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The 20 best New York theater shows to see this winter

We have the season’s best musicals, shows and exciting experiments from Broadway to the outer boroughs

Photograph: Richard Termine
Nice Fish

Classic British farce! Hard-hitting war drama! Avant-garde performance by the yard! This winter you better lace up your snow boots, because you’ll be out trying to score cheap Broadway tickets and big discounts on Off Broadway shows and Off-Off Broadway shows. We still have to wait for the spring for the rush of new musicals, but if you want to get nostalgic there are several revivals: Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me and The Robber Bridegroom. January tends to be packed with experimental fare from around the globe, thanks to Under the Radar and Coil. For the serious playgoer, there’s the Broadway transfer of the harrowing Eclipsed and the shocking relationship drama Blackbird. We’re on the lookout for our favorite performers: Mark Rylance at the fancy new St. Ann’s Warehouse, Tonya Pinkins as Mother Courage (holy moley) and the genius clown duo Bill Irwin and David Shiner. All this—plus new work by playwright Kenneth Lonergan! Below is the list, ranked chronologically.

See the best New York theater shows this winter

Fiddler on the Roof

Stage vet Danny Burstein (South Pacific, Cabaret) steps into a role he's been destined for: beleaguered yet loving milkman, husband and father Tevye, a fellow trying to maintain tradition in the face of a harsh, changing world. Bartlett Sher directs the revival, which also stars the wonderful Jessica Hecht.

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Broadway Theatre , Midtown West Until Saturday December 31 2016

Hughie

Continuing Broadway’s healthy trend of nontraditional casting of high-profile revivals (The Trip to Bountiful, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), this new version of Eugene O’Neill’s drama stars Forest Whitaker as a drunk and small-time gambler. Michael Grandage directs and Frank Wood costars.

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Fri Feb 5 - Sun Jun 12

Blackbird

David Harrower’s anguished and shocking tale of ex-lovers reuniting in an office room comes back after its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2007. Jeff Daniels plays the man, and Michelle Williams is the woman—only 12 when they had the affair. Joe Mantello directs.

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Belasco Theatre , Midtown West Until Saturday June 11 2016

Disaster!

Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick’s ingenious, blissfully silly jukebox musical (which ran Off Broadway in 2014) deploys three dozen classic tunes from the Me Decade in a campy spoof of 1970s disaster flicks. The cast includes Roger Bart, Rachel York, Kevin Chamberlin and the miraculously funny Jennifer Simard (pictured) as a glum, guitar-playing nun.

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Nederlander Theatre , Midtown West Until Sunday May 8 2016

She Loves Me

The luscious Laura Benanti (pictured) and scruffily cute Zachary Levi star in this Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the 1963 musical comedy about perfume-store clerks in love. The swoony score is by Fiddler on the Roof songmeisters Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Scott Ellis directs a cast that includes Jane Krakowski and Gavin Creel.

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Studio 54 , Midtown West Until Sunday July 10 2016

Eclipsed

Lupito Nyong’o and her castmates are superb as sex-slave “wives” of a Liberian rebel leader in Danai Gurira’s urgently powerful drama, directed by Liesl Tommy. Gurira renders these women's plight in sometimes harrowing detail but also with merciful humor and a focus on the personal. The production moved to Broadway after its triumpant run at the Public.

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John Golden Theatre , Midtown West Until Sunday June 19 2016

The Robber Bridegroom

Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County) plays the title role in Alfrey Uhry and Robert Waldman’s musical adaptation of a story by Eudora Welty, in which a Mississippi bandit falls for a rich girl. (Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone originated the lead roles in 1975.) Alex Timbers, whose Broadway credits include Rocky and Peter and the Starcatcher, directs Roundabout’s revival.

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Laura Pels Theatre , Midtown West Until Sunday May 29 2016
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