At first mention, Broadway conjures up thoughts of amazing technicality, ornate costume design, and sometimes over-the-top acting and singing wrapped into a bundle labeled “musical.” However, Broadway plays are also popular, though sometimes less recognized. These popular 2014 Broadway plays stunned with their attention to detail and focus on interpersonal relationships, as well as offered an amazing array of acting talent.
- All the Way
All the Way is an historical play that starred Bryan Cranston, known for playing Walter White, the conflicted main character from AMC’s lauded television series Breaking Bad. Cranston played former president Lyndon B. Johnson and critics raved about his performance. In fact, Cranston won the Tony award for Best Actor for this performance. Other famous historical figures make “appearances” in the play, including Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, and Lady Bird Johnson. All the Way played its final Broadway performance June 29, 2014.
- Outside Mullingar
Set in rural Ireland, Outside Mullingar earned its place among the most popular plays on Broadway. Written by John Patrick Shanley, known for authoring the critically-acclaimed novel Doubt, Outside Mullingar starred Debra Messing as Rosemary, the daughter of a recently widowed woman. Due to its moving and intimate scenes between father and son, mother and daughter, and other familial relationships, Outside Mullingar quickly became a popular crowd favorit after its release. The played ended its limited engagement March 16, 2014.
- Mothers and Sons
Another family-themed play became popular on Broadway in 2014, but it was not regarded as the traditional take on family. Mothers and Sons confronts the topic of homosexuality, including marriage and children, a contested topic for many. Starring Tyne Daly, who has been on Broadway since 1963, the whole cast of this play gave top performances. This play was of interest to theater-goers who sought a performance relevant to contemporary changing societal discussions about what it means to be a family. The play closed on June 22, 2014.
- The Realistic Joneses
Marking his Broadway debut, Pulitzer Prize winning author Will Eno created a fresh play with only a 4-person cast, including well-known actors like Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei, Michael C. Hall, and Tracey Letts. Combining comedy and drama, The Realistic Joneses enjoyed great popularity stemming from its witty dialogue and humor, which just happened to be acted out by some of the industry’s most talented players. It's Broadway run ended on July 6, 2014.
Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall created a spectacle with their adaptation of the age-old Broadway musical Cabaret. Michelle Williams played the lead, with Emma Stone taking over the role for a limited time, and ended with Sienna Miller closing out the shows run. Cabaret follows the story of Sally Bowles, a singer who lives a bohemian lifestyle in pre-World War II Germany. The setting and costume design alone transports viewers into the past. With adored musical numbers like “Maybe This Time” and “Mein Herr,” this 2014 revival gave an authentic Broadway experience by way of a classic musical story. This fourth Broadway revival closed on March 29, 2015.