Culture
154 voters

The Best Broadway Plays of the 2000s

843 votes 154 voters 12.7k views34 items

List RulesTheatre 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.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    33
    12

    Proof

    David Auburn
  • 2
    28
    15
    Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Alfred Uhry, based on Uhry's play of the same name. The film stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman,...  more

    More Driving Miss Daisy 

    #77 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#399 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 3
    27
    14

    August: Osage County

    Tracy Letts , David Singer

    CharactersViolet 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...  more
  • 4
    18
    11

    Venus in Fur

    David Ives
  • 5
    17
    11

    November

    David Mamet
    November is a play written by David Mamet which premiered on Broadway in 2008....  more
  • 6
    13
    6

    The History Boys

    Alan Bennett, Richard Sisson

    CharactersAkhtar, 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...  more
  • 7
    16
    11

    Doubt: A Parable

    John Patrick Shanley

    CharactersSister Aloysius, Father Brendan Flynn, Sister James, Mrs. Miller

    Doubt, A Parable is a 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley. Originally staged off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club on November 23, 2004, the production transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on...  more
  • 8
    18
    14

    Twelve Angry Men

    Reginald Rose

    CharactersJuror #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...  more
  • 9
    16
    11

    Race

    David Mamet
    Race is a play by David Mamet that premiered on Broadway in December 2009. Mamet has stated that the intended "theme is race and the lies we tell each other on the subject."...  more
  • 10
    15
    10

    Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

    Christopher Durang
  • 11
    13
    9

    Lombardi

    Eric Simonson
  • 12

    CharactersBilly, Martin, Ross, Stevie

    The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, a one-act play written by Edward Albee, premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on 10 March 2002 where it ran for 309 performances. The European Premiere take...  more
  • 13
    13
    9

    The Pillowman

    Paddy Cunneen , Martin McDonagh

    CharactersTupolski, Ariel, Katurian, Michal

    The Pillowman is a 2003 play by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It received its first public reading in an early version at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 1995. It tells the tale of Katurian, a...  more
  • 14
    12
    9

    Take Me Out

    Richard Greenberg
  • 15
    12
    10

    Copenhagen

    Michael Frayn

    CharactersNiels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg

    Copenhagen is a play by Michael Frayn, based on an event that occurred in Copenhagen in 1941, a meeting between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. It premiered in London in 1998 at the...  more
  • 16
    28
    34

    War Horse

    Adrian Sutton, Nick Stafford

    CharactersCaptain 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...  more
  • 17
    10
    10

    Time Stands Still

    Donald Margulies
  • 18
    7
    6

    Other Desert Cities

    Jon Robin Baitz
  • 19
    8
    8

    Golda's Balcony

    William Gibson
  • 20
    12
    13

    The Graduate

    Terry Johnson
  • 21
    9
    10

    Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

    Terrence McNally
    Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is a two-character play by Terrence McNally that was first performed off-Broadway in 1987....  more
  • 22
    10
    12

    Say Goodnight Gracie

    Rupert Holmes
  • 23
    10
    12

    Democracy

    Michael Frayn
    Democracy is a play by Michael Frayn which premiered in London at the Royal National Theatre on September 9, 2003. Directed by Michael Blakemore, and starring Roger Allam as Willy Brandt and Conleth...  more
  • 24
    8
    10

    God of Carnage

    Yasmina Reza, Gary Yershon

    CharactersMichel Houllié, Annette Reille, Alain Reille, Véronique Houllié

    God of Carnage (originally in French Le Dieu du carnage) is a play by Yasmina Reza. It is about two sets of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park. They agree to meet to...  more
  • 25
    15
    20

    The 39 Steps

    Patrick Barlow

    CharactersRichard 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...  more