(Bloomberg) -- This season has been a particularly rich one when it comes to plays and musicals hitting the stage in New York City. There are jukebox musicals featuring the hits of pop mastermind Max Martin and rock legend Neil Diamond. There are powerful straight plays that sagely address issues like race and crime, and a slew of megastar actors in dazzling leading roles. It’s a wonderful time to be a theatergoer!
The hottest ticket in town is a brief revival run of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along at New York Theater Workshop, starring Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez and Daniel Radcliffe; sadly, it sold out in minutes. The musical’s original 1981 run lasted but 16 performances before closing. The plotline, a bitter tale of success and unraveling friendships told in reverse, can be hard to swallow. Yet the music is so adored that producers keep staging it.
If you can’t find tickets on resale, there are plenty of other thrilling choices. Below, find our 10 favorite shows to see, as reviewed by Bloomberg Pursuits contributors.
The Phantom of the Opera
Where: The Majestic TheatreWhen: Through April 16
In September it was announced that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s enchanting work, the longest-running musical on Broadway, would close in February. A groundswell of enthusiasm around the beloved show caused ticket sales to soar, and the run has been extended until April 16. The show is as sumptuous and romantic as ever, and now that it’s on its last legs, audiences are full of buzzy energy. Absolutely do not miss a chance to see it before it’s gone.
Some Like It Hot
Where: The Shubert TheatreWhen: Through September 2023
The 1959 film starred Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, in drag as a pair of musicians fleeing from a mobster, and Marilyn Monroe as a sultry ingenue. It might seem like an outdated story to remake. But in the hands of book writers Matthew Lopez and Amber Ruffi and the Tony-winning songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), the tale has heart, hilarity and high energy. Performers tap dance and sing their hearts out in a lighthearted romp that’ll please a wide array of audiences.
Where: The Booth TheatreWhen: Through April 2023
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) teams up with Tony-winning songwriter Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home) to tell the tale of Kim, a charming teenager suffering from a condition that makes her appear to be a 72-year-old woman. Played by Tony winner Victoria Clark, Kim will win your heart, and the story will surprise and charm.
Where: John Golden TheatreWhen: Through Jan. 15
Suzan-Lori Parks’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece receives a blistering revival in the hands of stars Corey Hawkins and Yahya-Abdul Mateen II, who play a pair of beleaguered brother/roommates battling poverty, heartbreak and each other. Only a few performances remain of this powerful play. Don’t miss your chance to see an important piece of theater history.
A Beautiful Noise
Where: The Broadhurst TheatreWhen: Through September 2023
You may think you’re not a Neil Diamond fan, but you’re wrong. After you see this energetic retelling of the singer’s life story, starring Broadway mainstays Will Swensen and Robyn Hurder along with a spectacular dancing ensemble, such hits as Coming to America and Sweet Caroline will stick in your head for days. Hurder, an ensemble vet from such shows as Moulin Rouge! and Grease, steals the show.
Where: The August Wilson TheatreWhen: Through May 2023
If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not know that a revival of the Barbra Streisand vehicle Funny Girl was brought to Broadway earlier this year, starring a tepidly received Beanie Feldstein. Over the summer, Feldstein dropped out, and in stormed Glee star Lea Michele. A true star, Michele elevates the entire production (whose cast now includes the gifted Tovah Feldshuh) with a megawatt voice and magnetic charm. Being in the audience at this show is truly an electric experience.
Where: The Stephen Sondheim TheatreWhen: Through May 2023
Songwriter and producer Max Martin has been behind a staggering number of incredible pop songs over the past three decades, sung by such stars as Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Katie Perry and Pink. More than two dozen appear in this jukebox musical, which reimagines the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet if Juliet were to survive and carry on. It’s silly, contrived, nonsensical—and an absolute blast. A talented cast and stupendous arrangements put audiences to dancing in the aisles.
Ain’t No Mo’
Where: The Belasco TheatreWhen: Through Feb. 26
This is one of those shows that’s hard to explain but is so riotously unique that it needs to be experienced to be understood. The premise is a powerfully problematic hypothetical: “What if the US government offered Black Americans one-way plane tickets to Africa?” Buckle your seatbelts, because the ensuing vignettes from playwright Jordan E. Cooper are shocking, hilarious and probing in equal measure.
Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
Where: New World StagesWhen: Through Jan. 1
Back for just seven weeks, this National Yiddish Folksbiene Theater production of the oft-performed English-language musical translates Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics and Joseph Stein’s book into Yiddish, the language that Jewish residents in a 1905 shtetl in Russia spoke. Directed by actor Joel Grey, the actors’ performances are as raw and forceful as the dialect.
Ohio State Murders
Where: The James Earl Jones TheatreWhen: Through Feb. 12, 2023
In the first performance at the newly renamed James Earl Jones Theatre, Tony winner Audra McDonald stars as a well-known writer who returns to her college campus to reflect on traumatic events that happened while she was a student there. This stirring mystery is 91-year-old playwright Adrienne Kennedy’s first play to reach Broadway—reason enough to buy a ticket to its limited run. Beyond that, it’s never good to miss a chance to see Audra on stage.
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