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BWW Review: The Top-Ten Plays and Musicals of 2016


Here are my picks of the very best in 2016 Massachusetts theatre.

10. The Hairy Ape - EgoPo Classic Theater at Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival

This unique staging of O'Neill's expressionistic drama was set in an actual warehouse at the end of a Provincetown pier and ranked as the standout production from the 2016 Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival.

9. The Pirates of Penzance - Barrington Stage Company

This delightfully goofy revival was the quintessential portrait of a summer in the Berkshires. Are the Pirates of Barrington next in line to take over Broadway?

8. When January Feels Like Summer - Underground Railway Theatre at Central Square Theatre

I woke up November 9th emotionally paralyzed and almost canceled my evening tickets for this show. Luckily, I got myself out of bed and over to see Cori Thomas' romantic comedy about the virtue of kindness. In addition to a strong production, "When January..." also introduced us to newcomer Seth Hill, a Junior acting major at Boston University. Keep an eye out for him.

7. Fingersmith - American Repertory Theatre

It's better to say less about this plot-twisting comedic-thriller since Fingersmith runs until January 8th. Tracee Chimo and Christina Bennett's grand-slam performances are just two of the reasons not to miss it.

6. Constellations - Berkshire Theatre Group

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat came to life over-and-over again inside Nick Payne's multiverse romantic drama.

5. Broadway Bounty Hunter - Barrington Stage Company

The all out enjoyable new meta-musical took us to a fantastical world and proved musical theatre reaches its apex when risk is taken and boundaries are broken.

4. 1984 - Headlong, Almeida Theatre, & Nottingham Playhouse at American Repertory Theatre

I will not soon forget the hoards of theatre patrons fleeing for the doors during the gruesome torture scenes in this all too relevant stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece.

3. Rhinoceros- Boston Playwrights Theatre and Suffolk University

This present day set revival of Ionesco's play felt less absurd and more inescapable. Recommended reading: A Time For Refusal

2. The Convert - Underground Railway Theatre at Central Square Theatre

Playwright Danai Gurira's three-act drama about transformation during British colonization in Rhodesia was presented in a sterling production under the direction of Megan Sandberg-Zakian. In my Broadway World review I wrote: "the final product is satisfying to an audience seeking taut, powerful and thought-provoking theatre."

1. The Plough and the Stars - The Abbey Theatre at American Repertory Theatre

This angsty reimagining of Sean O'Casey's tragedy reminded me the present day fight for democracy is occurring outside the borders of this country. Political conflict a is worldly plague and our heritage should not separate ourselves from others. "There's no such thing as an Irishman, or an Englishman, or a German or a Turk; we're all only human bein's."

Eligibility: All professional productions had to open this year inside the state of Massachusetts. This list is the sole opinion of myself and does in no way represent the other editors of Broadway World.

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From This Author Justin J Sacramone