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The Best and Worst Broadway Shows of 2017

Find out what Broadway Shows We Hated and Loved this Past Year!

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The Best and Worst Broadway Shows of 2017
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Spongebob
This new musical was the biggest surprise of the 2016-2017 Broadway season. Critics and Broadway veterans alike did not have high expectations for a staged production version of the wildly popular cartoon yellow sponge. This show was directed by Tina Landau, an "avant-garde" director herself, who took the kids cartoon and turned it into a stage event that a person, of any age, could enjoy. Besides the spectacular costumes and engaging choreography, the show score blew others away this season, with songs composed by a long list of celebrities, including the likes of John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, Cyndi Lauper, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Lady Antebellum, Yolanda Adams and the late great David Bowie. Kyle Jarrow makes his Broadway writing debut with this show and he shines as an amazing new talent. Jarrow's off-broadway projects have included Obie Award Winner A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Armless.
Home for the Holidays
The worst Broadway show of the season was clearly the plotless concert, called Home For The Holidays. Overflowing with TV singing competition rejects, wannabes and D-list celebrities, this show was riddled with poorly sung Christmas classics and was billed as "Broadway's Only True Christmas Show," but if you had the choice to see Home for the Holidays or the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes, it is pretty clear which Holiday performance you'd want to see. The critics were not the only people who dragged this show through the mud because audiences also demonstrated their dislike, by returning it with only 4% of its potential gross; this show was a huge box office failure. The “stars”, Josh Kaufman (Season 6 Winner of The Voice), Candace Glover (Season 12 Winner of American Idol), Bianca Ryan (Season 1 Winner of America's Got Talent) could not elevate this show above a “train wreck” status and further underlined how little America cares about the current landscape of TV talent show winners, whose names were forgotten, when the curtain fell.
The Band's Visit
The Band's Visit is an uplifting tale about Egyptian strangers coming to a foreign land and seeking shelter. The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra become stranded in an Israeli town in a desert, but with the hesitant help from the locals they survive. This show has conflict, witty humor, great songs, romance and great actors who portray it well. Tony Shalhoub (Tewfiq) and Katrina Lenk (Dina) make their off-Broadway transfer seamlessly with an honest performance. However, The Band's Visit would not be complete without the music. If you ever wondered about how Israeli music would sound, you have a pretty good indication with this score. The instrumentals alone will have you swaying and humming on your way to work. David Yazbeck is the composer and lyricist mastermind behind this goldmine of the musical, along with Andrea Grody and Dean Shaernow.
Meteor Shower
Yet another Steve Martin play landed on Broadway, so we should have been expecting this result. Meteor Shower is a comedy about two couples in an uncomfortable dinner while a meteor shower washes over them in Ojai, California. Amy Schumer made her broadway debut as Corky in Meteor Shower and she delivered a not-so-great quirky performance in that role. Martin's sense of humor, formed in abstract wit, goes right over the heads of the audience and you are left with abject boredom. The little bites of humor in this show were not able to carry the entire play. The only saving grace for this show was Laura Benanti's character, with her sensual personality and performance she stole the show, but even she could not revive it from the ER gurney. Come From Away
Come From Away was, and still is, a box office hit garnering over $1 million weekly since May of 2017. This light-hearted musical is about the true story of the people stranded in the aftermath of the tragic events on 9/11. The musical takes place in Gander, Newfoundland where the population doubles after thousands of passengers from 38 planes, that were airborne on 9/11, get stranded. Although the musical touches on heavy topics, the focus is on the idea that there is kindness in strangers. Come from Away illustrates the unity in community that can come from tragedy and tough times.
The Terms of my Surrender
Michael Moore’s one-man-band approach in The Terms of My Surrender, which is a direct anti-Trump show, makes the cut for one of the worst shows of 2017. In his Broadway acting debut, Moore brought his political left-leaning voice with him to the stage. The play consisted of a series of anecdotes told by Moore about himself in different scenarios. Each story ends with Moore coming out on top as the hero, leaving the real lesson of the anecdote lost in translation. Instead of communicating something of value during a critical moment in political history, the show instead came off as a liberal rally or an unfunny attempt at stand-up comedy. This left broadway goers confused and often running for the exits, unless their last name was Clinton.
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The Best and Worst Broadway Shows of 2017



Spongebob Squarepants - BEST

This new musical was the biggest surprise of the 2016-2017 Broadway season. Critics and Broadway veterans alike did not have high expectations for a staged production version of the wildly popular cartoon yellow sponge. This show was directed by Tina Landau, an "avant-garde" director herself, who took the kids cartoon and turned it into a stage event that a person, of any age, could enjoy. Besides the spectacular costumes and engaging choreography, the show score blew others away this season, with songs composed by a long list of celebrities, including the likes of John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, Cyndi Lauper, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Lady Antebellum, Yolanda Adams and the late great David Bowie. Kyle Jarrow makes his Broadway writing debut with this show and he shines as an amazing new talent. Jarrow's off-broadway projects have included Obie Award Winner A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Armless.

Home for the Holidays - WORST

The worst Broadway show of the season was clearly the plotless concert, called Home For The Holidays. Overflowing with TV singing competition rejects, wannabes and D-list celebrities, this show was riddled with poorly sung Christmas classics and was billed as "Broadway's Only True Christmas Show," but if you had the choice to see Home for the Holidays or the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes, it is pretty clear which Holiday performance you'd want to see. The critics were not the only people who dragged this show through the mud because audiences also demonstrated their dislike, by returning it with only 4% of its potential gross; this show was a huge box office failure. The “stars”, Josh Kaufman (Season 6 Winner of The Voice), Candace Glover (Season 12 Winner of American Idol), Bianca Ryan (Season 1 Winner of America's Got Talent) could not elevate this show above a “train wreck” status and further underlined how little America cares about the current landscape of TV talent show winners, whose names were forgotten, when the curtain fell.

The Band's Visit - BEST

The Band's Visit is an uplifting tale about Egyptian strangers coming to a foreign land and seeking shelter. The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra become stranded in an Israeli town in a desert, but with the hesitant help from the locals they survive. This show has conflict, witty humor, great songs, romance and great actors who portray it well. Tony Shalhoub (Tewfiq) and Katrina Lenk (Dina) make their off-Broadway transfer seamlessly with an honest performance. However, The Band's Visit would not be complete without the music. If you ever wondered about how Israeli music would sound, you have a pretty good indication with this score. The instrumentals alone will have you swaying and humming on your way to work. David Yazbeck is the composer and lyricist mastermind behind this goldmine of the musical, along with Andrea Grody and Dean Shaernow.

Meteor Shower - WORST

Yet another Steve Martin play landed on Broadway, so we should have been expecting this result. Meteor Shower is a comedy about two couples in an uncomfortable dinner while a meteor shower washes over them in Ojai, California. Amy Schumer made her broadway debut as Corky in Meteor Shower and she delivered a not-so-great quirky performance in that role. Martin's sense of humor, formed in abstract wit, goes right over the heads of the audience and you are left with abject boredom. The little bites of humor in this show were not able to carry the entire play. The only saving grace for this show was Laura Benanti's character, with her sensual personality and performance she stole the show, but even she could not revive it from the ER gurney.

Come From Away - BEST

Come From Away was, and still is, a box office hit garnering over $1 million weekly since May of 2017. This light-hearted musical is about the true story of the people stranded in the aftermath of the tragic events on 9/11. The musical takes place in Gander, Newfoundland where the population doubles after thousands of passengers from 38 planes, that were airborne on 9/11, get stranded. Although the musical touches on heavy topics, the focus is on the idea that there is kindness in strangers. Come from Away illustrates the unity in community that can come from tragedy and tough times.

The Terms of My Surrender - WORST

Michael Moore’s one-man-band approach in The Terms of My Surrender, which is a direct anti-Trump show, makes the cut for one of the worst shows of 2017. In his Broadway acting debut, Moore brought his political left-leaning voice with him to the stage. The play consisted of a series of anecdotes told by Moore about himself in different scenarios. Each story ends with Moore coming out on top as the hero, leaving the real lesson of the anecdote lost in translation. Instead of communicating something of value during a critical moment in political history, the show instead came off as a liberal rally or an unfunny attempt at stand-up comedy. This left broadway goers confused and often running for the exits, unless their last name was Clinton.