Best Plays and Musicals of 2018

By Jonathan Spira on 19 December 2018
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The year 2018 was a year where there was simply an abundance of riches in plays and musicals.

We sat through a magnificent train wreck (“King Kong”), experienced heartbreak in a glorious three hours of Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman,” attended the best civics class ever in “What the Constitution Means to Me,” and wore pink to a Wednesday matinée of “Mean Girls.”

Still, Frequent Business Traveler Cultural Editor and Co-Critic Blaise Buckley and I were determined to each come up with our own Top 5 List for the year and we agreed more often than not.

Theatergoers (and critics) were put to the test with two of our top five, “Angels in America” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” – both imports from London’s West End and both day-long affairs. But investing the time was worth it and audiences were rewarded with spectacular acting and dazzling visuals with a bit of time travel thrown in for good measure.

We both kvelled downtown at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” with a twist: it’s in Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles. And we could have danced all night at Lincoln Center’s glorious revival of “My Fair Lady.”

Blaise fell in love with “Be More Chill,” whose cast album has become an online sensation, and was deeply moved by Stockard Channing’s performance of an art historian who lives for the next pre-emptive putdown in “Apologia,” while I was spellbound by the gripping drama, “American Son,” noting that contemporary issues aren’t standard Broadway fare.

Without further ado, here are our Top 5 lists – each in alphabetical order – with apologies to all the great shows that didn’t quite make it onto one of the lists.

Blaise’s List Jonathan’s List
Angels in America

Apologia

Be More Chill

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

My Fair Lady

American Son

Angels in America

Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

My Fair Lady

 

Blaise Buckley contributed to this story.

 

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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