Our Favorite Broadway Productions
(2 Categories + Final Wrap-up)
We were fortunate enough to see 13 different productions on Broadway in 2022; these are the shows we considered in all categories for our favorites this year: 1776, A Strange Loop, Almost Famous, Funny Girl, Girl From the North Country, Into the Woods. Kimberly Akimbo, KPOP, Paradise Square, Some Like It Hot, and The Music Man. We also saw these shows from previous years for a second time, and considered them only in categories where things have changed: Company and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We made our lists separately - so below you'll see where we agreed, plus performances we each just had to include! How did we compare to your favorites? Leave a comment below, or catch up with us on Twitter or Instagram! (@jkstheatrescene for both)
FAVORITE NEW BROADWAY MUSICALS
WHAT WE SAID: "I've said before that after nearly 40 years of Broadway shows, it takes a bit more to give me that feeling of true exhilaration and bliss of seeing an exceptional show. Almost Famous had me walking out of the Jacobs Theatre on the proverbial cloud. It's that good. No "almost" about it." Grade: A+
WHAT WE SAID: We didn't write up a review at the time (won't make that mistake again!). But we were both completely swept away by the human drama unfolding before us. By turns mesmerizing and jaw-dropping, we were captivated by every aspect of the entire production. Grade: A+
WHAT WE SAID: "For all intents and purposes, the great Victoria Clark is really a teenager. Her ability to navigate a labyrinth of emotions with the most specific of details and larger than life gestures is inspiring. This is a brilliant performance, more than award-worthy.
There is a moment just seconds before the final blackout that wordlessly captures the utter joy of life. You laugh and smile knowingly. Then it hits you. Kimberly is getting older. Laughter through tears, indeed." Grade: A+
FAVORITE BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVAL
WHAT WE SAID: Mike: "This production stood out for giving us a classic show, in its original form, performed by first-rate singers and musicians - basically, Encores' stock in trade. There have certainly been other productions with more impressive sets and evocative concepts, but that would be at odds with the purpose of this production." Jeff: "Broadway is all the better for this bare bones, perfect-as-it-was Encores staging. No one involved in the transfer made the mistake of pumping it up for the Main Stem. Like Chicago before it, Into the Woods is a perfect jewel, polished to its brightest potential. What a shame it won't be around longer." Grade: A
2022 IN REVIEW: WRAP-UP
First, it felt great to have some semblance of normalcy in our ability to attend live theater again. True, we wish we could have seen much more - especially plays. Still, what we did see was a return to the thrill of Broadway, with a wonderful diversity in types of musicals, subject matter, and casting. The Great Bright Way still has a way to go, of course, but hopefully it is headed in the right direction.
Second, was is great to see the warm greetings and support given to understudies and swings. Though I can't recall ever seeing a truly unworthy performance by anyone listed on one of those little white slips of paper, this year was an unparalleled success in that department. Again, we must give a shout out to Nikki Renee Daniels, Alisa Melendez and Patrick Park. BRAVO and thank you!
Finally, we are just so glad to be back! We hope you'll enjoy seeing us with new content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Here's to a great 2023!
Here's our 2022 tally of honors - including kudos for all 13 shows we saw this year!
Kimberly Akimbo - 15
Almost Famous - 12
Girl From the North Country - 12
Into the Woods - 10
Some Like It Hot - 10
Paradise Square - 7
1776 - 6
KPOP - 6
The Music Man - 5
Funny Girl - 4
A Strange Loop - 4
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - 3
Company - 1