My 10 Favorite Broadway Moments in 2023

Every year I do a “look back” on the year and reflect on all the good that happened this year.

And I’ve been doing this for years now (read my favorite moments from 2021, 20202018, 2016, 2015, 2014).

Here are my top 10 favorite moments from this year:

  1. Recoupment: In 2023, 6 Broadway shows announced recoupment! Notable productions include Funny Girl, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, MJ The Musical. The best part though? 50% were musicals and 50% were plays.
  2. Open Membership: Earlier this year, Actors’ Equity Association declared that the union’s open membership initiative, Open Access, will go from a temporary program to permanent policy, allowing even more actors to get their Equity cards.
  3. Redefining Broadway Spaces: Here Lies Love challenged what Broadway shows can do inside a Broadway theater. Scenic Designer David Korins designed the @#$% out of that set and in the process he has redefined what “immersive” can look like – especially on Broadway.

  4. Broadway Debuts: 237 people made their Broadway debuts this year. How cool! Welcome to Broadway! I look forward to meeting (or working) with you all in the future!
  5. Adding Value: As a community, we’ve spent a few months discussing how to add more value to theatergoers and how to engage with audiences beyond just seeing your show. SIX launched a monthly series that includes events and exclusive content drops to their fans.
  6. Changing Performance Schedules: Due to our audience’s post-covid needs and priorities, A Beautiful Noise explored with replacing an evening performance with a matinee – making it now one of two shows on Broadway to run with 50% matinees per week. Once Harmony opened, it also adapted to this performance schedule, and audiences and companies are loving it!
  7. Special Permission From Writers Guild: The Tony Awards were set to broadcast over the summer when the Writer’s Strike happened! Luckily, both teams were able to come together to discuss an opportunity and the Writers Guild gave permission to Broadway to continue their broadcast . . . unscripted. And boy, was that fun to watch!
  8. Highest Grossing Season: In the report the Broadway League published this month, it shared that the 2022-2023 season marked the 3rd highest grossing season in Broadway history!
  9. Tony Awards’ New Home: This year, the Tony Awards went UPTOWN to the stunning United Palace in Washington Heights.
  10. Jewish Stories on Broadway: After nearly 30 years in development, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman brought their incredible musical to Broadway and now they’re sharing the history of The Comedian Harmonists to future generations. As of the writing of this post, I believe there are only 3 Broadway shows that feature Jewish character(s) – Barry and Bruce’s Harmony: A New Musical, A Beautiful Noise (Neil Diamond), and Appropriate (Rachel).

What were some of your favorite moments from 2023? Let me know!

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.