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Top 10 Lists of Top 10 Theater 2016

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” is the top choice of the majority of drama critics in their lists of Top 10 New York theater for 2016. Unlike last year’s top 10 lists, the most favored show doesn’t dominate.  “Great Comet” is not on three of the (11) lists, while “Dear Evan Hansen” is on all but two of the lists. (But “Dear Evan Hansen” is number one on only one of these lists.)  Also popular: “A Life” (on 7 lists); “Notes from the Field” and “Falsettos” (each on 5); “The Gabriels,” “The Band’s Visit,” “Shuffle Along” and “Sweat” (each on 4)

Jonathan Mandell in New York Theater

1.Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
2.Sweat
3.Dear Evan Hansen
4.A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
5.Notes from the Field
6.Caught (and YOUARENOWHERE and A Life)
7. Vietgone
8. Indecent
9. She Loves Me
10. Fringe Festival favorites: Black Magic, The Radicalization of Rolfe, Rent Control

Charles Isherwood, New York Times

1. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
2. Dear Evan Hansen
3. Ride the Cyclone
4. Sweat
5. Falsettos
6. The Crucible
7. A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
8. Indecent
9. Red Speedo
10. Turn Me Loose

Ben Brantley, New York Times

1. The Gabriels, Election Year in the Life of One Family
2. The Crucible
3. Underground Railroad Game
4. A Life
5. The Wolves
6. Notes From The Field
7. The Encounter
8. Heisenberg
9. Hold On To Me Darling
10. Oslo

Richard Zoglin, Time

1. Shuffle Along
2. Love, Love, Love
3. Dear Evan Hansen
4.Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
5. Red Speedo
6.Falsettos
7. She Loves Me
8. Maestro
9. Skeleton Crew
10. Notes from the Field<

Jesse Green, New York Magazine

1. The Gabriels
2. Small Mouth Sounds
3. A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
4. Dear Evan Hansen
5. Homos, or Everyone in America
6. The Effect
7. The Harvest
8. A Life
9. Red Speedo
10. Notes from the Field

Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
1. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.
2. Othello
3. Dear Evan Hansen
4. A Life
5. Indecent
6. The Wolves
7. Underground Railroad Game
8. The Harvest
9.Long Day’s Journey Into Night
10. Notes From the Field.

David Cote, Time Out New York
1. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
2. A Life
3. Sweat
4. The Front Page
5. Othello
6. The Band’s Visit
7. King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings
8. The Encounter
9. Vietgone
10. Long Day’s Journey Into Night

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
1. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
2. The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family
3. Dear Evan Hansen
4. The Band’s Visit
5. The Crucible
6. Oslo
7. Othello
8. Falsettos
9. A Life
10. Shuffle Along”

Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

(top 10 specifically on Broadway)

1. Dear Evan Hansen
2. Shuffle Along
3. The Humans
4. The Crucible
5. Waitress
6. The Front Page
7. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
8. Falsettos
9. Blackbird
10. Bright Star

Jeremy Gerard, Deadline
(list limited to new shows, rather than revivals.)
1. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
2. The Gabriels
3. Dear Evan Hansen
4. The Band’s Visit
5. The Crucible
6. Oslo
7. Othello
8. Falsettos
9. A Life
10. Shuffle Along

Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal resists a top 10 list format, but in his article The Best Shows of 2016…, he mentions these 11 New York plays and musicals, new and revived (which I’m putting in alphabetical order):
A Day By The Sea
The Band’s Visit
Dear Evan Hansen
Finian’s Rainbow
Hold On To Me Darling
Love, Love, Love
Noises Off
Prodigal Son
She Loves Me
Sweat
Sweet Charity.
(The link requires a subscription. Click here for brief mention on his blog.)

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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