The Best Broadway Plays of the 2000s

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Broadway Plays of the 2000s
Voting Rules
Theatre productions that played on Broadway between 2000 and 2009

What are the best Broadway plays from the 2000s? This list has been ranked by theater lovers to determine the best shows on Broadway that opened in the 2000s, a decade of redefinition for theatrical plays that moved toward commercial success and box office numbers. Though many critics might argue that Broadway shows are dying, the 2000s saw Broadway become more of a tourist attraction, rather than a creative outlet as it once was during the golden era of Broadway. However, there were still many popular, great plays on Broadway in the 2000s, but which were the best?

The 2000s saw Broadway favor corporate sponsorships over sole producers, leading to productions of a grand scale. Musical Broadway dominated the 2000s with shows such as Avenue Q and Spring Awakening, but non-musical Broadway plays including August: Osage County, saw success on and off the stage. The dark comedy opened in 2007 and ran for over 600 performances, winning a host of Tony Awards as well as critical acclaim. 

The decade also saw an emergence of original Broadway plays turning toward film adaptations and the rise or revivals from Broadway's golden era. Like August: Osage County, other plays including Doubt: A Parable were turned into films, starring celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Could film adaptations bring more attention and interest to their Broadway counterparts?  

What are the top plays on Broadway from the 2000s? What are the best non-musical Broadway shows of the 2000s? Cast your votes below for the best Broadway plays that opened in the 2000s.
Most divisive: Driving Miss Daisy
Ranked by
  • War Horse
    Adrian Sutton, Nick Stafford, John Tams
    40 votes
    • Characters: Captain James Nicholls, Albert Narracott, Ted Narracott, Major Jamie Stewart, Sergeant Sam Perkins
    War Horse is a play based on the book of the same name by children's writer Michael Morpurgo, adapted for stage by Nick Stafford. Originally Morpurgo thought "they must be mad" to try to make a play from his best-selling 1982 novel; nonetheless, the play was a success. The play's West End and Broadway productions are directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris; it features life-size horse puppets by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, with "horse choreography" by Toby Sedgwick.
  • The 39 Steps
    Patrick Barlow
    24 votes
    • Characters: Richard Hannay, Pamela, Margaret - Crofter's Wife, Annabella
    The 39 Steps is a parody adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.The play's concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film's serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.
  • August: Osage County
    Tracy Letts , David Singer
    38 votes
    • Characters: Violet Weston, Charles Aiken, Barbara Weston, Johnna Monevata, Steve Heidebrecht
    August: Osage County is a comedy-drama play by Tracy Letts. It was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on June 28, 2007, and closed on August 26, 2007. It had its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theater on December 4, 2007, and the production transferred to the Music Box Theatre on April 29, 2008. The Broadway show closed on June 28, 2009, after 648 performances and 18 previews.The show made its UK Debut at London's National Theatre in November 2008. A US national tour began on July 24, 2009, with its first performance at Denver's Buell Theatre. In 2013, it was adapted and brought to stage by Taiwanese Greenray Theatre. The story and characters remained unchanged, except the plot took place in a Taiwanese family.
  • The History Boys
    Alan Bennett, Richard Sisson
    19 votes
    • Characters: Akhtar, Irwin, Mrs. Lintott, The Headmaster, Hector
    The History Boys is a play by British playwright Alan Bennett. The play premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London on 18 May 2004. Its Broadway debut was on 23 April 2006 at the Broadhurst Theatre where 185 performances were staged before it closed on 1 October 2006. The play won multiple awards, including the 2005 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the 2006 Tony Award for Best Play.
  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    Terry Johnson
    34 votes
  • Twelve Angry Men

    Twelve Angry Men

    Reginald Rose
    33 votes
    • Characters: Juror #8, Juror #11, Juror #5, Guard, Judge
    Twelve Angry Men is a play by Reginald Rose adapted from his 1954 teleplay of the same title for the CBS Studio One anthology television series. Staged in a 1964 London production, the Broadway debut came 50 years after CBS aired the play, on October 28, 2004, by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre, where it ran for 328 performances.