Broadway Plays of the 2022-2023 Season

by Dan Dinero on 4.30.23


Life of PiHiran Abeysekera with Richard Parker (Fred Davis, Scarlet Wilderink, and Andrew Wilson) in Life of Pi.
Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman.


BOTTOM LINE: Having a hard time deciding on a Broadway show, but you know you want a play? Here are brief reviews of everything that is still running from this season (as well as a brief recap of the shows that have already closed).

Awards season—it’s that time of year when Broadway is humming, but it can be hard to know what to see. Do you go by number of nominations? Wait for awards to be handed out and risk losing out on the next impossible ticket? (To be fair, no Broadway play is currently an impossible ticket.) Do you just have folks coming to town and want to know what to bring them to? Hopefully we can help. Editor Dan Dinero (who has seen everything) will do a brief review of this season’s plays. (Shows are listed alphabetically).

* Updated 5/2 with Tony nominations, 5/16 with Outer Critics wins, 5/31 with Drama Desk wins, and 6/11 with Tony wins


Still Running

A Doll’s House (Revival)

Award nominations: 6 Tony, 4 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: 3 Drama Desk

This is one of those “love it or hate it” revivals, so of course I come down in the middle. While I loved Jamie Lloyd’s stripped down (and modernized) Cyrano de Bergerac last year at BAM, his production of A Doll’s House, using a new adaptation by Amy Herzog, is much, much barer. Six actors, dressed all in black, sit in chairs and slowly get rotated around a circle. There is little movement and no props. And the sound design—great for ASMR fans, less so for those who don’t like the sound of lips moving. I always appreciate a new look at a classic, and there is much to like here, especially Arian Moayed’s Torvald. But when the audience breaks out in laughter and applause at the end of A Doll’s House, I have to feel like something went wrong somewhere.

A Doll’s House plays at the Hudson Theatre through 6/4. For tickets and more information visit

Fat Ham

Award nominations: 5 Tony, 2 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Outer Critics
Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize

Fat Ham won the Pulitzer before even starting its run at the Public last summer, so it was no surprise when it announced a Broadway transfer in the same season. James Ijames’s take on Hamlet is set in contemporary North Carolina (well, more or less), and has a queer Black man taking on the central role. It’s also much shorter and a whole lot funnier. Fat Ham is definitely a crowd-pleaser, which is not to say there isn’t (BBQ) meat on its bones. Although I have to say, I preferred it at the Public; when I revisited it on Broadway, the entire ensemble (all the same cast), felt bigger and broader, like they were playing to the rear mezzanine. (To be fair, I have talked to folks who actually like this change.) In another season, this would be the hands-down winner for Best Play. This season, it wouldn’t surprise me if it has to be content with its Pulitzer. (For Theasy's Associate Editor Regina Robbins, Fat Ham is a Best Bet.)

Fat Ham plays at the American Airlines Theatre through 6/25. For tickets and more information visit

* Good Night, Oscar

Award nominations: 3 Tony, 2 Drama Desk, 3 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Tony, 1 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics

BEST BET – Tour de Force Performance

If you don’t know Oscar Levant (I didn’t), he was a mercurial pianist who made frequent appearances on game shows and late-night television, where he was as known for his quips as for his piano playing. Good Night, Oscar is a somewhat fictionalized version of an appearance he did in 1958 on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. Sean Hayes is rightly receiving accolades for his performance, which culminates in a bravura stint at the piano (yes, Hayes is also a skilled classical pianist). Your mileage with the play as a whole may vary, but it’s worth seeing for Hayes, and also for Emily Bergl, who plays Levant’s supportive wife.

Good Night, Oscar plays at the Belasco Theatre through 8/27. For tickets and more information visit


LeopoldstadtThe cast of Leopoldstadt. Photo by Joan Marcus.

* Leopoldstadt

Award nominations: 6 Tony, 2 Drama Desk, 6 Outer Critics
Award wins: 4 Tony, 2 Drama Desk, 3 Outer Critics (including, from all three, Best Play)

BEST BET – Compelling Drama

The only play from the fall that is still running, Leopoldstadt is one of the biggest hits of the season. Tom Stoppard (who has had four Tony-winning Best Plays, and this could well be his fifth) gives us, in just over two hours, an expansive look at generations of an extended family living in Vienna, from 1899 through 1955. It’s a sprawling work, and while it can be difficult to figure out who’s who at first, Leopoldstadt is definitely more “accessible” than some of his other works, with only glancing references to people like Sigmund Freud and Bernhard Reimann. It’s really an ensemble piece, although the always terrific Brandon Uranowitz has received much awards attention for his work.

Leopoldstadt plays at the Longacre Theatre through 7/2. For tickets and more information visit

* Life of Pi

Award nominations: 5 Tony, 5 Drama Desk, 5 Outer Critics
Award wins: 3 Tony, 4 Drama Desk, 2 Outer Critics

BEST BET – Spectacle and Puppetry

Okay, sure, the novel is better (and seriously, if you still haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and check it out). But in its embracing of pure theatricality, Life of Pi has a lot to offer. The “Pi” of the title is an Indian teenager who, along with his family and the animals from their Pondicherry zoo, is moving to Canada. But the ship they are on sinks, leaving Pi on a lifeboat with Richard Parker, an adult Bengal Tiger. A lot of people (especially those who didn’t read the novel) get caught up in figuring out “what really happened,” but this is so profoundly missing the point. Life of Pi is ultimately, at its core, about storytelling and faith; as Pi says at the beginning, his story “will make you believe in God.” But even the agnostics and atheists will find much to enjoy here, especially the incredible puppetry and skillful meshing of set, lighting, sound, and projection design. And you also have Hiran Abeysekera’s stand-out performance as Pi, who (along with Richard Parker) pretty much takes center stage for the entire piece.

Life of Pi plays at the Schoenfeld Theatre. For tickets and more information visit


Peter Pan Goes WrongThe cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

* Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Award nominations: 3 Drama Desk, 3 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Drama Desk

BEST BET – Hilarious Shenanigans

If you saw The Play That Goes Wrong (now at New World Stages), you have some idea of what you’re in for here. Amateur theatre company puts on play, hijinks ensue. The piece at the center of The Play That Goes Wrong is a drawing room murder mystery, so plot machinations are key, misplacing a single prop can have disastrous effects, and seemingly small mistakes snowball over time. With Peter Pan, it’s less about plot and more about theatre magic, or in the hands of this troupe, the lack of it. One actor can’t remember his lines, others are embroiled in some serious backstage drama, and somehow the wrong sound cues keep getting played. And of course, there’s also a rotating set and flying actors—what could possibly go wrong there?

Peter Pan Goes Wrong plays at the Barrymore Theatre through 7/23. For tickets and more information visit

* Prima Facie

Award nominations: 4 Tony, 3 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Tony, 2 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics

BEST BET – Tour de Force Performance

Jodie Comer has received rave reviews—both here and in London—for her incredible performance about a defense attorney who specializes in representing men accused of sexual assault, who is then herself assaulted. It’s definitely a memorable performance; I especially like the way Comer code switches between her working class upbringing and her posh London life. I’m also a fan of Justin Martin’s direction; this is one of the best stagings of a solo performance I’ve seen in quite some time. And Suzie Miller’s play does an admirable job at exploring how the structure of our justice system makes it so difficult to prosecute sexual assault. Does it get somewhat heavy-handed in the last third? It did for me, but no doubt others will feel this is exactly what is necessary.

Prima Facie plays at the John Golden Theatre through 6/18. For tickets and more information visit

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window

Award nominations: 2 Tony, 1 Drama Desk
Award wins: 1 Tony, 1 Drama Desk

The most last-minute addition to a Broadway season I can remember in some time (it was announced just over three weeks before the cut-off, and only played a few previews), this transfer of the BAM production is worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of Lorraine Hansberry. Is this play as good as Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun? Of course not. But it’s about a completely different set of people (a young white activist couple living in the Village in the 60s, and their friends and acquaintances), yet also offers up some interesting resonances with Hansberry’s classic.

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window plays at the James Earl Jones Theatre through 7/2. For tickets and more information visit

Summer, 1976

Award nominations: 1 Tony, 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: None

Ooh boy. I love both Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht, but when people say “I could watch so-and-so read the phone book,” that’s kind of what you’re getting here. Linney and Hecht play two women who became friends for one summer (in 1976, obviously) through their kids. They tell the story of this summer through what are essentially alternating monologues, rarely even talking to each other. There’s an amusing through-line about how Hecht’s husband sets up a system for trading babysitting duties, but the events can basically be summarized as “we became friends, and then we went our separate ways.” There’s also a reveal late in the show that had me groaning and wondering “this plot device again?” I’m sure MTC’s core audience is perfectly happy to watch two accomplished actors make the most of very little, but they are really the only reason to even consider seeing this.

Summer, 1976 plays at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre through 6/10. For tickets and more information visit

The Thanksgiving Play

Award nominations: None

Apparently, Larissa FastHorse got tired of having theatres tell her they found her plays about Native Americans “uncastable,” so she wrote one with all white characters. The Thanksgiving Play is a satire about a group of white folk trying to develop—well, a Thanksgiving play—that is both historically accurate and culturally sensitive. Needless to say, things don’t go as expected. Making fun of well-meaning white people has been extremely popular in recent years, and if you like that sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy this. The 2018 Playwrights Horizons version included interstitial skits and songs taken from actual ideas for teachers, which honed in on the problematic aspects of this material. Here, those bits are no longer performed by the adult cast, but instead by real kids, on video; sometimes cute and often cringe-worthy, I also found this choice to be kind of mean.

The Thanksgiving Play plays at the Hayes Theatre through 6/4. For tickets and more information visit


Already Closed

Ain’t No Mo’

Award nominations: 6 Tony, 2 Drama Desk
Award wins: 2 Drama Desk

Ain’t No Mo’ played the Public Theater back in the spring of 2019, and news of the transfer made me raise my eyebrows a bit – it had seemed such an “Off Broadway” show. But in this case, I think the larger Broadway house made the material work even better, emphasizing the big humor in the opening scene, for instance. Basically, Ain’t No Mo’ is a series of related vignettes where all Black people in the United States are being given one-way tickets to Africa. (The scenario evokes Derrick Bell’s classic 1994 short story “The Space Traders,” but without the aliens.) And playwright Jordan E. Cooper drags himself up to play “Peaches,” the flight attendant for the last flight out. If at times some of the messaging felt a bit heavy-handed, that IS Broadway, and it was still interesting to see how the piece took on added layers post-2020.

Between Riverside and Crazy

Award nominations: 2 Tony
Award wins: None
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize

While eligible as a New Play for Tony purposes, this production was essentially identical (same creative team and almost entirely the same cast) as the one that played the Atlantic Theater in the summer of 2014. Of special note is Stephen McKinley Henderson, who was outstanding as an irascible ex-cop struggling to hold onto his rent-stabilized apartment. Henderson was honored with both a Drama Desk AND a Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement award this year, in part because of how indelible his performance in this play was.

A Christmas Carol

Award nominations: 3 Tony, 4 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Outer Critics

This new adaptation of Dicken’s classic was essentially Jefferson Mays reading the story to us, but as only he can do it. There was a lot of atmospheric lighting and theatrical magic—this version went heavy on the ghosts, with a lot of darkness (and some “tricks”)—but I have to say, I preferred the version by Jack Thorne that played Broadway back in 2019.

The Collaboration

Award nominations: None

Were there an award for “Best Pre-Show DJ,” The Collaboration would win hands down. Unfortunately, all of that wonderful energy kind of fizzled away once the show started. The play’s title refers to when Andy Warhol teamed up with Jean-Michel Basquiat to work on an exhibition. Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope both made valiant efforts at portraying these icons of the art world, but the play itself was middling at best.

Cost of Living

Award nominations: 5 Tony, 1 Drama Desk, 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: None
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize

I was fairly surprised when Cost of Living won the Pulitzer—the original Off Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club was…fine. Yet this Broadway transfer made an incredibly strong case for this win—Martyna Majok’s script seemed to take on new depth, helped in large part by David Zayas and Kara Young, who joined original actors Gregg Mozgala and Katy Sullivan.

Death of a Salesman

Award nominations: 2 Tony, 4 Drama Desk, 2 Outer Critics
Award wins: None

I have to say, I didn’t love this new revival of Death of a Salesman. But I know many others who did. In casting the Lomans as a Black family (led by Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke), yet placing them in an all-too-White world, Willy’s various abasements take on the added weight of racial discrimination. Yet while I certainly saw certain lines and scenes anew (never a bad thing, unless you're putting the adults from Peanuts into your show—such a bizarre choice), I actually found this approach—at least as it was executed here—lessened the play’s impact. Rather than adding racial difference to the many, many things Miller’s masterpiece might be said to be “about,” this Death of a Salesman seemed to substitute race for everything else. But again—many, many people were profoundly moved by this production.

The Kite Runner

Award nominations: None

It’s understandable that The Kite Runner is being left out of all of the awards. It wasn’t bad per se, but it wasn’t good. Its biggest problem is one you often see in novels adapted to the stage – the desire to hew closely to the text, rather than a real attempt to embrace the theatrical possibilities. The playwright is an academic, and as a fellow academic, this tracks. Although kudos for bringing a story about Afghan characters to Broadway. A tour is planned for 2024.

Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool

Award nominations: 1 Outer Critics
Award wins: None

Another fun show by Mike Birbiglia, this one dealt with his own mortality, and his attempts to get healthier (by swimming). I laughed a lot.

Ohio State Murders

Award nominations: 1 Tony, 5 Drama Desk, 2 Outer Critics
Award wins: None

Man, Ohio State Murders floored me. Obviously Audra McDonald is a powerhouse, so it’s not surprising that she’ll receive a fair amount of awards attention. But this production also marks 91-year-old Adrienne Kennedy’s Broadway debut—a fact that is surprising, shocking, even shameful. Part of Kennedy’s series of “Alexander Plays,” Ohio State Murders is a wrenching story about a smart black college student in the 1950s. From top to bottom, this production accomplished in 60 minutes what other plays this season needed three hours to achieve. It’s such a shame it closed early, too.

The Piano Lesson (Revival)

Award nominations: 2 Tony, 5 Drama Desk, 2 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Drama Desk

My favorite of the three “Pulitzer revivals” that all opened around the same time last fall, this production of August Wilson’s 1987 play starred John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, and Samuel L. Jackson, but my favorite by far was Ray Fisher’s performance as Lymon. There was also an amazing piano (designed by Romello Huins) that has since taken up residency in the Smithsonian.

Pictures From Home

Award nominations: None

A three-handed about a man making a photo book of his parents, Pictures From Home was an odd piece that didn’t fully work. When the photographs in the background are more interesting than what’s on stage, there’s a problem. It also had a design that was very, very chartreuse.

Topdog / Underdog

Award nominations: 3 Tony, 4 Outer Critics
Award wins: 1 Tony, 1 Outer Critics (both for Best Play Revival)

I quite enjoyed this revival; it made me appreciate Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer-winning play a whole lot more than I did the first time around. Perhaps it was because the two brothers seemed more evenly matched this time. While Corey Hawkins, in the role that Jeffrey Wright originated, seemed a little bit stuck in that previous interpretation, I thought Yahya Abdul-Mateen II did an outstanding job at completely reimagining the character of Booth. This was one of three strong revivals this past fall that all were, in different ways, about the Black experience. All have gotten awards attention, but each has also been left out at times.

Walking with Ghosts

Award nominations: None

Gabriel Byrne’s solo show was fairly underwhelming, and also felt a little long. He told stories about his childhood and growing up in Ireland, as is par for the course with these things.