The Music Man Wintergarden Theater
Photo: Joan Marcus
It feels strange to try to compile a list of this year’s best Broadway and Off-Broadway shows this year. After all, with just a handful of exceptions, professional theater did not return to the city until early fall. And more than that, the proliferation of the omicron variant has resulted in a wave of performance cancellations that could have long-lasting effects on an industry that was still in recovery mode. Nevertheless, great shows should be recognized.
- The Lehman trilogy: Three and a half hours fly by in this unlikely and thoroughly gripping epic drama about the evolution of the 19th century Lehman Brothers.th century to 2008, performed by a trio of English actors (Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles) under the direction of Sam Mendes.
- company: The Male Bobby Becomes the Female Bobbie in Marianne Elliott’s carefully rebuilt, gender-reversed revival of the 1970 musical that established Stephen Sondheim (who died in November at the age of 91) as an innovative and groundbreaking composer-lyricist. With one notable exception, the cast is excellent.
- Is this a room: Based on a verbatim FBI transcript, Tina Satter’s dramatization of the real-life of 25-year-old former NSA entrepreneur Reality Leigh Winner by FBI agents who showed up outside her home in Georgia was disturbing and unexpectedly compelling 65 minutes dokudrama.
- Kimberly Akimbo: 62-year-old Victoria Clark plays a teenage girl suffering from an illness that causes her to age rapidly in a masterful musical adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s drama, which premiered on Off-Broadway at the end of the year and deserves a longer period. race or a Broadway transfer.
- Six: Tudor royalty meets “The Real Housewives”, “The First Wives Club” and the sounds and styles of great pop divas in this feel-good and frothy musical, which takes the form of an 80-minute electro-pop concert starring. infamous six wives to King Henry VIII. It was originally scheduled to open the night the shutdown began in March 2020.
- Sanctuary City: Martyna Majok’s compelling contemporary drama about how the close friendship of two young immigrants is threatened by their different legal status, which was in previews at the time of the shutdown, finally opened Off-Broadway with the same three actors.
- Lackawanna Blues: Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s finely crafted remembrance monologue pays tribute to the surrogate mother who raised him in the 1950s in an industrial city in the upstate, and the eccentrics who lived in her boarding house. It is a worthy tribute to community, family and African American identity.
- What happened? Michaels abroad: Director-playwright Richard Nelson brought his “Rhinebeck Panorama” (a cycle of 12 plays that take place today and indirectly relate to politically significant milestones) to a conclusion with a naturalistic kitchen-washing drama depicting an upstate family grieve over losses and process current changes in the world.
- Clyde’s: The Devil comes in the unlikely form of Uzo Aduba in Lynn Nottage’s heartfelt workplace comedy about a sandwich shop by the road run by ex-cons. Broadway production will be made available for live streaming in January.
- Happy wives: Shakespeare in the Park, a vital New York tradition, returned with a fresh adaptation of the domestic comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” by Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh, set in modern Harlem with an all-black cast . “Reopening Night,” a documentary about the production, has just premiered on HBO.