Here are the 10 best shows of the year that took place in New York


The Lehman Trilogy New York, NY September 24, 2021

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

It’s strange trying to compile a list of the best Broadway and Off-Broadway shows of the year this year. After all, with a few exceptions, professional theater did not return to the city until early fall. And more than that, the spread of the omicron variant resulted in a wave of performance cancellations that could have lasting effects on an industry that was still in recovery mode. Nevertheless, great shows must be recognized.

  1. The Lehman Trilogy: Three and a half hours pass quickly in this improbable and deeply captivating epic drama about the evolution of Lehman Brothers from the 19e century to 2008, which is performed by a trio of English actors (Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles) under the direction of Sam Mendes.
  2. Society: Man Bobby becomes Woman Bobbie in Marianne Elliott’s meticulously redesigned, genre-less cover of the 1970 musical that made Stephen Sondheim (who died in November at the age of 91) an innovative and innovative songwriter and lyricist. revolutionary. With one notable exception, the cast is exceptional.
  3. Is it a room: Based on an FBI text transcript, Tina Satter’s dramatization of the actual interrogation of former NSA contractor, 25, Reality Leigh Winner by FBI agents who appeared outside her home in Georgia was a disturbing and unexpected 65-minute period. docudrama.
  4. Kimberly Akimbo: Victoria Clark, 62, plays a teenage girl who suffers from a disease that causes her to age quickly in a masterful musical adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s drama, whose Off-Broadway premiere at the end of the year deserves a plus long run or a transfer to Broadway.
  5. Six: Tudor royalty meets “The Real Housewives”, “The First Wives Club” and the sounds and styles of major pop divas in this bountiful and frothy musical, which takes the form of an 80’s electro-pop concert minutes featuring the notorious six wives of King Henry VIII. It was originally scheduled to open on the evening the closing began in March 2020.
  6. Sanctuary city: Martyna Majok’s gripping contemporary drama about how the close friendship of two young immigrants is threatened by their differing legal statuses, which premiered at the time of the shutdown, has finally opened Off-Broadway with the same cast of three actors.
  7. Blues Lackawanna: Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s finely crafted memory monologue pays homage to the surrogate who raised him in the 1950s in an industrial town in the upstate and the eccentrics who resided in his boarding house. It is a worthy tribute to the African American community, family and identity.
  8. What happened? The Michael Abroad: Director and playwright Richard Nelson ended his “Panorama of Rhinebeck” (a 12-piece cycle that takes place today and indirectly relates to politically important milestones) with a naturalistic drama on a kitchen sink depicting a family from the northern state in mourning and dealing with the current changes in the world.
  9. Clyde: The Devil comes in the unlikely form of Uzo Aduba in Lynn Nottage’s heartfelt workplace comedy about a roadside sandwich shop operated by former inmates. The Broadway production will be available to stream live in January.
  10. Happy wives: Shakespeare in the Park, a vital New York tradition, is back with a new adaptation of Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh’s national comedy ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ set in contemporary Harlem with an all-black cast. “Reopening Night,” a documentary about the production, just aired on HBO.


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