15 Can't-Miss Shows For the Fall 2016 Broadway (and Beyond!) Season

Show-Score | By Linda Buchwald | Sep 7, 2016

The best thing about fall isn't the weather, back to school shopping, the changing leaves, or even pumpkin-flavored everything. No, the best thing is kicking off a brand new theater season — and this season promises a lot to look forward too! Need help narrowing down what to see? Here are 15 shows that we think will be worth your time, chosen because of the cast, creative team, advance buzz, or all of the above.

Denée Benton (Natasha) and Lucas Steele (Anatole) in "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812" Denée Benton (Natasha) and Lucas Steele (Anatole) in "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812" | By Gretjen Helene/American Repertory Theater

BROADWAY

Already closed
Heisenberg
454 reviews
77
Overall Score

Heisenberg: Simon Stephens' surprising two-hander starring Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt is different than any other romance you'll see on Broadway this season.


The Cherry Orchard: In addition to a new adaptation from Stephen Karam, this Chekhov revival features an all-star cast, including Diane Lane, Joel Grey, and Chuck Cooper, and future household name Kyle Beltran.


The Front Page: It's a Mad Men reunion for John Slattery and Robert Morse. The rest of the cast includes Nathan Lane, John Goodman, Sherie Rene Scott, and Jefferson Mays, so you can bet this 1928 play will be a hot ticket. 

Already closed
Falsettos
1,005 reviews
84
Overall Score

Falsettos: Ahead of playing Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the spring, two-time Tony winner Christian Borle stars in the first Broadway revival of William Finn's groundbreaking musical, alongside Andrew Rannells and Stephanie J. Block.


Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812: Dave Malloy's songwriting prowess is no secret to downtown theatergoers, but he'll get a wider audience when his electro-pop take on War and Peace hits Broadway, especially since Josh Groban is making his Broadway debut in it.


A Bronx Tale: Alan Menken, who composed the soundtrack to many of our childhoods with his Disney melodies, wrote the original score for this musical co-directed by Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro. Yes, that Robert De Niro.


Dear Evan Hansen
: This is on track to be the new it musical for young adult audiences. Ben Platt's performance as the lonely and awkward titular character is revelatory.

OFF-BROADWAY

Previews start Nov 01
The Wolves
184 reviews
86
Overall Score

The Wolves: The pre-opening buzz for Sarah Delappe's play about a girls' soccer team has been extremely positive, and it's always encouraging when a play has a female playwright, director, and cast. Though hopefully one day soon it will be commonplace enough that we won't have to comment on it.


Underground Railroad Game: If you're willing to walk very far west to Ars Nova, you'll usually be rewarded with innovative theater. (Another show on this list, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, debuted there.) And we're intrigued to see how Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard's play will address race through the format of an elementary school game.


Love, Love, Love: Last season, Mike Bartlett showed us the possible future for the British Royal Family in Shakespearean style. In this play starring Richard Armitage, he follows a baby boomer couple through four decades. 

Already closed
The Harvest
111 reviews
79
Overall Score

The Harvest: A world-premiere Samuel D. Hunter play directed by his frequent collaborator Davis McCallum starring Gideon Glick at Lincoln Center's most affordable theater? You can't lose. 

Already closed
Vietgone
233 reviews
82
Overall Score

Vietgone
: It's rare to see stories by and about Vietnamese people on New York stages, so we're looking forward to Qui Nguyen's sex comedy about his parents, which received great reviews at South Coast Repertory.

Previews start Oct 07
The Band's Visit
196 reviews
82
Overall Score

The Band's Visit
: Finally, a new musical score from David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty). Even better, he's teaming up with bookwriter/playwright Itamar Moses (The Fortress of a Solitude) and director David Cromer (Our Town). 


Tick, Tick…BOOM!:
Though not as known as Rent, Jonathan Larson's musical will resonate with anyone who has turned 30 or who has gone through a turning point in life. It seems perfectly cast with Nick Blaemire (The SpongeBob Musical), Ciara Renée (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and George Salazar (Godspell).


Sweet Charity
: Sutton Foster hasn't let her television career (Younger is about to start its third season) stop her from doing theater from time to time. She's starring in the New Group's 50th anniversary revival of the musical by Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, and Neil Simon.

Read this next…