2013-2014 Broadway/Off Broadway Year in Review

Awards season is upon us, with nominations for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League awards announced, and less than 24 hours until the 2014 Tony nominees are revealed, we’re taking a look back at the shows we loved the most from this Broadway and Off Broadway season. Share your own in the comments!

Ash – Concierge Manager

What is your must see show and why?

bway14ac1The must-see show of the season is the first Broadway staging of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. With it’s crazy premise, insane cult following (following it’s Off-Broadway incarnation and subsequent film), awesome score, and the exciting casting of Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, this is THE show to see.

What was musical number or song stopped the show for you this season?

In any given season, I could pick something like a fabulous tap number from After Midnight, a Susan Stroman-choreographed gem from Bullets Over Broadway, the Genie’s show-stopping “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin, or any number of beautifully performed quieter songs from other shows that gave me chills (Jesse Mueller’s touching opening number, “So Far Away,” from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical comes to mind).

What I’m picking, though, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any other Broadway show. For sheer awe-inducing theatricality, I have to go with “The Fight” in Rocky. It is such a feat of theater that trying to explain it in writing just doesn’t cut it. I’ll just say that I was on the edge of my seat and my jaw hit the floor! The final 20 minutes of that show blew my mind.bway14AC

What performance by an actor or actress did you enjoy the most this season?

Audra McDonald already has 5 Tony Awards for a reason. She is simply flawless in whatever she does. From her first few seconds as Billie Holliday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, I was riveted by her performance. She so lost herself in the role that I sat there transfixed until the final blackout. And then, as if by magic, the lights came back on her her curtain call. Boom – just like that Billie had disappeared and Audra was back. She is just stunning.

Eileen – Travel Consultant

What is your must see show from the 2013-2014 season and why?

bway14EFI absolutely adored Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 which played Off-Broadway. They built their own theatre! I loved everything from the décor to the blocking to the music. This is the one show that has really stuck with me this year and I find myself going back to the cast recording every now and then.

What was musical number or song stopped the show for you this season?

Kelli O’Hara singing “Almost Real” in Bridges brought me to tears. Kelli O’Hara can infuse any song with heart but this song just tore me up – the heartbreak, the determination, the regret!

What performance by an actor or actress did you enjoy the most this season?

Even though he’s left the production – I thought Michel Urie worked his ass off in Buyer and Cellar. One man shows are hard but Urie tackled FIVE roles with incredible ease. He was the perfect amount of charm, heartache, and Barbra Streisand.

Jared – Concierge

What is your must see show from the 2013-2014 season and why?

Of the show’s I’ve already seen, I *loved* A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. It’s clever, cheeky, and a lot of fun, with an amazing cast and some beautiful music. Of the ones I’ve yet to see, I’m most looking forward to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill because Audra McDonald can do no wrong!

What was musical number or song stopped the show for you this season?

aladdin“Friend Like Me” from Aladdin is one of the best showstoppers I’ve seen in several years. (There are fireworks! Onstage!!!) It got a standing ovation in the middle of the show.

What performance by an actor or actress did you enjoy the most this season?

Kelli O’Hara blew my mind in The Bridges of Madison County. A deeply felt, beautifully sung performance that was heart wrenching and utterly convincing. This is what Broadway level acting and singing sounds like. If she doesn’t win the Tony there’s no justice in the world.

Kelly – Manager of Group Services

What is your must-see show and why?

bway14KSOn Broadway, I absolutely LOVED A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The music is fantastic – in a season that’s heavy on contemporary musical scores, this show has more of a classic Broadway feel, which I always enjoy. And the show is ridiculously funny – I had such a good time and laughed A LOT! Off Broadway, Heathers: the Musical really surprised me. Every once in awhile, a movie-to-musical remake is done right – and this one was so much fun. Deliciously campy, inappropriately funny, and full of memorable songs and performances by an amazing young cast – I loved it!

What musical number or song stopped the show for you this season?

Hands down the best score of the season is Jason Robert Brown’s The Bridges of Madison County. There are two songs in the second act that completely wrecked me – the beautiful duet “One Second and a Million Miles” sung by the incomparable Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, and Pasquale’s final song “It All Fades Away.” I do not impress easily, and I was so moved and affected by these two songs that I could not sit still for the final 20 minutes of the show. I was blown away.

What performance by an actor or actress did you enjoy the most this season?

Beyond Steven Pasquale reducing me to tears in Bridges, my favorite performance of the season is Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. The show itself is great – it’s everything I wanted Motown to be, yet just quite wasn’t – and Jessie Mueller is fantastic in the role of Carole King. Special mention of her costars as well – I adored Anika Larsen and Jarrod Specter as songwriting team and King’s close friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

Louise – Director of Operations

What is your must see show and why?

bway14LGIn the fall I was lucky enough to get tickets to Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play at Playwrights Horizons, one of my favorite Off Broadway venues. I hope this show comes back sometime soon because it was the darkest, most intense, brilliant and thought-provoking piece of theater I have ever seen, and a terrifyingly plausible look at the way society and pop culture might evolve in the wake of a large-scale disaster. Many more people should have a chance to see it!

What was musical number or song stopped the show for you this season?

“‘Taint Nobody’s Bizness If I Do” from Bullets over Broadway. Tap dancing gangsters! What more do you need to know?

What performance by an actor or actress did you enjoy the most this season?

Jefferson Mays in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The sheer non-stop energy and mind-boggling diversity of his performance is a sight to behold.

 

 

 

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