Top 10 Lists of Top 10 Theater 2017: The Band’s Visit, Doll’s House, Bruce, Bette.

“The Band’s Visit” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” are the favorites of the drama critics whose top 10 lists for New York theater in 2017 are listed below; both shows were chosen by nine of the 11 critics. (“The Band’s Visit” has a slight edge, since the only two critics to omit it from their list this year put it on their top 10 lists last year when the musical based on an Israeli indie film was Off-Broadway. It opened on Broadway last month.)  Also popular this year among the critics: “Springsteen on Broadway,” “Hello, Dolly” and “Mary Jane” (on five lists each) and “Jitney”  (on four.)

The lists below link to the critics’ articles explaining and describing their choices, and linking to their original reviews.

Jonathan Mandell in New York Theater
1. The Band’s Visit
2. Jitney
3. Sweeney Todd
4. Burning Doors
5. Indecent
6. Sweat
7. Latin History for Morons
8. A Doll’s House, Part 2
10. Antigone in Ferguson and Oedipus El Rey

Ben Brantley in the New York Times (listed alphabetically)
The Band’s Visit
The B-Side: Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons
Burning Doors
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Escaped Alone
The Red Letter Plays
Richard III
Springsteen on Broadway
Sunday in the Park with George

Jesse Green in the New York Times (listed chronologically by opening date)
Escaped Alone
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Sojourners and Her Portmanteau
Cost of Living
As You Like It
Mary Jane
Springsteen on Broadway
Jesus Hopped the A Train
The Band’s Visit

Marilyn Stasio of Variety
1. The Band’s Visit
2. Once On This Island
3. The Wolves
4. Jitney
5. Pacific Overtures
6. SpongeBob SquarePants
7. Sweeney Todd
8. A Doll’s House, Part 2
9. Sunset Boulevard
10. Hello, Dolly

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
1. Jitney
2. The Wolves
3. Springsteen on Broadway
4. Sunday in the Park with George
5. A Doll’s House, Part 2
6. Sweeney Todd
7. Mary Jane
8. Hello, Dolly
9. Once on This Island
10. Pacific Overtures

Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
1. Mary Jane
2. Hello, Dolly
3. A Doll’s House, Part 2
4. Escaped Alone
5. Springsteen on Broadway
6.The Band’s Visit
7. The Antipodes
8. Villa
9. SpongeBob SquarePants
10. Say Something Bunny!

Eben Shapiro, Time
1. Sweat
2. The Band’s Visit
3. Indecent
4. Come From Away
5. A Doll’s House, Part 2
6. Oslo
7. Hamlet with Oscar Isaac
8. Sunday in the Park with George
9. Sweeney Todd
10. Hello, Dolly

Sara Holdren, New York Magazine
1. Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring
2. The Hairy Ape
3. Richard III
4. Animal Wisdom
5. The Treasurer
6. Burning Doors
7. Frontiéres sans Frontières
8. The Band’s Visit
9. Of Government/What The Constitution Means to Me
10. People, Places and Things

Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune (Top 10 specifically on Broadway)
1. Springsteen on Broadway
2. Hello, Dolly
3. The Band’s Visit
4. Oslo
5. A Doll’s House, Part 2
6. Once on This Island
7. Sunset Boulevard
8. Come From Away
9. Sweat
10. SpongeBob SquarePants

Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal annually resists a top 10 list format, and many of his favorite are not in New York, but in his article The Best Shows of 2017…, he praised these New York plays and musicals, new and revived (which I’m listing in alphabetical order):

After the Blast
The Band’s Visit
Come Back, Little Sheba and Picnic (in repertory)
The Home Place
Mary Jane
The Portuguese Kid
Present Laughter
Pride and Prejudice and Vanity Fair (both by Kate Hamill)
Six Degrees of Separation
The Skin of Our Teeth

(The link requires a subscription. Click here for brief mention on his blog)

Jeremy Gerard, Deadline, does things differently this year. His top 10 is a top 13, and he doesn’t include any Broadway shows that ran Off-Broadway last year (such as The Band’s Visit, which he picked as number one last year, and says in the intro is the best musical of 2017 as well.)
1. Farinelli and the King
2. A Room In India
3. If I Forget
4. Junk
5. A Doll’s House, Part 2
6. The Glass Menagerie
7. Mary Jane
8. Jesus Hopped The A Train
9. Once on This Island
10. The Hairy Ape
SpongeBob SquarePants
The Little Foxes
Of Human Bondage/Spoon River/Kim’s Convenience

Author: New York Theater

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

1 thought on “Top 10 Lists of Top 10 Theater 2017: The Band’s Visit, Doll’s House, Bruce, Bette.

  1. Re: The Band’s Visit — although I explained why it wasn’t on my Best Of 2017 list, I did write, in the intro text, that it is still the best musical of both 2016 and 2017.

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