Last year at this time everyone knew that 2015 had been the year of Hamilton. Now the wealth is spread a bit more evenly. Broadway musicals continue to evolve and experiment: Witness the thrilling success of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (starring Josh Groban and Denée Benton) and Dear Evan Hansen (with a star-making turn by Ben Platt). Those shows will surely do battle at the Tony Awards next June. As for the rest of the list, it’s an excitingly diverse group: all-too-timely dramas about disgruntled factory workers (Sweat); Shakespeare in traditional form (King and Country) and radically re-imagined (Othello); fresh new playwrights (Sarah DeLappe with The Wolves); and great work from writers we’ve loved for years (Adam Bock with A Life). Below is our consolidated and ranked list, followed by honorable mentions. For David Cote's individual top-ten list, click here; for Adam Feldman's individual list, click here.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best of 2016
Best theater of 2016
David Cote’s best (and worst) theater of 2016
End-of-the-year lists are dropping faster than the temperature, so I've been sorting through my 2016 clips to see which shows deserve extra laurels and a few more adjectives.
Adam Feldman’s best (and worst) theater of 2016
Looking back at the end of the theater year is always an interesting process: Some shows that made a strong first impression on me have faded somewhat with time; others have grown.