Hir by Taylor MacMr. Burns by Anne WashburnThe Flick by Annie BakerWaverly Gallery by Kenneth LonerganA Doll's House Part by Lucas Hnath
I have to say, I'll usually enjoy a play before I enjoy a musical. Some of my favorites that I can think of right now:The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, & Gordon Farrell - I remember seeing this and being totally blown away by the language in the script. It reminds me of Kushner, the way the monologues just weave in and out of each other. Speaking of --Angels in America by Tony Kushner - Duh. The Marianne Elliot production will forever stick out for me. Nathan Lane as Roy Cohn...iconic.Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Simon Stephens - This one is interesting because reading it, it feels more like a Sarah Ruhl play, the way the dialogue feels more like poetry than prose. And the Broadway production felt more like a musical, you know? It was very melodic, even without having actual songs.Lysistrata by Aristophanes - I re-read this recently and it will forever be my favorite Greek play. A bunch of women wanting to end a war, and they realize the way they can do it is by withholding sex from their husbands. It's a comedy with a strong message of women taking back their power. Written 1500 years ago. PREACH Arisophanes.The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth - I was absolutely struck by this play. I'm not a fan of Butterworth's writing usually, but wow. This was such an effective use of characters and premise. Textbook scriptwriting 101.The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter - I'm very biased because Bekah is easily my favorite author lately but this is truly an amazing play. The MCC production was good, but I'm really excited to see other productions of this, possibly a movie. The subject matter is so close to my heart, and every time I read it, I just fall in love with it all over again.Okay I'm rambling lol I see so many plays. I'll stop now.
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'NeillAugust: Osage County by Tracy LettsDeath of a Salesman by Arthur MillerEvery Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny DonahoeIf I Forget by Steven LevensonGloria and Appropriate, both by Branden Jacobs-JenkinsRed Speedo by Lucas HnathGood People by David Lindsay-AbaireIndecent by Paula VogelIn the Next Room by Sarah RuhlFences by August WilsonYellowface by David Henry HwangBlackbird by David HarrowerDownstate by Bruce NorrisThe Kentucky Cycle by Robert SchenkkanAmerican Buffalo by David MametHarvey by Mary Chase
The Ferryman. Im a bit newer to the straight play scene (although have learned I enjoy them MUCH more than musicals) but man its going to be hard to find a show to make me feel shocked in the best way possible. I was so beyond satisfied with that show, I wish I could catch it on Broadway again.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Simon StephensMr. Burns by Anne WashburnZoo Story/Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf by Edward Albee (I had to do Zoo Story for an acting class and then do a project behind the playwright, and I got to really appreciate his work through that)Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks (I've only read this, but it was a very intriguing read. I hope this goes off-Broadway again soon so I can see it)One play I wouldn't put as my favorite, but I have been thinking about it ever since I saw it was Gary. For all his flaws, Mac's writing is outstanding and like Topdog/Underdog, it's probably also a great read)
I love it when people want to talk about straight plays on this board!My favorite play is probably Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. A close second is The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (his Beauty Queen of Leenane is also brilliant). The original A Doll's House is also one of my favorites (I have the script to Part 2 on my desk and need to finally read it).The others posters mentioned above are also all very acclaimed plays. August: Osage County is easily one of the best plays written so far this century. Jesus Hopped the A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis is also beautiful and brilliant. Although perhaps her work hasn't aged well, Rebecca Gillman wrote some wonderful plays in the 1990's and early 2000's, particularly Spinning Into Butter and The Glory of Living.
Of plays that I've seen performed, I do agree that Boeing Boeing is a great one. I also absolutely loved Equus and Hedda Gabbler, both kept me entranced the entire performance. Recently, I can also say that about The Ferryman and Yerma.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeEquusThe Boys in the BandI'm in the minority here, but I did not particularly enjoy The Ferryman. I thought it took an unnecessarily long time to make its point.
Angels in America, Three Tall Women, The Boys in the Band, and The Ferryman are some that really grabbed me - Ferryman so much so that my friend and I made a second trip to NYC specifically to see it again.I hadn't seen many plays prior to 2017 (I'm also one of those people more prone to musicals), but have been making a conscious effort to see more. I also saw a local production of The Wolves in Boston that was really well done.
A Streetcar Named DesireWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?The Boys in The BandEquusAngels in America
As far as older plays go, I like Macbeth, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, A Doll's House, and The Oresteia.
MACBETH (all-time favorite)THE WAVERLY GALLERYTHE NORMAL HEART"MASTER HAROLD" ...AND THE BOYSTHE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA?ANGELS IN AMERICATHE LARAMIE PROJECTRUMORSTHE PILLOWMANCLYBOURNE PARK
MedeaThe FatherAmy and the OrphansThe HumansRutherford and SonsThe CrucibleSweatCurious IncidentStreetcarVirginia WoolfView From the BridgeConstellations
Of all time? Rumors. We’re so overdue for a revival and there’s so many people who would be wonderful in it. Some other favorites include:-August: Osage County-Death of a Salesman-Noises Off-The Flick-Lost in Yonkers-Angels in America-Clybourne Park-Picnic-The Piano Lesson
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIREANTIGONE (Anouilh adaptation)M. BUTTERFLYMOTHER COURAGEEDWARD II (Marlowe)Honorable Mention: ATSUMORI (by Zeami (Japanese noh drama, which are arguably closer to opera than what we would call a straight play))I'm going to stop here, because this could go on and on, but my second five would certainly include plays by August Wilson, Arthur Miller, Henrik Ibsen and Racine.
AN ANCIENT GREEK TRAGEDYHippolytus by EuripidesLove the story of this masterpiece and the fact that the two main characters never appear on the stage together or speak to each other.A PLAY FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIAGospod(j)a Ministarka (Mrs Minister or The Wife of the Prime Minister) by Branislav NusicOne of the best plays about politics, corruption and fake news I have ever seen. And it was written in 1929! No wonder Nusic is considered one of the best playwrights in the world. His ideas were way ahead of their time. There are lots of memorable moments in this satire. My favourite is the scene in which the main character is visited by all her close and distant (and fake) relatives who didn't care at all about her when she was a nobody but who come to ask for favours from her once her husband becomes the Prime Minister. And the protagonist, Zivka Popovic, is an amazing character. She's a modern Lady Macbeth.RUSSIAN PLAYSThe Seagull by Anton ChekhovUncle Vanya by Anton ChekhovThe Three Sisters by Anton ChekhovThe Cherry Orchard by Anton ChekhovBear by Anton ChekhovTo my mind, the best romantic comedy in the world.SPANISH PLAYSRetablo de la avaricia, la lujuria y la muerte (Altarpiece of Greed, Lust and Death) by Ramón María del Valle-InclanLa casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba) by Federico García LorcaLa ternura (Tenderness) by Alfredo SanzolThis is the latest play by this excellent Spanish playwright. It is a hilarious comedy about a woman and her two daughters who decide to go to a desert island because they hate men. What they don't know is that a man who despises women lives on that island with his two sons. The play is like a modern comedy by Shakespeare. In fact, Alfredo Sanzol mentions each one of his comedies in this play.Páncreas (Pancreas) by Patxo TelleriaOne of the funniest plays I have ever seen. A black comedy about three friends. One of them needs to have a pancreas transplant, or so he says. Which one of his two best friends will be generous enough to give him his pancreas? It's far funnier and more thought-provoking than Yasmina Reza's Art.A FRENCH PLAYLa Folle de Chailott (The Madwoman of Chailott) by Jean GiraudouxA SWISS PLAYDer Besuch der alten Dame (The Visit) by Friedrich DürrenmattBRITISH PLAYSThe Old Lady Shows Her Medals by J M BarrieIt is an old-fashioned play, a period piece about the First World War, but I cried like a baby when I saw it five times in 2009.My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte KeatleyA great play about four generations of women from the same family. Far superior to Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, in my opinion, even though I love the first scene of that play to bits.The Lover by Harold PinterBetrayal by Harold PinterThe new production that is coming to Broadway in August is simply fantastic.Totally Over You by Mark RavenhillThis playwright is known for his in-yer-face plays such as Shopping and F***ing, but, in my view, this short play about a group of posh teenage girls who dump their teenage boyfriends because they decide to become famous and hobnob with celebs and how their boyfriends take revenge on them is a gem.A Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareEmma Rice's production in Shakespeare's Globe in 2016 was a masterpiece. Having a young man play the part of Helena (called Helenus in this production) solved the biggest problem that in my opinion this comedy has: Why does Demetrius hate Helena so much at the beginning of the play and then, suddenly, fall in love with her? Fairies' doing you may say. Yes, but in Emma Rice's production Demetrius was also a closet gay man and at the end of the play, when the four lovers wake up in the woods, he finally accepts that he loves men, well, not all men, one man - Helenus. And suddenly everything made much more sense. Their passionate kiss in the final scene was so magical. The day I saw the production, everyone started cheering and clapping. And Meow Meow was amazing as Titania. A goddess! I was lucky enough to touch one of her feet.Pygmalion by George Bernard ShawArcadia by Tom StoppardThe Invention of Love by Tom StoppardAMERICAN PLAYSWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward AlbeeGlengarry Glen Ross by David MametOleanna by David MametDeath of a Salesman by Arthur MillerOur Town by Thornton WilderThe Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton WilderThe Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Cyrano de BergeracLong Day's Journey Into NightA Moon For the MisbegottenA View From the BridgeA Cry of PlayersWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Marat/SadeThe River NigerSix Degrees of SeparationAngels in America (both)Topdog/UnderdogThe Pillowman Those are the ones that come to mind right now.
I agree with many of the titles mentioned above, and I’ll add a very dark comedy, The House Of Blue Leaves by John Guare. Heartbreaking and beautiful. The revival featuring John Mahoney, Swoozie Kurtz, Christine Baranski, and Ben Stiller was out of this world.
I think the Blue Leaves cast included Stockard Channing instead of Christine Baranski -- or at least it did when I saw it.
My all-time favorite is God of Carnage. I think it’s a brilliant look into social dynamics. Other tip-top plays include:Glass MenagerieFerrymanSweatBearView From A Bridgei have never seen Rumors or Pillowman - I’ve only been able to be close to NY for 11 years. I’d love either to be revived.
My all-time favorite would probably be The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.Others include:Or, by Liz Duffy AdamsAn Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly (saw an excellent production in DC this winter)Indecent by Paula VogelKing Charles III by Mike Bartlett Pericles and As You Like It, both ShakespeareThe Plough and the Stars & Shadow of a Gunman & Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey (did anyone see the Irish Rep's production of these three this spring? They were fantastic!)
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