Although there are always frustrations and disappointments in the New York theater, there’s quite a lot to be thankful for at present. So in light of Thanksgiving, I’d like to take note of the following people, places, productions and trends.
1. Cheap ticket lotteries More shows than ever are offering in-person and online daily lotteries for limited quantities of cheap tickets. “Hamilton” sometimes even offers live entertainment during its lottery.
2. ‘Hamilton’ It turns out a Broadway musical can still become a topic of national conversation.
3. Danny Burstein in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ It’s pretty amazing that this beloved stage actor (as opposed to a well-known film actor) is starring as Tevye.
4. Feinstein’s/54 Below This midtown nightclub has become Broadway’s new hangout and playground, playing host to everything from established performers like Patti LuPone to reunion concerts of cult musicals.
5. The Public Theater From acclaimed musicals like “Fun Home” and “Hamilton” to provocative dramas like “Eclipsed” to free Shakespeare, the Public Theater is more vibrant now than it’s been in years.
6. City Center Encores! This dynamic series continues to churn out high-quality, full-orchestra stagings of rarely-seen Broadway musicals, in addition to its summertime offshoot dedicated to smaller-scale Off-Broadway works.
7. ‘Spring Awakening’ It’s great to have the 2006 rock musical back on Broadway in the guise of Michael Arden’s innovative revival.
8. Annaleigh Ashford in ‘Sylvia’ After winning a Tony for her scene-stealing performance in “You Can’t Take It With You,” Ashford is giving an absolutely wonderful performance as a young dog in A.R. Gurney’s warm comedy.
9. ‘Shuffle Along’ The fact that George C. Wolfe’s revamp of this 1921 all-black musical will bring together Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Joshua Henry and Brandon Victor Dixon is cause for celebration.
10. ‘An American in Paris’ Christopher Wheeldon’s dance choreography, as executed by ballet stars Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope and complimented by Bob Crowley’s scenic and costume design, is beyond stunning.