Best and Worst Theater of 2017. Hugh Jackman Upstages A Christmas Story. Season of Womyn. Week in NY Theater

Now seems the right time to start summing up 2017 (though watch for more such looks back in the two weeks remaining of the year.)

Top 10 Lists of Top 10 New York Theater 2017

Poll: Worst Broadway Show of 2017

Poll: Best Cast Recording of 2017

Below Audra McDonald asks for a song; The Go Gos are going Broadway, as is Star Wars’ Adam Driver; watch two separate videos of Hugh Jackman dancing in the street.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

(l-r) Sam Crane, Melody Grove, Lucas Hall, Huss Garbiya, Edward Peel and Mark Rylance


Four years after their splendid debut on Broadway, Shakespeare’s Globe returns to the beautiful Belasco Theater with a show that in a few glorious ways resembles their spectacular Twelfth Night. Their production of Farinelli and the King, an original play by Claire Van Kampen based on an odd true story about an opera singer whose music helped heal a mad king, gives us the gift of another opulent set and authentic-looking period costumes, and of another fine British cast again starring the always watchable Mark Rylance.

The Children

“The Children” begins as what seems like a small, slow domestic drama about three aged friends in an English seaside cottage, but turns into an unsettling meditation on some very large themes — life, death, the responsibility of one generation to the next, the poisoning of the planet.

Playwright Lucy Kirkwood roots her larger themes in concrete details, a series of startling surprises, and some resonant metaphors, woven into nearly two hours otherwise filled with seemingly idle small talk. Her approach might try the patience of the average attention-deficit New Yorkers, but “The Children” hits home by the end.

David Samuel, Tina Chilip, Andy Grotelueschen, Palo Tolson

Twelfth Night

Fiasco Theater offers a Twelfth Night for theatergoers who’ve never seen Twelfth Night or Fiasco Theater before.
For almost a decade, the ensemble company has been praised for its bare-bones productions of Shakespeare (and one Sondheim) that have been both intelligible and inventive. At CSC, they are delivering the Bard’s Christmas season comedy of mistaken identity with their customary clarity, but without that extra spark that characterized their Cymbelline or Into The Woods.

Hundred Days

In “Hundred Days,” a musically engaging autobiographical concert by The Bengsons, Abigail and Shaun Bengson tell us they met one another at “the first rehearsal of a massive anti-folk folk-punk old-timey neo soul band,” and they were married three weeks later…It is best appreciated as a live concert…To accept it as a musical, or judge it as a work of theater – I must then acknowledge the frustration of trying to follow a story that is often vague in its details and mumbly in its presentation.


To outsiders, a rock musical that presents a long-dead public official as a tragic villain, and a disagreement over public policy as high drama, might sound ludicrous from the get-go. But the central character in “Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses,” portrayed by Constantine Maroulis, was one of the most powerful figures in New York history, and Robert Moses continues to fascinate a certain breed of New Yorker… “Bulldozer”…does turn out to be ludicrous in several of its choices, but not because of its choice of subject.

Home For the Holidays:

And one live musical on TV:

A Christmas Story Live scored the lowest in TV ratings and among the worst in reviews of any of the live TV musicals since 2013.


The commercial during the program for The Greatest Showman — starring Hugh Jackman and  billed as the first live TV commercial for a movie — garnered more praise.

The Week in New York Theater News

Adam Driver is back in movie theaters as Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi , which seems a smart time to announce: Driver will lead a Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This in 2019.

M Butterfly closed this past Sunday, earlier than planned.

Head Over Heels, featuring the music of The Gogos is opening in San Francisco’s Curran Theater in the Spring, aiming for Broadway in the 2018-19 season.

Terrence Mann and Will Swenson to star in Off-Broadway debut of Jerry Springer — The Opera

Judy Kuhn, Bebe Neuwrith, Vanessa Williams, Carolee Carmello join Bob Martin in Hey Look Me Over, New York City Center Encores special 25th anniversary concert featuring numbers from All American, George M!, Greenwillow, Jamaica, Mack & Mabel, Milk and Honey, Sail Away, and Wildcat

Season of Womyn

The Flea Theater has announced its Spring season. “Each of our spring plays wrestles with what it means to be womyn taking the center of the story on their own terms,” says artistic director Niegel Smith.

Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill
by Steph Del Rosso
January 22 – February 25
Break-ups are hard. But Joni’s taken her break-up to the next level, physically feeling holes all over her body. From acupuncture to threesomes, Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill asks how do we live fully in our own skin

Locked Up B*tches
by Catya McMullen
February 21 – April 28
A hip hop musical parody of Orange is the New Black: “When Pipsy, a pedigree cocker spaniel, lands at the B*tchfield Animal Shelter, she becomes the center of a turf war between the dogs and the cats”

ms. estrada
by the Q Brothers Collective
A Hip-Hop remix of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, in which the girls withhold sex from the boys at Acropolis U

What Happens After #MeToo?
How individuals and institutions are working to address and prevent sexual harassment in the theatre industry.

Eight playwrights weigh in: How much do they write to please their audience?

Quiara Alegra Hudes: I believe what Edward Albee said –
a playwright is not a servant. You must not alter your core vision based on an audience’s reaction..That being said, I study them very closely – where they laugh, where they lean in, where they “go fishing” in their mind

Entertainment Industry News that affects us all

The Week in Theater Videos

You Will Be Found Sung By Dear Evan Hansen Fans from 31 Countries

Author: 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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