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Planning Your Trip to the Great White Way? Here Are the 10 Best Broadway Shows of 2023

Broadway shows come and go, but their impact can stay with us forever. Even if a show closed early, that doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the best of the year. And while we still have a few shows to go before 2024, let’s talk about the best shows we’ve seen so far!

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The Great White Way is made up of plays, musicals, and an array of performances that keep audiences engaged in the theatrical arts. 2023 was a brilliant year for theater, and after seeing several shows myself, I have my favorites of the season. So while the year is not over yet (and there are still some shows to go), let’s talk about the ten best shows of 2023. Did your favorite make the cut?

Merrily We Roll Along

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 8: (L-R) Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez during the opening night curtain call for "Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along" on Broadway at The Hudson Theater on October 8, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
(Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

The Stephen Sondheim show that nearly ruined his career, Merrily We Roll Along comes to life on stage in such a shockingly poignant and breathtaking way. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas, Jonathan Groff as Franklin Shepard, and Lindsay Mendez as Mary Flynn, the show is about three friends and the ways in which their relationship changes over the course of twenty years. But more than that, it’s a show about what it feels like to lose that friend group that was once so important to you.

As is the case with many Sondheim shows, Merrily We Roll Along weighs heavily on you and it is hard to see why people didn’t like it the first time around. The revival, which is playing at the Hudson, takes us through the loss of love between these three friends as we go backward through time to understand what happened to them. It’s a moving production through and through.

Gutenberg! The Musical

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12: Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad during the opening night curtain call for the musical "Gutenberg: The Musical" on Broadway at The James Earl Jones Theater on October 12, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
(Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

Love Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad? Want to see them back on Broadway together? You’re in luck! The show follows Bud and Doug, two musical theater composers attempting to pitch a show about Johannes Gutenberg to potential producers. The musical started back at the Upright Citizens Brigade in 2005 and has achieved a cult following since then. And it’s always wonderful to see Rannells and Gad back on stage together after originating the roles of Elder Price and Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon.

Bringing up a “special guest” in some shows, the musical really is just a celebration of these two performers and brings their work to life in such a fun and exciting way. It is a limited run, though, with the show closing in January.

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 3: Leslie Odom Jr. and Alan Alda pose backstage at the play "Purlie Victorious" on Broadway at The Music Box Theater on October 3, 2023 in New York City. Alan Alda played "Charley Cotchipee" in the Original 1961 Broadway production. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
(Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Leslie Odom Jr. on Broadway, what more could you want? Focusing on Purlie (Odom Jr.) as he returns to his hometown, this comedy “tells the story of a Black preacher’s machinations to reclaim his inheritance and win back his church.” This one-act play is funny and filled with great performances, but still packs a lot of heart for audiences to enjoy.

It is always nice to see Odom Jr. on Broadway, giving yet another brilliant performance. The show as a whole has a history to unpack that really delves into the way we tell stories. This is one you won’t want to miss.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Josh Groban as Sweeney Todd with his razor
(Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman)

You can still see Josh Groban play the titular role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street until next year, before Aaron Tveit (Schmigadoon!) takes over with Sutton Foster (Younger). The revival of Sondheim’s beloved musical does highlight one thing about us as theater-going people: We love a horny murder guy. Sticking relatively true to what we know and love about the musical as a whole, the revival (which was directed by Thomas Kail) makes it clear that Sweeney’s relationship with Mrs. Lovett (a hilarious Annaleigh Ashford) is one that is as sexual as we always thought.

When I say this is a “horny” production, I mean it. Often, Mrs. Lovett is played as having an unrequited love for Todd. That’s not the case here. He clearly does see her as someone who he wants on his side and it makes for a fascinating production.

The Shark Is Broken

The cast of the Shark is Broken on stage
(Matthew Murphy)

Ever wish you could see a show about the creation of Jaws and what happened between Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw? Then The Shark Is Broken might be the perfect show for you. Mainly thanks to how good the cast is at bringing Dreyfuss, Scheider, and Shaw to life.

Ian Shaw, who also co-wrote the play, plays his acting legend father who didn’t fully understand the impact that Jaws would make on the world. Colin Donnell plays Scheider who, in his own way, is the mediator of the group. The play dives into Dreyfuss’ (Alex Brightman) antagonistic relationship with Shaw, which was one of many problems that plagued the film’s nightmare shoot. This show is short, brilliant, and perfect for any Jaws fan.


A woman  and a man stand side by ide holding hands as people walk behind them. They are dressed in clothing from the 1910s.
(Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

A musical that was difficult to watch, Parade has finished its Tony Award-winning run on Broadway. Jason Robert Brown’s show highlights the real-life story of Leo Frank (Ben Platt), a Jewish man wrongly accused of murdering a young girl in Atlanta. Parade documents Frank’s determination to return to his wife (Micaela Diamond) despite the rising antisemitism he faces as his trial commences.

While Parade is difficult to watch, the music and the lyrics are beautiful and the show is staged thoughtfully by director Michael Arden. With an all too timely message, Parade was one of the best productions this year.

New York, New York

A woman in a head wrap and a brunette man stand on either side of an older man, each kissing him on the cheek.
(Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

Do I think this show deserved more love? Absolutely. A Kander and Ebb musical (with an assist from Lin-Manuel Miranda) that was short-lived on Broadway, New York, New York tells the story of Jimmy Doyle (Colton Ryan) as he hustles to be a musician alongside his love Francine (Anna Uzele). It was chaotic, brilliant, fast-paced, and captured the spirit of New York. In my opinion, this show didn’t get the love it deserves.

While it was nominated at the Tonys, the show didn’t win anything significant enough to get people into seats. Unfortunately, New York, New York closed this summer, but my love for the show remains.

A Doll’s House

Jessica Chastain, in a black dress with a white collar, stands in front of a sign for 'A Doll's House'.
(Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Jessica Chastain spends the entire pre-show spinning around on a massive turntable onstage in this most recent revival of A Doll’s House. The Henrik Ibsen play has been performed countless times across the globe, but this sparse one-act production strips away all props, sets, and artifice to rack focus onto Nora (Chastain) and the fear she feels over losing everything.

While the cast included brilliant performances by Arian Moayed (Succession) and Okieriete Onaodowan (Hamilton), the show itself was carried by Chastain’s Nora. Simple, brilliant, and to the point, it highlighted why A Doll’s House remains a part of the theatrical canon.

Here Lies Love

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 20: (L-R) Jose Llana, Arielle Jacobs and Conrad Ricamora during the opening night curtain call for the new musical "Here Lies Love" on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre on July 20, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
(Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Another show that deserves more recognition, Here Lies Love is unfortunately closing by the end of the month. But there’s still plenty of time for you to see my favorite piece of theatre in a long while. The David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim musical takes us back in time to the Philippines when the Marcos family was in control. Told through an irresistible disco beat, the musical features a dance floor section where fans can experience the magic of the show as Imelda Marcos (Arielle Jacobs) would have whenever she fled to America to ignore her husband.

The music is incredible, and the show is one of the first all-Filipino casts on Broadway. Truth be told, the news that this show is closing is devastating to me. It’s a show I heartily recommend and have seen multiple times. Try and see it while you can.

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Oscar Isaac, Lisa Kauffman, and Rachel Brosnahan attend "The Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window" Gala performance celebration at Virgin Hotels New York City on May 4, 2023 in New York City.
(John Nacion/Getty Images)

This show featured Oscar Isaac playing instruments, so naturally, I loved it. Lorraine Hansberry’s play starred Rachel Brosnahan and Oscar Isaac as a married couple trying so hard to do the “right” thing that they lose who they are in the process. It’s not a perfect play, and some aspects of it don’t quite work for a modern audience. Still, the show itself was magnificent to watch.

Transferring from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (B.A.M.) to Broadway this year, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window is a must-watch for fans of Isaac and Brosnahan, who share terrific chemistry together.


There are still shows to open this year and some that I haven’t seen. As of right now, this is my list of the best shows of 2023, and I can’t wait to see how it changes by the end of the year!

(featured image: aluxum/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.