Tonys: Feinberg's 10 Takeaways from the 2013-2014 Broadway Season

THR's awards analyst Scott Feinberg identifies the 10 things that he will remember most fondly about the 23 shows that he saw while covering the Tony race.
Photo Joan Marcus
Jessie Mueller in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"

NEW YORK – In my final post about the 2013-2014 Broadway season, I want to share the 10 things that I will remember most fondly about the 23 shows that I saw. Many have asked me to identify my favorites and provide recommendations for them. This should serve both of those purposes.

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10. The essentially triumphant returns to Broadway, following long absences, of Neil Patrick Harris, in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Idina Menzel, in If/Then.

9. The truly outstanding Broadway debuts of two Hollywood stars, Bryan Cranston, in All the Way, and Michelle Williams, in Cabaret.

8. The birth of a star, Sarah Greene, in The Cripple of Inishmaan. She’s my rookie of the year, excluding Hollywood interlopers.

7. Literally sitting at the feet of Audra McDonald, in the cabaret section of the venue, as she gave one of her finest performances in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.

6. The entire “I’ve Decided to Marry You” sequence from A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder — featuring Bryce Pinkham, Lauren Worsham and Lisa O'Hare — which was perfect in every way.

5. A Raisin in the Sun's quartet — Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose — clicking on all cylinders in the same theater in which the show was first mounted.

4. A massive assortment of elements coming together to make the final 20 minutes of Rocky unlike anything Broadway has ever seen before.

3. Kelli O'Hara singing music that was written for her voice — the most beautiful that I have ever heard — in The Bridges of Madison County.

2. The sheer joy engendered by the all-out performances of James Monroe Iglehart throughout Aladdin -- especially during the “Friend Like Me” number -- and Jessie Mueller throughout Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

1. Every single moment of Harvey Fierstein's humanistic drama Casa Valentina and Jack Viertel's eye-popping jazz revue After Midnight, which, I’ll now say, were my personal favorite play and musical of the season, respectively.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg