Editor's Top 5 Broadway Picks of Fall 2018
Find out which shows made our Top 5 of all the new openings this fall...
Now that all of the new Broadway productions of this fall are officially open, it's time to name our Top 5! Yet again, the Great White Way has offered up a diverse platter of tasty, theatrical treats. From intimate and gritty star vehicles with a message such as American Son (starring Golden Globe & Emmy Award nominee Kerry Washington) to monstrous-sized, multi-million dollar musicals like the spectacle that is King Kong, Broadway has catered to all tastes this fall... But which shows fall into our Top 5? Let's find out...
Thanks to an astonishing performance by Oscar & Golden Globe nominee Elaine May, the Broadway premiere of Academy Award winner Kenneth Lonergan's 'memory play' The Waverly Gallery makes our hit list. Anyone who has lost a loved one to the heartbreaking illness that is dementia will undergo a profoundly moving experience at the Golden Theatre and will likely recognize so many of the finely detailed nuances in Ms. May's tragically realistic portrayal of Gladys Green. Kudos as well to Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges (currently Golden Globe-nominated for his magnificent turn in "Boy Erased") who not only breathes life into the tender and emotionally draining relationship with his deteriorating grandmother, but also effortlessly breaks the fourth wall and guides us through the family's journey with subtle magnetism. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Tony Award nominations (and even wins) in the near future for both Mr. Hedges and Ms. May. There is humor to be enjoyed in The Waverly Gallery, but the play's victory is undeniably its universal appeal for empathy.
The Waverly Gallery Tickets are available now for performances through to January 27, 2019.
4 - The Ferryman
Crossing the pond with no star names attached and featuring subject matter that many Americans arguably won't be familiar with, the Broadway transfer of the celebrated London production of Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman has defied the odds and become a smash hit in New York City. With an enormous cast of talented actors of all ages at Broadway's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, The Ferryman is an exhilirating family portrait with political undertones that erupt like a theatrical volcano by the piece's conclusion. Set during the early 1980s at a time of political unrest in Northern Ireland known as "The Troubles," Mr. Butterworth has woven together a tale of secrets, forbidden love, violence and nationalism with an evocative sense of Irish mythology. If you enjoy drama that is written intelligently and beautifully in equal measure, whilst highlighting the misdeeds of the past in an effort to shine a light towards the future, then The Ferryman is the one for you - number 4 on our hit list.
The Ferryman Tickets are available now for performances through to July 7, 2019.
3 - The Prom
Full disclosure - we are theatre nerds at the New York Theatre Guide (...who'd have thunk it?!) and the new musical comedy The Prom is the ultimate show for all us theatre nerds! A hybrid between a love letter to Broadway and a coming-of-age tale, The Prom has more theatre in-jokes than I've had hot dinners and those in-the-know lap up every single one of them. But for the more casual theatregoer, this Broadway premiere at the Longacre Theatre is hugely accessible with its simplistic story focusing on a teenage girl who is barred from her high school prom in Edgewater, Indiana (because she wants to take her girlfriend as her date) and the at first narcissistic Broadway stars who come tap-dancing to her rescue. Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin's score ingeniously mixes together the classic Broadway show tune of old with the contemporary "High School Musical" feel of today and a special mention goes to Tony Award winner Beth Leavel who knocks it out of the park and stops the show with her 11 o'clock number "The Lady's Improving"! The Prom is sheer, jazz-handed joy and even if it's widely preaching its message to the already converted, it's certainly doing its bit to kick-ball-change the world!
The Prom Tickets are available now for performances through to October 20, 2019.
2 - The Cher Show
It takes three fabulous actresses to play one fabulous icon of the music industry. Luckily, Micaela Diamond, Teal Wicks and two-time Tony Award nominee Stephanie J. Block are on hand in this musical rollercoaster through the ups and downs of the life of Cher at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre. Ms. Block, in particular, is giving a career-defining performance and has the nuances of Cher's charmingly nonchalant personality, as well as her signature contralto vocals, down to a tee. Somebody hand this woman a Tony already! The Cher Show uses all those greatest hits to tell the story of the most impactful moments in Cher's life and career, progressing the narrative as if written purposefully for the musical. And costume designer (and longtime Cher-collaborator) Bob Mackie's costumes are a blaze of flamboyance that must be seen to be believed. Experiencing Cher's over-the-top looks over the years is one thing, but having them paraded before your eyes all in an instance is almost overwhelming. Jukebox musicals sometimes fall short and purists rightfully sneer, but The Cher Show is living proof that when the elements come together with the right talent, you've got a bona fide crowd-pleaser on your hands. Need to get your hands on tickets? We Got You, Babe!
The Cher Show Tickets are available now for performances through to June 9, 2019.
1 - Network
Landing on the top spot this fall - thanks to a tour de force performance by a certain Golden Globe, Emmy & Tony Award winner by the name of Bryan Cranston - is the National Theatre production of Network. London audiences went mad for Mr. Cranston's portrayal of news anchorman Howard Beale and now New York audiences get to revel in his "mad as hell" revelations in this extended run at Broadway's Belasco Theatre. Based on Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning 1976 film and adapted for the stage by Tony & Olivier Award-winning playwright Lee Hall, director Ivo van Hove's multi-media-infused production sets a startling pace from the get-go with a visual feast for the senses that almost overwhelms, yet Mr. Cranston keeps us firmly grounded and at the edge of our seats with monologues fit for a master class. With the use of live cameras and a large onstage screen, you frequently feel like you are getting two for the price of one - experiencing both Mr. Cranston's magnetic stage presence as well as the emotional pourings from his eyes (thanks to the big screen and his talents as an accomplished TV & Film actor). There's also great support from Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslany and Tony Goldwyn, but it is the Olivier Award-winning performance by Mr. Cranston alone that is worth the price of admission. We feel he may well be adding a Tony to sit on his mantelpiece next to his Olivier Award come June...
Network Tickets are available now for performances through to April 28, 2019.
So, that wraps it up for our top Broadway picks of fall 2018, but which new productions made your top 5?
We can't wait for next spring to bring us a whole new plethora of thrilling, brand new shows. From celebrated original musicals (Be More Chill, Ain't Too Proud and Hadestown) getting their well-deserved Broadway premieres to re-imagined musical revivals (Kiss Me, Kate! and Oklahoma!) to popular film-to-stage adaptations (Tootsie and Beetlejuice) and from star-led revivals of timeless dramas (King Lear, Burn This and All My Sons) to exciting new plays (Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Hillary and Clinton and Ink), Broadway has got you covered!
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