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5 Best Broadway Plays

It’s a Great Year for Plays on Broadway; Here Are the Ones to See

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It’s been a while since so many plays made an impact on Broadway, where musicals are the big draw. But this season several plays draw capacity crowds. In fact, there are too many good ones to see them all. So if your time is short, here’s my list of “must see” plays.

I left Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winner August: Osage County off the list because there are too many shows that will close relatively soon after limited runs. I’ll add August on the first update. Your list would surely differ from mine, and you can discuss that below. And check out the list of Top 5 Must See Musicals, too.

1. The Norman Conquests

The Norman Conquests, Broadway, Table MannersPhoto by Joan Marcus

Why?: Hilarious revival of a 1970s Alan Ayckbourn play trilogoy. Three plays in repertory set during one weekend at an English country house. Each play shows what happens in one room while the action of the other plays takes place in another room. Stellar performances by the cast who made the shows a hit in London. Tony for Best Revival of a Play.
Good to Know: It’s a limited run with no extension announced yet. Slated to close July 25.
Discounts Available?: Yes. You can save about 45 percent off face value.

2. God of Carnage

Marcia Gay Hardin, James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, God of Carnage, Broadway dramaPhoto by Joan Marcus

Why?: Tony Award for Best Play, and it is the best new play on Broadway now. Scathing, hilarious deconstruction of liberal tolerance. Two couples duke it out over the playground misbehavior of their children. Producers call it a comedy of manners without the manners. All-star cast of James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Hardin
Good to Know: Marcia Gay Hardin won a Tony for Best Actress in a Play
Discounts Available?: No. This is the rare play that is selling every seat.

3. Blithe Spirit

Photo by Getty Images

Why?: Well-deserved fifth Tony Award to Angela Lansbury as the accidental mystic Madame Arcati. Noel Coward’s drawing room comedy has a husband haunted by his free spirit ex-wife. Great performances by Christine Ebersole and Rupert Everett.
Good to Know: An open-ended run, it’s been running at less than 60 percent capacity, which puts it on the watch list for closing.
Discounts Available?: Yes

4. The 39 Steps

Why?: A 2008 Best Play nominee, this is another West End import. Fast-paced and funny retake on the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie. Four characters play 150 parts. Amazing and entertaining to watch.
Good to Know: You don’t need any familiarity with the movie to enjoy the play.
Discounts Available?: Yes.

5. Waiting for Godot

Waiting for GodotPhoto by Joan Marcus

Why?: Very well received revival of the Samuel Beckett classic of existentialism. Forget all that. This play features Nathan Lane, John Goodman, Bill Irwin and John Glover.
Good to Know: John Glover (Lex Luther’s father on Smallville) is a standout.
Discounts Available?: Yes.

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