BroadwayWorld Editors On Their Favorite Shows Of The Season
BroadwayWorld's editors have been keeping busy during the shutdown working on features, interviews, local news and more!
With all of us at home binging, streaming, and looking for ways to entertain ourselves, we wanted to ask our staff and critics around the country about their favorite things they've seen pre and post shutdown!
Though theatre seasons around the country were cut short, we wanted to celebrate the theatre that our critics did get to see before things shut down. We asked them for their favorite show they saw this season. Check out their replies below!
Danny Decker from NYC
Girl From The North Country
Girl From The North Country is definitely my favorite this season (so far). With such unique musical arrangements of Bob Dylan's music, a star-studded cast, and a story that keeps audiences at the edges of their seats that ends beautifully, this show brings more to the table than we've seen in a while!
Alan Portner from Kansas City
Ragtime & Come From Away
Super local cast and imaginative staging in a 300 seat theater/a total ensemble show with the most complex stage vision I've seen - Met the actual pilot of the central aircraft.
Zoe Burke from Albuquerque
I only got to see one show before COVID started, but it was an original work called Hummingbird by local playwright Alix Hudson. I love original works, first and foremost, but this play also brought a unique and heart wrenching perspective to the mistreatment of immigrants, and especially what their children born in the states experience.
Mike Noland from Arkansas
It was so fresh and funny with great music. The performers were top notch and they were really having a blast.
Ella Embry from Atlanta, Ga
Indecent by Paula Vogel
Honestly, I could write an entire essay about how much I love Indecent by Vogel but I will try to contain my love to three bullet points: 1) The blend of song, dance, and dialogue is perfect for the story it wants to tell and this particular production was FLAWLESS in its execution. 2) The use of language in this show is unparalleled - it's so rare to hear real Yiddish on stage. 3) EVERYTHING IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL STORY ABOUT HUMANITY AND IT MAKES ME GET WAY UP IN MY FEELS.
Lynn Beaver from Austin, Tx
Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre
They cast the show with non traditional actors and transformed the story entirely. The meaning became crystallized by the storytelling and the result was pure joy.
Martin Ganeider from Austria
CATS has always been a dream since I started taking ballet classes.
Herbert Paine from Arizona
Childsplay's THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE
Powerful, poignant, and imaginative. Beautifully nd sensitively portrayed by the company's ensemble.
Jeanmarie Simpson from Arizona
The Last Romance
Beautifully produced, excellently acted and directed.
Marc Savitt from Berkshires
If I Forget
It was very well written, produced and executed but what really did it for me was the incredibly strong parallels and relevancy to my own life at the time.
Jessa Lynn from Boise
Fiddler on the Roof
The entire thing had an overall feeling of warmth to it. The show was lovely and the cast was wonderful !!
David Tompkins from Boston
It contained many of the original cast who as years went by the moved up into the more principal roles from chorus. It was set in a theatre in the round with very imaginative staging and everyone in the audience had an intimate and close seat to the stage.
Vicki from Calgary
Fully Committed by Birnton Theatricals
It was well suited for the space, the actor (Griffin Cork) was spectacular. It was a balance of theatre-nerd indulgence and human storytelling.
David Clarke from NYC
The Inheritance Parts 1 & 2
It was beautiful, moving, poignant, and wonderfully acted.
Rich Mehrenberg from Central Pennsylvania
It had the whole package...song, acting, and dance
Susan Haubenstock from Central Virginia
It was an awesome production of a show that I already love.
Rachel Weinberg from Chicago
What The Constitution Means to Me
The national touring production of Heidi Schreck's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play was STUNNING. The play itself is a marvel and accomplishes one of the most difficult achievements that a piece of theater can: It makes the political personal and the personal political, without ever spoon-feeding audiences or veering into the didactic. Schreck makes the play both personal and universal as she explores her relationship to the Constitution as a high school student competing in speech competitors for college scholarship money and how her relationship to the document has evolved throughout her life. For the tour, Maria Dizzia took over the role of Heidi. She was incredible, bringing all the immediacy and the emotion of the piece to life.
Roy Berko from Cleveland, OH
"Intimate Apparel" is a well-honed script which gets a superior production under the adept direction of Sarah May. This is a play well-worth seeing! 2--CAPSULE JUDGMENT: If entertainment is your theatrical pleasure, head to the Cleveland Play House where the finely directed and performed "CLUE" is a must see!
Joseph Harrison from Connecticut
The Flamingo Kid
Brand new musical, Great Performances, exciting staging.
Zac Thriffiley from Dallas-Fort Worth
The Band's Visit
With the maddeningly rapid speed at which our world spins these days, it's refreshing to have a musical that is comfortable in savoring the beauty of the ordinary. The actors know the power of a simple gesture, a fleeting glance that's every bit as moving as the notes drifting from the orchestra.
Maria Bruun Fanoe from Denmark
With amounts of humorous and coordinated scenes I was blown away by a stunning cast playing their best
DC Felton from Des Moines
The Diary of Anne Frank
I think was a unique interpretation of the show. The directors vision was seen from the top of the show as the audience was pulled into the annex, The way the ending was staged in a way that acknowledged the horrors they were getting ready to face.
Brian Stanczak-Tuscany from Detroit
West Side Story Broadway Revival
Raw, uncut acting choices by the entire ensemble. A completely reimagined and redeveloped version of the classic musical, while keeping the original plot in tact.
Katie Laban from Detroit
It hasn't been since 2006 that a show has moved me when I saw it for the time. Spring Awakening was that show and now Hadestown has done that to me again. There was just something special about it that pulled at my soul and I loved every moment from the first note to the very last. I didn't realize I started crying halfway through and never stopped. It's beautiful - visually and musically - with one of the most talented cast to ever come together and be on stage. I know I was lucky to get that ticket and I hope I'm lucky again to be in their presence another day!
Stefani Chudnow from Detroit
2020? so far, A Bronx Tale national tour - fascinating story and incredible music
Mary Lincer from District of Columbia
They did an outstanding job, and the adaptation was excellent (I'd just finished reading the original Dickens.)
Emily Yorgey from Fort Myers/Naples
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
It had everything I love in a musical: catchy music, incredible talent, beautiful costumes, lots of humor, and so much more!
Suzanne Tidwell from Houston
Jagged Little Pill
The use of iconic Alannis Morisette tunes in a timely, important contemporary storyline is the musical no one knew they needed. JAGGED deals with everything from gender identity and #MeToo to classism and the opioid epidemic. I saw it twice in one week, and can't wait to see it again.
Melissa Hall from Indiana
I finally got to see it for the first time! It was just as amazing as I expected it would be.
Rakaputra Paputungan from Indonesia
Musikal Belakang Panggung
It utilizes its 'musical within a play' structure well to tell its hard-hitting story and the music is actually really good.
Jonas Schwartz-Owen from Los Angeles
Craftily written, extraordinary cast, fluid direction.
Maria Nockin from West Coast
Cosi fan tutte at Santa Fe Opera
It was not only well sung, it was energetically acted.
Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold from Maine
Treasure Island MSMT
A new work of extraordinary power, grandeur, and artistry by Marc Robin & Curt Dale Clark with an extraordinary cast and production- scheduled to make several other US premieres before this crisis hit
Laura Iniguez from Mexico
The dark contemporary story sent an important message of ambition, its perks and consequences. Powerful songs.
Cristina Pla-Guzman from Miami, Florida
Jagged Little Pill
The story is so relevant. The score is incredible. I am a HUGE fan of Alanis Morissette. The story and music fit like a glove. The performances were honest. It felt like each person on stage was a friend, neighbor or loved one. It is truly a show that everyone must see. It will change you undoubtedly. I have not stopped raving about the show since I saw it.
Korey Beyersdorf from Minneapolis/St. Paul
Mean Girls National Tour
Funny, catchy songs with a great message for young girls mixed in. It retained the fun of the movie but added an additional layer that only a musical can bring.
Erica Handel from New Jersey
The Wild Party
I had been a fan of the cast recording and wanted to see the show for awhile. I loved the music, intimate theatre, costumes, and the cast was so talented!
Jackie Camborde from New Mexico
New York - Hadestown; New Mexico - Jesus Christ Superstar First National Tour
Hadestown was so beautiful - the music, the staging, the acting, the entire performance was mesmirizing. JCC was one of the most choreographically innovative pieces I have seen in years. So edgy and different from any production I have seen before.
Melanie Votaw from New York
Unusual book, emotional subject matter, beautiful melodies and voices
Tory Gates from Northeast US/Music Specialty
Christone Kingfish Ingram & Vanessa Collier
First night of the Reading Blues Fest in PA; the young lions of the blues stole the show. Ms. Collier was subject of a feature here (was quite a good one).
Dan Dwyer from NYC, Hudson Valley, Berkshires
David Byrne's AMERICAN UTOPIA
His songs reflected not only his own cannon also but the journey we have taken with him. Plus the stage movement/ choreography was inspired. It found its own theatricality and superceded staged concert.
Adrienne Proctor from Oklahoma
It was a simple story about two people falling in love, with beautiful music by Matthew Sweet woven into the story!
Albert Gutierrez from Orlando, Florida
"Cabaret" by Encore Performing Arts
I've been attending Encore Performing Arts shows since 2015; every show from them always tops itself over the last. Their production of "Cabaret" brings together everything I've known and loved about Encore shows, funneling it all down into a compact, intimate, extremely-timely production that runs on all cylinders from beginning to end. It's a crying shame that their shows never run longer than a weekend or two, but given the circumstances that brings these performers together (everyone volunteers on these shows whilst working around their own schedules at Walt Disney World), I can understand why. Perhaps the short shelf time of these shows helps me appreciate them more, but honestly the talent on the Encore stage can sometimes supercede those I've seen on national tours traveling through Florida.
Greg Kerestan from Pittsburgh
A Midsummer Night's Dream
It was a perfect "wintry" reimagining of Shakespeare's lightest play, with a very heavy emphasis on the comedic elements. Plus, director Alan Stanford made a fantastic showcase for the leading actors to both play standard Shakespearean types and then lampoon themselves in the Mechanicals sequences.
Daria Vorobyeva from Russia
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery
Super funny, well-directed and awesomely played
Tyler Hinton from Salt Lake City
The performances and material were gripping, with set and lighting design that were a rush to the senses.
Ashley Corbaley from San Antonio
Miss Saigon was so incredibly moving. It made me laugh and cry. It showed so much of human frailties and was based on such an important part of history that I think is sadly overlooked. I would recommend this show in a heartbeat. If you haven't seen it, you are missing out!
Jim Munson from San Francisco
It was the definition of a singular experience in that I have never seen anything like it. It totally honored the Fitzgerald text while transforming it into a beguiling piece of theater.
Paul Bolton from San Francisco
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
The production was well cast and had a great visual appeal. Set design was highly stylized and beautifully executed.
Harker Jones from Southern California
It was complex and harrowing and deeply sad. The characters were written so well, each of them with their own objectives and stakes and inner lives. The set was stunning, and the performances were devastating. It's what theater is about.
Annette Stolt from Sverige
Så som i Himmelen
It is a Swedish original based on the Swedish film with the same name (As If In Heaven). The newly written music is amazing, cast is incredible. You laugh, cry and feel happy while watching it.
Jade Kops from Sydney Australia
Courtney Act's FLUID
A honest, open, entertaining and educational cabaret about gender identity and gender fluidity. Presented with heart and humility and a liberal dose of humour and original music.
Peter Nason from Tampa-St. Petersburg
It's everything I love in a musical--beautiful staging, riveting performances, great score. And the song "Wait For Me" has been stuck in my head ever since.
Deborah Bostock-Kelley from Tampa/St Pete
Working - A Musical
It told true stories about the working class - in fast-paced, relateable monologues and dialogues, combined with song and dance. It was spectacular.
Chantal Kunst from The Netherlands
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Amazing cast, blasted with energy
AniKatrina Fageol from TN
The Lightning Thief: the Percy Jackson Musical
I have been a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books since high school and the musical is the adaptation we all deserve! It's such a fun show with some incredible messages. Chris McCarrell, who played Percy since the show debuted off-Broadway, has literally stepped out of the book and onto the stage. The show is great for all ages and has the powerful lesson that "normal is a myth".
Verity Wilde from UK
Follies (ok so it was 2019 but it counts right?)
That score, with a big orchestra, that cast and an amazing set. Just a perfect production of a show I'll probably never see on that scale again
Ben Tomchik from Washington DC
My Fair Lady
Because it is the perfect blending of book, music, lyrics, and dance, all combined to tell the perfect story.
James McQuillen from Washington, DC Metro
Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
Ute Lemper is a real favorite of mine, an artist who continues to evolve, create, and inspire. Seeing her performing at the top of her game in such a small theatre as the York was a revelation. Watching her eyes and her body, listening to her vocal choices -- it was a master class in performance.
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