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The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s

Updated June 14, 2019 666 votes 113 voters 12.0k views31 items

What are the top Broadway plays of the 1990s? This list has been ranked by theater lovers to determine the best non-musical plays on Broadway running from 1990 to 1999, a decade of rising usage of and influence from cable television and the internet. As entertainment continued to evolve in America, what were the Broadway plays from the 1990s?

Though no longer the golden age of Broadway, the 90s saw a new generation of talent emerge on Broadway that attracted younger fans, mostly students who were offered discounted tickets at many Broadway theaters. Though 90s musicals still reigned supreme on the stage, with shows such as Rent and Aida, a number of non-musical Broadway plays opened in the 1990s.

Lettice and Lovage was a comedic play that opened at the start of the decade, and though it ran for fewer than 300 performances, the play was nominated for several Tonys and won two for acting. Written by Peter Shaffer (also the author of Equus and Amadeus), the show was adapted for an American audience instead of its original English audience.  

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Neil Simon, Lost in Yonkers, was another standout Broadway production when it opened in 1991 and ran for almost 800 performances. A coming-of-age story, Lost in Yonkers depicted a dysfunctional family through the eyes of a 15-year-old. The play won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1991, as well as several Tony acting accolades. 

What are the top non-musical Broadway shows from the 1990s? Cast your votes below to rank the best Broadway plays of the 90s.
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  • 1
    Master Class is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    37
    9

    Master Class

    Terrence McNally , Vincenzo Bellini
    Master Class is a 1995 play by American playwright Terrence McNally, presented as a fictional... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Angels in America: A Gay Fanta is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    35
    14

    Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

    Tony Kushner
  • 3
    Lettice and Lovage is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    23
    11

    Lettice and Lovage

    Peter Shaffer

    CharactersLettice Douffet, Mr. Bardolph, A Surly Man, Lotte Schoen, Miss Framer

    Lettice and Lovage is a comedic and satire play by Peter Shaffer. It is centered around a... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Arcadia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    19
    9

    Arcadia

    Tom Stoppard

    CharactersRichard Noakes, Septimus Hodge, Captain Brice, Lady Croom, Valentine Coverly

    Arcadia is a 1993 play by Tom Stoppard concerning the relationship between past and present,... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Sisters Rosensweig is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    18
    9

    The Sisters Rosensweig

    Wendy Wasserstein
    The Sisters Rosensweig is a play by Wendy Wasserstein. The play focuses on three... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Seven Guitars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    17
    8

    Seven Guitars

    August Wilson

    CharactersFloyd Barton, Louise, Hedley, Canewell, Ruby

    Seven Guitars is a 1995 play by American playwright August Wilson. It focuses on seven... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Freak is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    16
    9

    Freak

    John Leguizamo
  • 8
    Death and the Maiden is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    14
    7

    CharactersPaulina Escobar, Gerardo Escobar, Dr. Roberto Miranda

    Death and the Maiden is a 1990 play by Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman. The world premiere... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Dancing at Lughnasa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    16
    9

    Dancing at Lughnasa

    Brian Friel

    CharactersKate Mundy, Gerry Evans, Christina Mundy, Maggie Mundy, Agnes Mundy

    Dancing at Lughnasa is a 1990 play by dramatist Brian Friel set in Ireland's County Donegal... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Skylight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    15
    9

    Skylight

    David Hare
  • 11
    Laughter on the 23rd Floor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s

    CharactersCarol Wyman, Kenny Franks, Lucas Brickman, Ira Stone, Harry Prince

    Laughter on the 23rd Floor is a play by Neil Simon.
  • 12
    Having Our Say is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    14
    8

    Having Our Say

    Emily Mann
  • 13
    Two Trains Running is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    13
    7

    Two Trains Running

    August Wilson

    CharactersWolf, Holloway, West, Hambone, Memphis

    Two Trains Running is a play by American playwright August Wilson, the seventh in his ten-part... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Six Degrees of Separation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s

    CharactersLouisa ('Ouisa') Kittredge, Paul, Trent Conway, Elizabeth, Kitty

    Six Degrees of Separation is a play written by American playwright John Guare that premiered... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Love! Valour! Compassion! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    12
    10

    CharactersBuzz Hauser, Perry Sellars, James Jeckyll, Bobby Brahms, Gregory Mitchell

    Love! Valour! Compassion! is a play by Terrence McNally. The play opened Off-Broadway in 1994... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Judas Kiss is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    9
    7

    The Judas Kiss

    David Hare
  • 17
    The Piano Lesson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    11
    10

    The Piano Lesson

    August Wilson

    CharactersDoaker, Boy Willie, Lymon, Berniece, Maretha

    The Piano Lesson is a 1990 play by American playwright August Wilson. It is the fourth play in... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    'Art' is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    10
    9

    'Art'

    Yasmina Reza
    'Art' is a French-language play by Yasmina Reza that premiered in 1994 at Comédie des... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    9
    8
    The Grapes of Wrath is a 1988 play adapted by Frank Galati from the classic John Steinbeck... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Conversations With My Father is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    11
    11

    Conversations With My Father

    Herb Gardner
  • 21
    Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    9
    8

    Shadowlands

    William Nicholson

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  • 22
    Indiscretions is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    8
    8

    Indiscretions

    Jean Cocteau
  • 23
    Lost in Yonkers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    10
    12

    Lost in Yonkers

    Neil Simon

    CharactersLouie Kurnitz, Bella, Jay, Eddie, Louie

    Lost in Yonkers is a play by Neil Simon. The play won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
  • 24
    Prelude to a Kiss is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    8
    10

    CharactersPeter

    Prelude to a Kiss is a 1988 play by Craig Lucas. It tells the story of a couple that falls in... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Park Your Car in Harvard Yard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Plays of the '90s
    5
    6

    Park Your Car in Harvard Yard

    Israel Horovitz
Musicals / PlaysArtBroadwaypoll1990s