9 Top-Reviewed Shows You Need to Check Out in NYC
The results are in... and you better pay attention if you want to catch the hottest shows this year. New York’s extensive live theater options mean competition is fierce both on and off (and off-off) Broadway. From improv comedy to musicals to inebriated Shakespeare productions, we’ve found the top-reviewed shows that you’ve got to check out in NYC.

Wicked.

broadway show
times square

The Wizard of Oz meets Mean Girls? That’s one way of describing Wicked, otherwise known as the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Long before Dorothy flew in from Kansas, the so-called wicked witch just wanted to fit in and make friends in college with none other than Glinda the Good Witch. Filled with outstanding musical numbers and the winner of countless Tony Awards, Wicked is one wicked good time.

Find Out More

Once The Musical.

musicals
broadway shows
times square

You won’t want to see Once just, well, once. In reviewing this tale of an Irish busker and Czech immigrant who fall in love in Dublin, The New York Times proclaimed that “Once uses song and dance in a way I’ve never experienced in an American musical.” With surprising tenderness, grounded comedy and heart-wrenching musical numbers, Once demands to be seen again and again.

Find Out More
drunk-Shakespeare

Drunk Shakespeare.

drunk
play
theater
act
acting
show
watch

To drink or not to drink—that is the real question. For performers in this Drunk Shakespeare production, the answer is simple: drink five shots of whiskey before you take the stage. The results are hilariously improvised (and maybe even improved) takes on classic stage productions of Hamlet, Othello and Romeo and Juliet. TimeOut calls it "a live-action Drunk History"; the Wall Street Journal says it’s a “spontaneous, anything-can-happen performance that can't be replicated”. See for yourself and visit the theatre where every show is different from the last.

Find Out More

Chicago.

musicals
broadway show
times square

Second City’s famous self-titled musical has been a classic on the NYC Broadway scene for years. A satire on corruption and criminal justice, Chicago’s teeth bite into the story of a femme fatale on trial for her life. Winner of 6 Tony Awards, Chicago is packed with fantastic musical numbers that are guaranteed to have you singing along with all that jazz.

Find Out More

The Lion King.

musical
broadway shows
times square

“Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! Sithi uhm ingonyama!” What, were you not just singing that in your head? Well, you soon will be! Disney’s classic story of The Lion King is perfect for the screen and the stage. A Tony Award–winning musical, The Lion King has been described by Entertainment Weekly as “an instant theater classic.” Join the cast for this breathtakingly-staged Broadway adaptation of one of the most popular animated films of all time.

Find Out More
the-imbible

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking.

enjoy
entertainment
theater
comedy

Alcohol aficionado Anthony Caporale guides us through the history and culture of drinking in this nontraditional theatrical production, The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking. TimeOut raves, “Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling.” The show will take you on a journey from Prohibition-era speakeasies to the origin of the gin and tonic with many laughs along the way. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.”

Find Out More

BATSU! NY's Live Japanese Game Show.

live shows
entertainment

“Batsu”, the Japanese word for "penalty game,” is the equivalent of the German word “schadenfreude,” otherwise known as the joy derived from the misfortune of others. It also translates as one helluva good time. In the whirlwind world of Japanese game shows, Batsu is a satisfying, if not sadistic, live theater experience where audience members watch as cast members endure ridiculous and hilarious tests. CBS local calls it one of the best things to do in NYC—just be sure to sign a waiver before you enter.

Find Out More

Jersey Boys.

musicals
broadway show
times square

Four guys, one dream. The inside story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons—the Jersey Boys in question—takes you from the streets of New Jersey to the hallways of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a tale filled with rivalry, jealousy and fame. The New York Post says Jersey Boys is “dynamically alive in music while, as a drama, it catches the very texture, almost the actual smell, of its time.” If you like period piece musicals and ‘50s tunes, you can’t miss Broadway’s favorite musical of the moment.

Find Out More

Grandma’s Ashes.

comedy
improvisation
theatre

Taking the “worst things that ever happened to you” and making them funny is no easy challenge. But that’s what Grandma’s Ashes, a UCB comedy show, does weekly. In their completely improvised performance, the players will take hilariously embarrassing stories from audience members and use them to create a completely improvised show. Join one of UCB’s most popular comedy teams for what NearSay calls “a night of cringe-worthy laughs” that celebrates “the depraved moments in life.” Be sure to arrive early to score some good seats and cheap wine.

Find Out More