Top Ten Shows I Saw in 2017

I wanted to share my top ten shows that I saw in 2017 with all of you. This year, I saw several US tours, three shows on Broadway, and a plethora of shows in London (and even one UK tour). It's the most theatre I've ever seen in one year!

I also saw many more plays than I've ever seen before and actually loved so many of them. I want to continue to see a lot of plays in 2018; if you have any suggestions, please do let me know. In any case, here are my favorites in no particular order:

If you forced me to pick a number one show, it would most likely be this one. The Great Comet is unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I was lucky enough to see it and sit in the stage seating in March and I can honestly say it changed my life. Everyone in the cast was amazing from Josh Groban to Denée Benton (I still cry occasionally thinking about her in "Pierre and Natasha") and especially Blaine Krauss, the understudy I saw as Anatole. It was also without a doubt my most-played cast album of the year. You can read my full review here and my post about its closing here.

I still can't quite believe my luck that I got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so soon after moving to London -- and bought my tickets that day at the box office! What an amazing show; while its plot might be a bit wonky, its actors and its special effects certainly make up for it. It captures the magic of Harry Potter perfectly and James Howards' Draco Malfoy and Tom Aldridge's Ron Weasley are the best portrayals of any Potter character you could ever ask for. 

I'm still in awe that I got tickets for me and my mom to see Hamlet at the RADA the weekend that I moved to London. How could Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Tom Hiddleston be anything other than perfect? This production made me reconsider some things that I thought I knew about the play and its characters and there's nothing like watching Hiddleston act from the third row. You can read my full review here.

Even though Kinky Boots is one of my favorite musicals, I was still surprised to realize that I saw it three times in 2017. I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway in March with my favorite actor Killian Donnelly as Charlie Price. But there's nothing like seeing a show in the country it's set in and I actually saw it twice in London, once from the middle of the front row! You can read my review of the show on Broadway here and my review of the West End production with understudy Jordan Fox as Charlie Price here.

Les Mis will always hold a special place in my heart and will likely make my top ten list any year that I see it. I was able to see the anniversary production this year; I bought a standing room ticket and standing that long was definitely worth it to see Boublil and Schonberg come out to sing "Happy Birthday" at the end! Killian Donnelly is definitely one of the best Valjeans I've ever seen and this current cast is overall so strong. The show hit me a lot harder this time than it typically does, but it truly never fails to break my apart and then put me back together again.

Miss Saigon is perhaps my favorite show of all time and I felt so lucky that I got to see this astounding production on Broadway with some of my favorite actors in the world. Alistair Brammer's Chris is still one of my favorite performances I've ever seen and Eva Noblezada is one of the best actresses I've ever seen in anything. Round out the cast with the astounding Jon Jon Briones, Katie Rose Clarke, and Rachelle Ann Gogh along with a talented ensemble and it's no wonder it made my top ten list. You can read my review here

I was a Shakespeare nerd when I was younger and the Globe's production of Much Ado revived that love in every way. From Matthew Needham's endearing Benedick to the setting in revolutionary Mexico to the decision to cast Don John as a woman, everything about this show was perfection. I ended up seeing it from the yard twice -- and it was such an amazing experience to see Shakespeare as most people in his day saw it.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Queen Anne was the first show I saw in what is now my favorite theatre, the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It's a heartbreaking story about Queen Anne and her once-friend Sarah Churchill (I love visiting Kensington Palace where she actually lived). It was so well written, well acted, and well staged. I wish that I'd been in London for more of its run because I certainly would have returned to see it a second time if I'd not attended its last show.

Somewhat embarrassingly, I saw this show four times in the few months it was open. This brilliant and provocative play was staged so perfectly and raised so many issues relevant to this year. I also got to see two of my favorite actors ever, Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, and meet them at stage door after. Dormer and Oakes' had electrifying chemistry onstage and it was the best performance I've ever seen from Dormer. You can read my whole review here.

The Woman in White is certainly my best discovery of 2017. Similarly, the Wilkie Collins novel it's based on is my favorite book that I read in 2017! I love Andrew Lloyd Webber's work and this easily became my favorite of his shows. The themes of sisterhood and women standing up for themselves are incredibly timely. The show is also dear to my heart because it was the first casting that was announced after I found out that I was moving to London and realized that I would get to see it. Carolyn Maitland is simply stunning as Marian, Anna O'Byrne is such a thoughtful and beautiful Laura, and Ashley Stillburn is the perfect Walter Hartwright (now my favorite male character in all of literature). I'm having to stop myself because I want to praise every single member of the cast for how splendid they are. I can't wait to get back to London and see this show again. You can read my full review of it here.

I also have to give special mentions to the UK tour of Addams Family which I ventured out to Milton Keynes to see and The Ferryman which is incredibly powerful and a masterclass in acting.

What were your favorite shows that you saw in 2017? Let me know in the comments. x
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