Critics' Picks: 10 Must-See Theater Productions in New York Right Now

6:00 AM 4/17/2019

by THR Staff

The Hollywood Reporter's reviewers praise a gender-blind 'King Lear,' a Sam Mendes-directed play about Lehman Brothers and a 'Fiddler' as you've definitely never seen it before.

Courtesy of Matthew Murphy; Joan Marcus; Brigitte Lacombe; Matthew Murphy; Joan Marcus

  • 'Ain't No Mo''

    The Public Theater, Through May 5

    Courtesy of Joan Marcus

    Jordan E. Cooper's surrealistic satire imagines black Americans being forced to move to Africa or endure "extreme racial transmogrification." Unfolding via a series of audaciously imaginative skits, it marks the playwright as a vital new talent. — FRANK SCHECK

  • 'Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations'

    Imperial Theatre, Open Run

    Matthew Murphy

    The Motown vocal group that helped write R&B history gets a stirring salute in this bio-musical based on the memoir by founding member Otis Williams. The impeccably styled cast sings superbly, harmonizes mellifluously and dances like motorized seduction machines. — DAVID ROONEY

  • 'The Cher Show'

    Neil Simon Theatre, Open Run

    Joan Marcus

    Fabulous Broadway favorite Stephanie J. Block is one of three actresses playing the Goddess of the Eternal Farewell Tour at various ages in this glittering musical recap of the diva's life and career. It's got flaws and excesses, but any fan will have a blast. — D.R.

  • 'Fiddler on the Roof'

    Stage 42, Through Sept. 1

    Matthew Murphy

    Oscar- and Tony-winning actor Joel Grey, 86, directs this soulful revival of the enduring musical set in a Jewish shtetl in Imperial Russia and performed here in Yiddish, reinforcing its roots in the source stories of Sholem Aleichem. It'll stir you whether you're experiencing the show for the first time or the 15th. — D.R.

  • 'King Lear'

    Cort Theatre, Through July 7

    Brigitte Lacombe

    Glenda Jackson, whose technique remains impeccable at 82, returns to Broadway to tackle the titular role in Sam Gold's risky, riveting, gender-blind production of the Shakespeare play. An inspired Ruth Wilson doubles as Lear's youngest daughter, Cordelia, and his beloved Fool. — D.R.

  • 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    Studio 54, Through June 30

    Joan Marcus

    Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase star as formerly married theater divas sparring on and off the stage in Scott Ellis' sparkling production of the Cole Porter musical. It's virtually impossible not to surrender to the show's charms. — D.R.

  • 'The Lehman Trilogy'

    Park Avenue Armory, Through April 20

    Courtesy of Stephanie Berger

    Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles as the German-Jewish immigrant banking brothers — plus 67 other characters — in this masterful chronicle of the American Dream corrupted. It's likely to be the theater event of the season. — D.R.

  • 'Network'

    Belasco Theatre, Through June 8

    Jan Versweyveld

    Bryan Cranston gives a volcanic, virtuoso star turn in director Ivo van Hove's boldly inventive multimedia stage version of the Paddy Chayefsky screenplay that heralded the age of fake news and collective disgust. — D.R.

  • 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

    Sam S. Shubert Theatre, Open Run

    Julieta Cervantes

    Playwright Aaron Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher's richly detailed retelling honors the Harper Lee novel about racial injustice in the Deep South of the 1930s while subtly positioning its events to address our divided present-day nation. Jeff Daniels leads a flawless cast. — D.R.

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    Helen Hayes Theatre, Through July 21

    Courtesy of Joan Marcus

    The surprise downtown hit of the fall, Heidi Schreck's funny, affecting, deeply humane reflection on our nation's eternally problematic cornerstone document — via a time-traveling leap back to her teen debate years — moves to Broadway. Few new stage works are as trenchantly timely. — D.R.

    This story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.