Playbill Poll: From Kinky Boots to Cinderella, Readers Pick Their Favorite Broadway Experiences of 2013

By Jared Clough
December 29, 2013

With the curtain falling on another year, staff members have been reflecting on their favorite theatregoing experiences of 2013, which caused us to wonder: What did our readers enjoy most about the 2013 Broadway season? polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter to see what their favorite theatregoing experiences of 2013 were. Read our picks for the best theatre experiences of 2013. 

Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Big Fish

Shelby Homiston:  Big Fish on Broadway.  Hands down the most amazing production I have ever seen.  Ever.

Stewart Jay Frimer:  I agree with Shelby... I loved Big Fish... the most moving show I've seen in years... Butz is the best.

Lyndsay Wilshaw:  Big Fish.  Beautiful score with beautiful people.  Seeing it one more time before it closes.

Based on the 2003 film of the same title, Big Fish opened on Broadway in April.  Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, the cast includes Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggart. The musical ends its Broadway run Dec. 29.

Laura Osnes
Photo by Carol Rosegg


Jessica Ariel Cieply:  Cinderella the Musical was incredible. It was a stunning show and "Impossible" had me in tears and I barely cry at things in musicals, movies or books. The whole show was rewritten in such a beautiful way and the sets, costumes, lights and especially quick changes were awesome.

Elaine Kline:  Cinderella the Musical!!! I was in a production several years ago and loved it. When I heard it was coming to Broadway, I knew I had to see it! Well, I asked and waited for almost a year, and finally got to go earlier this month! I knew they'd rewritten the book, and it was amazing. The characters had so much depth, they no longer seemed like your "two-dimensional" story characters. Laura and Santino really shed new light onto these classic characters. The new characters were amazing and rich as well.

Sharon Lyons Wardlow:  Cinderella!! Have always been a kid at heart and LOVED the show. Laura and Santino roles fit them like gloves. So many moving and funny parts to the favorite part though is the music, those incredible songs, Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful and Ten Minutes Ago being my absolute favorite numbers. I want to see this show again!!!

Madeline Florence Barrows:  This year, I was so honored to have been selected by William Ivey Long to attend Cinderella the Musical's opening night performance by winning the Pin It To Win It contest. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. From being in a production of it when I was little to seeing it come to life on stage was truly amazing. Laura Osnes and the amazingly talented cast, crew and creative team did such an incredible job and the show was absolutely fantastic. That is one night that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I can not thank them enough for allowing me to have this incredible opportunity! 

Colleen Mcfarland:  Cinderella the Musical - it was the only show I saw on Broadway this year!

The classic Rodgers and Hammersetin love story was revived with a new book in March 2013, starring Tony Award nominees Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana.  With many "Impossible" costume changes throughout the show, this revival at the Broadway Theatre took home the Tony Award for Best Costumes.

Krysta Rodriguez
Photo by Joan Marcus

First Date

Kim Elizabeth: First Date The Musical! I went in with no expectations and Zachary Levi completely blew me away. Flawless voice, excellent comedic timing, and wonderful chemistry with Krysta Rodriguez. And he takes time to talk to every person that waits for him at the stagedoor. I've seen productions that have brought in Hollywood stars to boost ticket sales, but have never seen one with the talent and heart that Zachary Levi brought to Broadway this season. He is a true star!

Tara Leighton:  I can't decide between Newsies, Kinky Boots and First Date.  All three were fantastic!!!!!!!!

Gabby Glanville:  Spider Man Turn Off the Dark and First Date.  Getting to the casts and seeing their phenomenal shows was easily the highlight of my year!!

Alanna Perkovich-Smith:   First Date!!!! The show made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions, the cast had amazing chemistry and every cast member took time to appreciate the fans at the stage door. A Broadway experience I will never forget!

An original musical about dating in the big city, First Date opened at Broadway's Longacre Theatre in August.  The musical stars Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez.

Cherry Jones and Celia Keenan-Bolger
Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The Glass Menagerie

Meg Rojahn: Seeing The Glass Menagerie on Broadway was incredible. The cast was fantastic, and the staging changed how I viewed Tennessee Williams' work. And how Laura entered and the stage on water and the lighting of the Unicorn... It was just beautiful. I think it's the best thing I've ever seen.

Barb Barnes: The Glass Menagerie Broadway because I saw it on my birthday. The cast was fantastic and the production is pretty much flawless. It's a brilliant play that everyone should see if they get the chance! You won't regret it!

Gaspar Marino:  The Glass Menagerie.  Fantastic play, production, and acting.  A five star night of excellent theater.  

Douglas Robertson:  The Glass Menagerie & Pippin.  Aside from the excellence in the performance, they both speak to deep seated issues of the human condition.

Tennessee Williams' classic play was revived at Broadway's Booth Theatre in September featuring Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Zachary Quinto and Brian J. Smith.

Billy Porter and Stark Sands
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots

James Yoakley:  My favorite theatrical experience was taking my mom to New York to see Kinky Boots for Christmas.  Sharing an amazing show with my wonderful mom was a blast.

Sheila McNulty Bobholz:  I had the time of my life at Kinky Boots!  I knew I would have fun & loved what I had heard of the music...but I didn't expect to be touched so very much! I laughed hard, cried hard...and wanted to dance all the way home to Philadelphia! Magical musical theatre goosebumps!!!

Valerie Godowsky:  Waking up at 4AM to get a bus to sit and get standing room tickets for Kinky Boots with my best friend.  The show was absolutely fantastic and meeting the absolutely sweet and kind cast after the show was the cherry on top.

John Fortunato:  Kinky Boots back in August... Enough said.

Jeremy Fillipp:  Kinky Boots.  The message it sends proves that this is a musical everyone should see.  Great songs by Lauper and book by Fierstein and the acting and singing is fantastic.  A must see!

Juliana Adame:  Kinky Boots - such a beautifyl score and fun celebration of life with an electrifying score.

Based on the 2005 film of the same title, Kinky Boots took home numerous 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. With music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, the musical opened in April 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre to rave reviews.

Bertie Carvel
Photo by Joan Marcus


Kimberly Ambruso:  I loved Matilda! The talent of those young children was unbelievable! And the grown-ups too, of course!

Charlie Jones:  Matilda! While the orchestra wasn't huge, it used very little virtual instruments and relied on brass instead of strings!

Tyler Hayes:  Matilda!  Pure brilliance from start to finish.  The best musical I have seen in a while.

Max Fowler:  Matilda The Musical because I felt immersed in the world from the second I walked into the theater!!!

Based on the classic children's novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda opened on Broadway in April 2013 at the Shubert Theatre. Garnering numerous Tony Award nominations, and several wins, it's clear that there is nothing "Revolting" about this production.

Patina Miller
Photo by Joan Marcus


Nathan Clift:  Pippin at the Music Box.  It was a delight for the entire family to see a classic production twisted to fit audiences today.

Emily Rasch:  Pippin! Seeing Patina Miller dazzle us was a treat (And then seeing her take home a Tony was a bigger one!)

Fabiana Marsiglia:  Pippin! It was mind blowing.  Even my father who doesn't understand English loved it.  I'm from Brazil and I actually went back to New York only to watch it again.

Aimee Meals:  PIPPIN!

Lee LaChette:  Pippin... hands down.  It earned the right to be called best musical revival.  It was absolutely entralling! Huge talent!

Alessandra Caruso:  Pippin!!!

Hadley Evans Nash:  Pippin!!! So much Pippin!! The show was amazing and almost the whole cast came out afterwards. They were so kind and hilarious, and OMG IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT EVER AND THE SHOW WAS SO GOOD AND I NOW SING THOSE SONGS EVERYWHERE!

The revival of Stephen Schwartz's classic musical has taken Broadway by storm, winning the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival.  Broadway actress Patina Miller took home her first Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance as the Leading Player in the celebrated production at the Music Box Theatre.