Broadway's Top 10 of 2015

Broadway's Top 10 of 2015

For some, 2015 on Broadway will be viewed as one of the most polarizing in its recent history. For every Fun Home and Hamilton, we also saw Amazing Grace and It Shoulda Been You. Even with its misses, Broadway still had one of its stronger seasons with a few gems that will surely stand the test of time. Here are our Top 10 of 2015 based on the reviews and comments of our writers. Keep in mind these are shows that opened on Broadway in 2015. 

10. Something Rotten!

CHRISTIAN BORLE IN "SOMETHING ROTTEN"  (© JOAN MARCUS)

CHRISTIAN BORLE IN "SOMETHING ROTTEN"  (© JOAN MARCUS)

"Broadway is giving shots to original properties at the moment. ‘Hand to God’, ‘Hamilton’, and ‘Something Rotten’ being the three most notable examples. It breaks up the monotony of tired revivals and star-driven sellouts. Great blockbusters are all well and good, but we don’t get new blockbusters without people taking chances. That’s what’s happening right now with ‘Something Rotten’. A show without a movie star or a film to give it undeserved credence, just good writing, talent, honed execution and an undeniable love for theatre and its wonderful stupidity. It’s this year’s ‘Gentleman’s Guide’. And it’s going to be a hit, or there’s no hope for Broadway at all." - Thomas Burns Scully

9. An American in Paris

"Wheeldon’s direction and choreography result in a stunning, splendorous production that leaves the audience in a haze of magical creativity. He pays homage to the film’s director, Vincente Minnelli, and choreographer Gene Kelly. But Wheeldon then paints in bold majestic strokes his own vision. He smartly keeps the entire production covered in realism. There are some great laughs throughout the show, yet he makes sure to stay behind the chalk line of being labeled musical comedy. The pace is refreshing, allowing the dramatic elements to breathe and linger, thereby giving the audience to honestly feel the principal characters’ emotions. Wheeldon has everything choreographed, from the scene changes to the placement of furniture, properties, etc. Nothing is simply a walk in/ walk out in the dark with his company." - John Garcia

8. Fool for Love

Photo: Joan Marcus

Photo: Joan Marcus

"Memory is a fickle partner in crime – even the crime of self-delusion or self-destruction – and the unreliability of memory is allegorized by the Old Man’s lack of certainty about the events that transpired (whether or not the figure is the father of Eddie and May). Ultimately, everyone has to submit themselves to a trial similar to the events in the seedy motel at the edge of the Mojave Desert in their own “smoke lodges” at the edges of their own personal deserts.  “Fool for Love” is a must see." - David Roberts

7. Allegiance

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Photo: Matthew Murphy

"“Allegiance” remains a strong and successful musical dealing with an important part of American history. Its thematic content raises enduring questions about the current conversation regarding immigration, loyalty, and citizenship and adds considerable weight to that important discussion." - David Roberts

6. Spring Awakening

Kevin Parry

Kevin Parry

"If I can distill what I felt leaving “Spring Awakening” into one word it would be inspired. I know that’s a loaded word, especially when dealing with a special cast like this. “Spring Awakening” is the kind of show that left me energized and personally, deeply inspired: Inspired to see what’s next for such a terrifically talented young cast and crew; inspired that innovative, tough works like this are given a chance to play on Broadway; inspired to look at the shows I love and the people in them in new, fresh ways; and, most of all, inspired to continue creating theater in my own life. If that’s not the goal of day at the theater, I don’t know what is." - Noah Golden

5. The King & I

(Photo: Paul Kolnik)

(Photo: Paul Kolnik)

"Go see The King and I for the exquisitely staged and performed “Shall We Dance” that will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened critics. See The King and I for Ruthie Ann Miles’s heartbreaking portrayal of Lady Thiang—(and I was a tough critic here—I was, after all,  pulling for Sydney Lucas to win the Tony Award for supporting actress in a musical) but damn, Ruthie Ann Miles, DAMN. This girl found a dimensionality to a character I didn’t know existed and that voice-that voice will give you chills." - Lindsay Timmington

4. Hand to God

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"“Hand to God” is a psychological thriller easily confused for a bawdy burlesque. Whether the audience chooses to swim unaided by water wings through Jason’s weltanschauung or simply revel in the antics of the prurient puppet shenanigans, the rewards are bountiful and no audience member will look at a sock puppet in quite the same way ever again. Nor will the audience member ever look at the discussion of right and wrong without a healthy dose of moral ambiguity in tow." - David Roberts

3. The Visit

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

"The Visit is the musical that should be at the very top of your to do list when you go to New York City. It has some of the best Broadway talent on its stage. It has an eclectic, never heard before Kander and Ebb score. But it’s mainly to see one of the greatest living theater legends at her very best. It has been reported that this will be Rivera’s final role and Broadway musical. If that’s true, you will regret forever as a lover of musical theater if you don’t see this consummate, tour de force performance from a spectacular superstar." - John Garcia

2. Hamilton

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"Certainly Hamilton is not the first musical to focus on history through a contemporary lens.  So what makes Hamilton different? Alexander Hamilton made his way into history with words. His gift of language got him into college, it gained him favor with George Washington, it got him a seat in Congress, it helped him through our nation’s first sex scandal and it made possible his drafting of the Constitution and later the Federalist Papers. Not unlike Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has made his way into musical theatre through his mastery of language. While his heart is rooted in the telling of a compelling story, his brain brilliantly weaves the spoken word into awe-inspiring art. Emblazoned across the Playbill are lyrics from the show: “Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story?” How fortunate for audiences that Lin-Manuel chose to tell Alexander Hamilton’s story. We should all be so lucky to be immortalized in such a grand and artistic fashion." - Alicia Dempster

1. Fun Home

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"Welcome to Fun Home on Broadway. This is a brilliant musical production about self-discovery, elation, anguish, and defeat. It is easily one of the best shows on Broadway right now. This musical is innovative yet universal in its subject matter. Every family may not be able to relate to closeted relatives, but all families identify with sweeping secrets under the rug; like Helen declares, “It’s like chaos never happens if it’s never seen.” This is a gem of a show that needs to be seen and heard." - Tara Kennedy

 

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