Top Ten Plays of 2014

With so many great plays being produced every year, it should be difficult to decide which ones rank above the others. Yet the critics of 2014 all seem to agree on the same top ten numbers produced both off and on Broadway.

10) This is Our Youth, starring Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin. It is about an exiled ex-rich kid who moves in with his drug dealing buddy.

9) Next up is the self titled cabaret performed by John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molasky. Pizzarelli’s guitar talents meet Molasky’s emotionally deep vocals to create a jazz piece with wit and repartee.

8) The Open House, written by up and coming playwright Will Eno, tells a tale of family discord. It is a dark comedy about dysfunction and family drama that almost any audience can relate to.

7) Critics agree that Rocky was an unexpected contender for the top ten this year. A remake of the popular film, the stage remake featured surprising choreography and a musical number by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

6) The Cripple of Inishman is about Billy, a town cripple turned Hollywood star. Actor Daniel Radcliffe and director Michael Grandage make this revival of a 1998 Martin McDonagh’s play (1) a stunning success in the eyes of its critics.

5) Alan Ayckbourn makes playwriting look easy. His latest in a line of scripts about everyday life features an anti-terrorist unit at an airport. The tale is told from two perspectives, both of which bring audiences to tears.

4) Machinal is another revisal of an old play (2). It turns its parent into a horror show instead of an outdated documentary. Lindsey Turner creates a sense of doom and a series of events that will persist in the audience’s nightmares.

3) Sticks and Bones is part two of a Vietnam trilogy (2). It turns out to be a comedy, about a veteran who returns to his family shell shocked and blinded.

2) Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks puts a unique angle on a historical tragedy in her play Father Comes Home From the Wars. Her script tells the tale of a Civil War Era slave who joins the Confederate Army with his Master.

1) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is based on the book by Mark Haddon (1). It delves into the confused but brilliant mind of an autistic young boy, trying to solve a murder mystery.

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