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Top 10 New York Theater in 2017 To Be Grateful For

For all the Broadway box office records set in 2017, the year in New York theater felt tentative, in transition, as if both theater artists and audiences were trying to figure out how to deal with the changed, and charged, political landscape. Some shows offered the escapist route, like Hello, Dolly with Bette Midler or SpongeBob SquarePants; these crowd pleasers generally didn’t please me enough to include in my top ten. Other shows went in the opposite direction, offering some form of social or political engagement. With one exception (see below), the less satisfying of these dealt directly with politics or political activism in the narrow sense (The Parisian Woman or Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender) or previewed a political apocalypse (1984.) Many of my favorites of 2017 paint a realistic picture of people fighting against a sense of hopelessness; but in telling their stories, the shows paradoxically provide us with a sense of hope – and sometimes a blueprint for action. Theater at its best can function as both a place of refuge and a resource.

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Poll: Worst Broadway Show 2017

Welcome to my sixth annual Worst Broadway Show poll. Pick the show you thought was the worst to open on Broadway in 2017.
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Free Tickets for Three Days – Goldstar’s Comp Train

From December 13 to 15th, get free tickets to live theater, and other live events — dance, comedy, opera — through Goldstar’s Comp Train promotion. You pay a small service fee.

Check out Goldstar’s everyday ticket deals too, which include deep discounts to some Broadway shows.

Bulldozer Review: Constantine Maroulis as Robert Moses, Singing Power Broker

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. I am one of those New Yorkers, and so obviously are the show’s creators, Peter Galperin and Daniel Scot Kadin. We are, in other words, people who have read “The Power Broker,” Robert Caro’s mammoth 1974 biography of Robert Moses, one of the best-written and most celebrated books about New York City.
“Bulldozer,” which is decently directed and professionally performed by a hardworking five-member cast, does turn out to be ludicrous in several of its choices, but not because of its choice of subject.
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Hundred Days Review: The Bengsons’ Concert About Their Love and Anxiety

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. Their relationship terrified both of them – shy Shaun because he feared Abigail would leave him; anxious Abigail because when she was 15 years old she had had a dream that she would meet the love of her life, but that he would only have 100 days left to live.
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Watch “You Will Be Found” Sung By Dear Evan Hansen Fans from 31 Countries

The “virtual choir” put together by Dear Evan Hansen’s musical supervisor Alex Lacamoire and sound designer Nevin Steinberg, which puts a real-world spin on the rapidly spreading social media voices from the musical.

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Amy, Uma or Chloe? Terrorist Attempt in Times Square. More Theater Harassment. The Week in NY Theater.

As if to underscore what a demoralizing year this has been, theater lovers can’t just snuggle up with the rash of new openings, usual holiday season sentimentality and end-of-year assessments – such as which blonde star made the most impressive Broadway debut? Disturbing news just keeps on coming, including an explosive device set off this morning in Port Authority Bus Terminal, and more about harassment in the theater, including a credible accusation against Dustin Hoffman while on Broadway.

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