and TV’s Ugly Betty. In a production full of actors with PhDs in clowning, Urie still manages to steal the show with his surgically precise timing, detailed facial expressions, and total commitment to chaos in his performance as the nervy Sir Robin and a host of other medieval wackos. Who else could land a huge laugh just by darting his eyes back and forth? Watching him bring down the house with his Act 2 number ‘You Won’t Succeed on Broadway’ is a bit like watching Julia Child cook or Serena Williams play tennis – the sheer joy of watching a master at work. 

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Alex Brightman in The Shark is Broken

Jaws fans got a behind-the-scenes look at the storied set of the iconic blockbuster in this year’s The Shark is Broken. With Alex Brightman (AKA Beetlejuice, to those in the know) playing the real-life Richard Dreyfuss, the play was infused with a burst of energy, zaniness, and neurosis that transports the audience effectively through the boredom of waiting on the boat. Brightman excels in exhibiting Dreyfuss’s ambitious and chaotic spirit, even if the real-life actor did not so much appreciate the interpretation… 

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Billy Eugene Jones & Jay O. Sanders in Purlie Victorious

Both given a near-impossible task of making grounded and genuine human characters out of archetypes, Billy Eugene Jones (last seen on Broadway in Fat Ham) and Jay O. Sanders (last in Girl From the North Country) make comedy magic as Gitlow Judson and Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, respectively. As the “Uncle Tom” and racist plantation owner types, this duo of New York theater perennials use the vessels created by Ossie Davis to subvert stereotypes and deliver the play’s thesis, under the watchful direction of Kenny Leon.

Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez in Merrily We Roll Along

How could we sever the unbreakable bond between this trio of Broadway stars?! For their convincingly deep friendship and for their help in reifying the glory of one of Stephen Sondheim’s lost treasures, the Frank-Charlie-Mary of 2023 round out our list of the best performances to hit Broadway this past calendar year.

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Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best 2023 Holiday Gifts for your Theater Loving-Loved One

Broadway’s Best Shows has all the holiday recs you could wish for. There’s something out there for every type of theater kid this holiday season (of love)…

For the Super-Fan

When Broadway shows close, materials such as curtains, flooring, and vinyl posters would normally get thrown out, but small business Scenery Bags works with set designers and technicians to preserve these materials and transform them into fun accessories for fans. They feature bags made from the sets of shows like Ain’t Too Proud, Pasadena Playhouse’s Sunday in the Park With George, and Hello Dolly, among many others. They also sell all sorts of accessories, including this keychain made out of Phantom of the Opera banners, or this coffin-shaped ring made from the stage floor of Beetlejuice’s DC run.

For the Theatre Artist in Your Life

For your friend who works in the theater, and has been through tech rehearsals and production meetings, Scenery Bags sells “I’m Sorry for What I Said During Tech” and “Nothing For The Group” zip bags, great for storing pencils or makeup, or for travel. The materials are recycled from multiple off-Broadway scenery backdrops. 

Your actor or arts worker friend probably spends a lot of time in Midtown, so they’ll also appreciate a gift card for Hell’s Kitchen bakery and coffee spot Amy’s Bread.

For Your Friend who Loves Theater Gossip

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers, published posthumously by Rodgers with assistance and additional material from New York Times theater critic Jesse Green, is a hilarious and wide-ranging book by the beloved composer of Once Upon A Mattress, who also grew up surrounded by theater royalty, as the daughter of Richard Rodgers. It’s full of juicy stories and cameos from Golden Age legends like Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince, and even what Leonard Bernstein was complaining about at a cocktail party! Now out in paperback. 

For the New Parent, Grandparent, or Aunt/Uncle

Start a child’s love of theater early with these picture books that introduce Broadway to kids:

Broadway Bird, by Tony-winning director Alex Timbers, tells the story of a parakeet who dreams of being a Broadway star. 

A is for Audra and B is for Broadway, both by John Robert Allman, are beautifully illustrated alphabet books that introduce young readers to leading ladies (think “P” is for “Patti LuPone”) and the theater world at large (“C” is for “choreography.”)

For your Monty Python-Loving Dad

“Fetchez la vache!” The new Spamalot revival is selling cow socks, a shrubbery tote bag, and a baseball cap that says “Ni!” 

For Your “Old Friend” Who Knows Their Theater History

Merrily We Roll Along offers this sweatshirt, which harkens back to the iconic costume design of the original, short-lived 1984 production. 

For Your Friend Who Loves New Plays

Let them buy all the plays, theater biographies, and memoirs they want with a gift card to The Drama Book Shop. They can shop the latest scripts from Samuel French, like recent Pulitzer Prize winners Fat Ham and English. Gift cards can be purchased in-store or by calling (212) 944-0595, and can only be used in person. Unfortunately, gift cards cannot be used to purchase items at the cafe, like their monthly rotating Broadway-themed drinks (we recommend the Carolee Carmello Caramel Latte), but the baristas at the Shop will also have excellent book recommendations. 

For Your Friend Who Loves Really New Plays

For just $12 per year, buy your friend a membership to New Play Exchange. A database created by theaters around the country, it offers access to over 50,000 scripts by emerging and established playwrights. This is also a great gift for a playwright friend, who can upload their work to the site so that it can be discovered around the world. 

For the Friend Who’s Seen Everything

For your friend who loves storing all of their Playbills, or tracking every show they see in the Notes app or Mezzanine, let them show off how much they’ve seen with this scratch-off poster featuring 100 contemporary and golden-age musicals.

For the Wicked Superfan

These “Shiz University” sweatpants are cozy and relaxing, but nice enough to wear out and about. Your friend could even wear them to the multiplex next Christmas to see the Wicked movie! Also, if they weren’t able to make it to the 20th anniversary celebration, Playbill is still selling the special programs

For your favorite New Yorker

Now that single-use plastic bags are banned in NYC, reusable tote bags make for an incredibly thoughtful and handy gift.

  • This tote bag from Gutenberg! says, “we’re on the weird side of 7th avenue.” Gutenberg is now playing at the James Earl Jones, one of only five Broadway theaters east of 7th avenue – great for a theater lover who knows the Theatre District like the back of their hand. 
  • Or, for a friend who loves a powerful statement, check out this Purlie Victorious tote bag, with the quote from the play, “make civil rights from civil wrongs.” 

For Your Millennial Sibling/Niece/Nephew/etc

Tap into their late-nineties nostalgia with this faux candy necklace, made by the Kimberly Akimbo merch store. Or, for more childhood-themed fun, this Broadway-themed coloring book for adults features 24 pages of Mamma Mia, Hamilton, Seussical and many more shows to color in.

For Your Friend Who’s the Life of the Party

These Shucked shot glasses are hilarious yet functional. 

For Your Friend Who Has A Detailed Ranking of Elphabas

This shop doesn’t just sell Waitress Playbill earrings. It offers half a dozen different Waitress Playbills as earrings, so you can make sure you get your friend’s favorite Jenna. Choose between Jessie Mueller, Katherine McPhee, Katherine McPhee’s Pridebill, Sara Bareilles’ 2017 or 2021 Playbill covers, Ciara Renee and Joshua Henry, or West End star Allison Luff. 

…and For your Theater Twitter Friend Who Has Opinions About the 2017 Tony Awards

These earrings are also a Spotify scan code that links to “No One Else” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.