The best Broadway shows you need to see

Our critics list the best Broadway shows. NYC is the place to catch these top-notch plays, musicals and revivals.
Hamilton
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus Hamilton
By Adam Feldman and Time Out editors |
Advertising

The best Broadway shows attract millions of people to enjoy the pinnacle of live entertainment in New York City. Every season brings new Broadway musicals, plays and revivals, some of which go on to glory at the Tony Awards. Along with star-driven dramas and family-oriented blockbusters, you can still find the kind of artistically ambitious and original offerings that are more common to the smaller venues of Off Broadway. Here are our theater critics' top choices among the shows that are currently playing on the Great White Way. Looking for more of the best this city has to offer? Check out the 101 very best things to do in NYC

RECOMMENDED: Complete A–Z listings of Broadway shows in NYC

Best Broadway shows in NYC

Theater, Musicals

The Book of Mormon

icon-location-pin Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

If theater is your religion, and the Broadway musical your particular sect, it’s time to rejoice. This gleefully obscene and subversive satire is one of the funniest shows to grace the Great White Way since The Producers and Urinetown. Writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, along with composer Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), find the perfect blend of sweet and nasty for this tale of mismatched Mormon proselytizers in Uganda.—David Cote

Time Out says
Dear Evan Hansen
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

Dear Evan Hansen

icon-location-pin Music Box Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

A high school student is thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide this captivating original musical. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
The Ferryman
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Drama

The Ferryman

icon-location-pin Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar

Set in Northern Ireland in 1981, Jez Butterworth’s magnificent new play is at once a romance, a thriller and a multigenrational family drama. Under Sam Mendes's superb direction, the whole massive production seems alive with the clutter and scope of reality. It is a seismic experience at the theater.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Theater, Musicals

Hamilton

icon-location-pin Richard Rodgers Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda forges a groundbreaking bridge between hip-hop and musical storytelling with this sublime collision of radio-ready beats and an inspiring, immigrant slant on Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A brilliant, diverse cast takes back American history and makes it new.—David Cote 

Time Out says
Advertising
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy
Theater, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

icon-location-pin Lyric Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, Jack Thorne's two-part epic (richly elaborated by director John Tiffany) combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. It leaves its audience awestruck, spellbound and deeply satisfied.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Anastasia
Photograph: Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

Anastasia

icon-location-pin Broadhurst Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Deftly adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film, with an expanded score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, this sweeping 20th-century fairy tale stars Christy Altomare as an amnesiac who may be the last survivor of the Romanovs. Impressive craftsmanship and excellent singing help make it one of the richest new family shows to hit Broadway in years.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
The Band's Visit
Photograph: Courtesy Matt Murphy
Theater, Musicals

The Band's Visit

icon-location-pin Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar

David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’s unusually lovely musical has a graceful sense of time and tentative connection. The mesmerizing Katrina Lenk plays a languidly sensual Israeli café owner, and Sasson Gabay is a courtly, soulful Egyptian bandleader stranded for a night in her uneventful desert town. David Cromer directs with an unblinking eye.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Theater, Musicals

Beautiful—The Carole King Musical

icon-location-pin Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Broadway’s latest boomer jukebox musical it is an appealing and skillfully built vehicle for Carole King’s hit ditties and soulful ballads. It's a lovable love letter to a fine songwriter and natural woman.—David Cote

Time Out says
Advertising
Choir Boy
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy
Theater, Drama

Choir Boy

icon-location-pin Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar

Manhattan Theatre Club moves Tarell Alvin McCraney’s sensitive 2013 drama to Broadway, with the superb Jeremy Pop reprising his central performance as an effeminate senior and choir leader in an all-male, all-black prep school. In a play that is often specific, lyrical and touching, McCraney brings a ringing, unapologetic queer black voice to Broadway.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Come From Away
Photograph: Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

Come from Away

icon-location-pin Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s swelling heart of a musical tells a true story from the aftermath of 9/11, when 38 flights were forced to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. Under Christopher Ashley’s fluid direction, 12 versatile actors play dozens of roles. The show makes a persuasive case for the value of good intentions; for this kind of uplift you don’t need planes.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
Kinky Boots
Photograph: Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

Kinky Boots

icon-location-pin Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Hell's Kitchen
icon-calendar

Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s fizzy crowd-pleaser, in which a sassy-yet-dignified drag queen kicks an English shoe factory into gear, feels familiar at every step. But it has been manufactured with solid craftsmanship and care, and is boosted by a heart-strong cast led by Wayne Brady. The overall effect is nigh irresistible.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Theater, Musicals

The Lion King

icon-calendar
Open run

Director-designer Julie Taymor surrounds the Disney movie’s mythic plot and Elton John–Tim Rice score with African rhythm and music. Through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with a menagerie of African beasts; her staging has expanded a simple cub into the pride of Broadway.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
Mean Girls
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

Mean Girls

icon-location-pin August Wilson Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

A canny crossbreed of Heathers and Hairspray, this new musical has been adapted by Tina Fey from her own 2004 cult movie about high-school social warfare, and it remains her vehicle: an auto de Fey, burning with bookish anger at the limits young women place on each other and themselves. Where the show shines brightest is in the spotlight it casts on its exciting young performers, including Taylor Louderman as the fearsome leader of the queen-beeyatch trio known as the Plastics.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Laura Benanti in My Fair Lady
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Musicals

My Fair Lady

icon-location-pin Vivian Beaumont Theater (at Lincoln Center), Upper West Side
icon-calendar
Open run

Bartlett Sher directs a splendid, carefully recalibrated revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s sparkling 1956 musical. In Edwardian London, misogynist professor Henry Higgins (Harry Hadden-Paton) gives flower girl Eliza (Lauren Ambrose) the manners and speech of a lady. The luminous Ambrose gives a charming and intelligent performance, with an inner strength that renders condescension moot.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
The Prom
Photograph: Courtesy Deen van Meer
Theater, Musicals

The Prom

icon-location-pin Longacre Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

In this sweet-hearted original musical comedy, press-hungry Broadway hams descend upon a small-town Indiana high school after a lesbian student is forbidden from bringing a female date to prom. Backs are raised, pizzazz is shared, egos are deflated and lessons are learned on both sides. Despite a few missteps, the show leaves you grinning by the last dance, thanks in large part to hilarious star turns by Brooks Ashmanskas and Beth Leavel.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
To Kill a Mockingbird (2018)
Photograph: Courtesy Julieta Cervantes
Theater, Drama

To Kill a Mockingbird

icon-location-pin Shubert Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's revered 1960 novel is commendable, and the execution is exemplary. Director Bartlett Sher's elegant production is stately but not stodgy, and Jeff Daniels—as 1930s Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch, that paragon of decency—is first-rate: thoughtful, patient, gently authoritative and appropriately troubled by the unchanging world around him.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Advertising
True West
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater, Drama

True West

icon-location-pin American Airlines Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar

Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano play estranged and seemingly very different brothers in Sam Shepard’s 1980 yin-yang drama: Hawke is Lee, a loner and theif, raspy and slinky and implacable; Dano is Austin, an Ivy-educated screenwriter, pale and bespectacled and yielding. If some of the play seems too neatly schematic, Shepard’s dissection of authenticity and masculinity resounds in new ways in the current American political landscape.—Adam Feldman

Time Out says
Theater, Musicals

Waitress

icon-location-pin Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

Sara Bareilles currently stars in her own sweet and tart musical, about a lady who's a whiz at making pies, but messing up everything else; pregnant from her abusive lout of a husband, she's now falling for her gynecologist. Bareilles's bright, frisky pop score is a sheer delight, and Diane Paulus directs with whimsy and verve.—David Cote

Time Out says
Advertising
Theater, Musicals

Wicked

icon-location-pin Gershwin Theatre, Midtown West
icon-calendar
Open run

This musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz addresses surprisingly complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, fighting fascism. Thanks to Winnie Holzman’s witty book and Stephen Schwartz’s pop-inflected score, Wicked soars.—David Cote

Time Out says
See all Broadway shows in NYC

GYG NYC Widget

More to explore

Advertising