What is the best Shakespeare play you've ever seen on Broadway?

mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Hello all,
So Shakespeare productions have always been a staple of Broadway shows, and there have been many great productions as well as many flops. My question to you is: what is the best production of a Shakespeare show you have ever seen on Broadway? Mine would probably be the revival of HENRY IV from 2003.

Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
Updated On: 8/2/14 at 08:53 PM
willep
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/08
Having not seen too many on Broadway, I would have to go with the recent Richard III with Rylance. I know most people liked his Twelfth Night more, but for me Richard III just blew me away.
BobbyBubbi
Featured Actor
joined:1/7/14
Richard III with Rylance was the only Shakespeare production I have seen on Broadway. I, too was absolutely mesmerized.
Emmaloucbway
Broadway Star
joined:10/16/11
I haven't seen that many Shakespeare productions on Broadway, but the most recent Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance was definitely my favorite.
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
The Tempest with Patrick Stewart.




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theaterdrew
Stand-by
joined:9/4/10
Romeo and Juliet with Orlando Bloom and Justin Beiber.

Just kidding. It's Twelfth Night, hands down. My second favorite wasn't on Broadway (Chicago Shakes).
South Fl Marc
Broadway Legend
joined:6/23/04
If I were to list my top twenty Shakespeare performances I have seen, only two would have come from Broadway (and both of them were imported directly from London: The recent "Twelfth Night" and "Much Ado About Nothing" with Derek Jacobi from the RSC). The others from NYC have come from the Delacorte , Off Broadway or even Off Off Broadway. But for the best Shakespeare productions in this country, go to DC's Shakespeare Theatre.



Now living in DC. I really have to change my name on the board.
Updated On: 8/3/14 at 09:55 AM
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Christopher Plummer was pretty remarkable in King Lear back a few years ago. As a total production though, I think it's hard to top the recent Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance.

The best Shakespeare production I ever saw was a version of Midsummer Night's Dream at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (they've done at least one poor production of that play since). From the moment a little girl in a bed was raised above the stage as she fell asleep to "dream" the whole thing to the constant slow motion of fairies blowing in and out of the action, to Bottom removing his giant false donkey teeth and putting them under his pillow for Puck (obviously the tooth fairy) to replace it with a nickel -- it was all just brilliant. I still remember the lights going out at the end and when they came back on the entire audience (myself included) was standing and cheering.
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
The Rylance productions this past season are the best overall productions I've seen on Broadway. Henry IV was also excellent.

Plummer was extraordinary as Lear, but it was a weak production and almost no other actor was anywhere near his level. Only Brent Carver came close.

Off-Broadway and regionally, I've seen productions that ran the gamut from transcendent to embarrassing.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
The Tempest with Patrick Stewart was excellent.

I also liked Dream several years ago. The actors "went to sleep" in pods which were then suspended above the stage. They had to stay in those things through intermission.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
Twelfe Night with Rylance, the best comedy. Othello with Jones/Plummer decades ago, the best tragedy. On Broadway.

Best off Broadway - Henry V by New York Classical Theatre, a couple of summers ago.
The Other One
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/08
What wonkit said: Twelfe Night with Rylance, the best comedy. Othello with Jones/Plummer decades ago, the best tragedy. On Broadway.
prouvaire
Swing
joined:6/5/14
Both of the Rylance productions, and if I had to pick just one I'd say Twelfth Night.
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
Yeah, the recent TWELFTH NIGHT moved the bar at least as far as the last decade is concerned. Didn't get to see HENRY IV but remember hearing the praise and wishing I could get to it.
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
The Tempest.
Four Simple Rules for Attending the Theater 1. This is a nice night out. Dress accordingly. Like, no sweatpants. 2. When you enter the theater, turn off your phone. All issues with phones will be avoided this way, & you won't be verbally accosted by the cast, crew, & other patrons. 3. I did not pay dollas to hear you talk or sing. I paid dollas to see & hear gorgeous men like Norm Lewis, Ramin Karimloo & Joshua Henry. 4. Unless you have medical issues, don't eat. The wrappers are loud, & your disgusting munching is even louder. You aren't at the movies or a barn dance, baby.
oncemorewithfeeling2
Featured Actor
joined:4/25/13
The recent version of Twelfth Night. It changed the way we want Shakespeare on Broadway.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I know it wasn't on Broadway, but it was close, and Raul Julia and Meryl Streep in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at the Delacorte remains one of the best comedies (Shakespearean or otherwise) I have ever seen.
mikem
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/04
Another really excellent Shakespeare production that hasn't been mentioned yet is the recent Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe, directed by Daniel Sullivan.

I'm still shaking my head over A Raisin in the Sun winning the Tonys for Best Revival and Best Director over Twelfth Night (or The Glass Menagerie, for that matter).
"What was the name of that cheese that I like?" "you can't run away forever...but there's nothing wrong with getting a good head start" "well I hope and I pray, that maybe someday, you'll walk in the room with my heart"
quitetheatrical23
Understudy
joined:1/30/10
Broadway: Rylance Twelfth Night, Off-Brodway: McKellen's Lear at BAM/Kevin Spacey's Richard III at BAM. London: Rylance's Hamlet/ Tempest with Vanessa Redgrave