Top 10 Lists of Top 10 New York Theater in 2018: The Ferryman, Angels in America, Harry Potter

“The Ferryman” was the most popular play or musical among critics whose top 10 lists for 2018 are featured below, followed by “Angels in America” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Other shows that made at least five critics’ lists: “Dance Nation,”  “Three Tall Women,” and “Oklahoma!” It’s worth pointing out that five of these six favorite are straight plays; the most popular musical among critics was a re-conceived revival staged in Brooklyn.

Critics didn’t agree on much in 2018 compared to previous years. “Hamilton” was on all the critics’ top ten lists in 2015, and most made it their number one choice. Similarly, “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”  and “The Band’s Visit” were clear favorites in 2016 and 2017 respectively. By contrast, though 10 of the 12 critics below listed “The Ferryman” this year, only one put it at the top of his list, and only two critics chose as their number 1 the revival of “Angels in America” — which was the only show picked by more than one critic to top their list.

The lists below link to the critics’ articles explaining and describing their choices, and linking to their original reviews. (Those shows on any lists that are not New York productions are put in [brackets])

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater
1.The Ferryman
2.The Damned
3.The Waverly Gallery
4.Three Tall Women
5.Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
7.In The Body of the World
8.Dance Nation
9.The Mile Long Opera
10.The Jungle etc.


Jesse Green, New York Times, listed chronologically by opening date.
Three Tall Women
My Fair Lady
Pass Over
[The Sound Inside]
Uncle Vanya
What The Constitution Means To Me
Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future


Ben Brantley, New York Times (listed alphabetically)
Angels in American and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Carmen Jones and Oklahoma
Dance Nation
The Ferryman
Is God Is
Lobby Hero and The Waverly Gallery
Uncle Vanya

Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
1.Dance Nation
2.Three Tall Women
3.The Ferryman
6. The Low Road
7.Uncle Vanya
8. Angels in America
9.Slave Play
10.Catch as Catch Can
11. (“bonus”) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Marilyn Stasio, Frank Rizzo and Matt Trueman, Variety (alphabetical)
Angels in America
The Ferryman
Girl From the North Country
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
[The Inheritance]
The Lifespan of a Fact
Lobby Hero
The Prom
To Kill A Mockingbird
[Summer and Smoke]



David Rooney, the Hollywood Reporter
1.Angels in America
2.Girl from the North Country
3.Three Tall Women
4.The Ferryman
5.Twelfth Night
6.To Kill a Mockingbird
7.Carmen Jones
8.What The Constitution Means to Me
9.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child



Eben Shapiro, Time Magazine
2.The Ferryman
4.Springsteen on Broadway
5.My Fair Lady
7.On Beckett
8.Angels in America
9.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
10. Twelfth Night: Shakespeare in the Park


Jessica Derschowitz and Marc Snetiker, Entertainment Weekly
1 Angels in America
2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
3 The Ferryman
4 Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song
5 My Fair Lady
6 Mike Birbiglia’s The New One
7 The Waverly Gallery
8 Mean Girls
9 Girls and Boys
10 Head Over Heels


Sara Holdren, Vulture/ NY Magazine
1.What the Constitution Means to Me
6.Dance Nation
8.Angels in America
9.The Birds
10. Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet


Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune and NY Daily News
1.Three Tall Women
2.The Ferryman
3.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
4.The Iceman Cometh
6.Lobby Hero
8.The Waverly Gallery
9.Mean Girls
10.The Prom

Peter Marks, The Washington Post
1. Girl in the North Country
2.Underground Railroad Game
3.The Ferryman
4.Dance Nation
6.[Two Trains Running]
8.[Julius Caesar]
10.Twelfth Night


Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal.

As usual, his “best theater of 2018” article is not formatted as a Top 10 list, but here’s an extrapolation, choosing only the New York productions, and organizing the list alphabetically (and sticking to 10):

Be More Chill
The Ferryman
The Girl from the North Country
The Hard Problem
Heartbreak House
Lobby Hero
Miss You Like Hell
Twelfth Night
Waverly Gallery

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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