See these Broadway plays based on your latest TV bingewatch
With Broadway’s return in full swing, it can be tricky to know what plays to add to your must-see list (spoiler alert: it’s all of them). To help you out, we’ve paired each of this season’s plays with a current TV show that gives the same ~vibe~.
You didn’t even know it but all of your TV bingeing was preparing you to be the perfect audience member. Great job! Find the match (or two) for you below.
Watch black-ish? See Chicken & Biscuits.
In her review for Variety, Ayanna Prescod calls Chicken & Biscuits a “feast of Black joy, love, and laughter.” The longtime sitcom black-ish could be described as exactly that, too. From family drama to the laughing fits that can only happen with family — both Chicken & Biscuits and black-ish feature complicated, hilarious family dynamics at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-the-joke pace. Turn off your syndicated reruns and experience a new show you’re sure to love.
Watch Gossip Girl? See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We know, the easy answer for this pairing would be to say the 24-hour Harry Potter marathon on Freeform. But there’s a clear reason we didn’t do that. Because people who watch 24-hour Harry Potter marathons already know that they want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. And we want to talk to people who aren’t so sure. If you like the reboot of Gossip Girl — a modernized, revitalized, reimagined version of the original — then you’re going to like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — a modernized, reimagined version of the original. Trust us: even if you don’t consider yourself an OG Harry Potter fan, there’s something in this play for everyone (AKA cool magic tricks).
Watch The Handmaid’s Tale? See Is This A Room.
Jesse Green of The New York Times calls Is This A Room “one of the thrillingest thrillers ever to hit Broadway.” Once again: just substitute “Broadway” for “television” and you’re literally describing The Handmaid’s Tale. Is This A Room is a direct recitation of an actual FBI transcript from the interrogation of a woman “named” Reality Winner who leaked a government report. It’s intense, it’s uncomfortable, it’s about a woman’s fight to use her voice under the veil of the government. June Osborne, anyone?
Watch In Treatment? See Trouble in Mind.
While the plots of these two stories don’t totally mirror one another, the foundation does. In the latest season of In Treatment, Uzo Aduba stars as a psychotherapist, and each episode focuses on one session with a patient or set of patients, discussing topics ranging from alcoholism to class issues to formally incarcerated folks reentering society. Trouble in Mind is set on a Broadway stage with “racism, identity, and ego in the world of New York theatre” at the forefront of the piece. Both In Treatment and Trouble in Mind navigate discussions about big, relatable topics — with Black powerhouse actors leading the conversation.
Watch Insecure? See Thoughts of a Colored Man.
One of the things that make Insecure so great is the way that it incorporates different mediums and art styles into the arc and building blocks of the show. Over the course of the show’s run (this upcoming season is the last), the soundtrack has become integral to the way that audiences view and celebrate the characters and their lives. In Thoughts of a Colored Man, it’s not just words that keep the story of Black men in Brooklyn moving. It’s slam poetry and rhythm and spoken word pieces that blend together into one collective. Both Insecure and Thoughts of a Colored Man celebrate the Black experience in personal yet universal ways.
Watch Kevin Can F**k Himself? See Slave Play.
You know that feeling when you think something’s one thing and then it turns out to not be that thing at all? Welcome to Kevin can F**k Himself and Slave Play. Two stories about couples who aren’t happy in their relationships and the untraditional ways they go about fixing their lives (whether that means together as a couple or separately is for you to find out). Kevin Can F**k Himself and Slave Play make you think they’re one thing and then prove you wrong in ways you can’t imagine, challenging their genres and their mediums along the way.
Watch Love Life? See Plaza Suite.
It’s time for a little love in your life. Love Life is a romantic comedy with some bits of reality, Plaza Suite is a romantic comedy with some bits of reality, and both will leave any hopeless romantic with some hope. Simple as that.
Watch Maid? See Lackawanna Blues.
Maid is a limited series based on Stephanie Land’s about poverty through the lens of a young mother who becomes a maid after leaving her abusive husband. It’s raw and real and honest and authentic to one American’s American experience. Lackawanna Blues is also an autobiographical retelling, through the words and wisdom of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Through his one-man show, he depicts his experience in a boarding house a child, and the woman who raised him there. It’s raw and real and honest and authentic to one American’s American experience.
Watch Mare of Easttown? See Dana H.
When you watch Mare of Easttown, it’s sometimes easy to forget that you’re watching a fictional story and that the characters onscreen aren’t actually real. And at the same time, the events that unfold in the show make you think there’s no way stuff like that actually happens in real life. Enter: Dana H. a play centered around an event that feels too terrifying and too dramatic for reality. Expect it’s 100% real — and not one word’s been edited for the stage.
Watch Ordinary Joe? See Birthday Candles.
Ordinary Joe is a new show about the parallel futures that one man could have, based solely on one decision. The drama tackles questions of identity and purpose and love. Birthday Candles approaches these questions in a similar way, as the play follows one character throughout her life, reflecting on her past and planning for her future.
Watch P-Valley? See Clyde’s.
P-Valley focuses on the lives of employees at a strip club in Mississippi. Clyde’s follows the formerly incarcerated staff members at a truck stop sandwich shop. Both stories shine a light on demographics that aren’t typically given the spotlight on television or Broadway: sex workers, and formerly incarcerated folks. Both stories approach these experiences with honesty and grit and humor and authenticity.
Watch Succession? See The Lehman Trilogy.
This one explains itself. Rich men making mistakes. Done and done.
Watch Ted Lasso? See Take Me Out.
It might feel like a copout to put the sports show with the sports play. But, there’s more to it than that. When you start Ted Lasso you think it’s going to be about soccer (or football, whatever England) — but then it’s really not. It’s about mental health and family dynamics and friendship and relationships and then it’s also a little bit about soccer (football). That’s the same with this upcoming revival of Take Me Out. It looks like a baseball play but it’s really more an honest conversation about how homophobia, racism, and masculinity affect players both on and off of the field. There’s more to sports than sports! Who knew?
Watch This Is Us? See To Kill a Mockingbird.
We promise we’re not comparing any of the characters in This Is Us to that of one Atticus Finch. But we are comparing the way that the families in both stories look out for each other and hold each other’s hands as they encounter life’s biggest challenges. Ultimately, both This Is Us and To Kill a Mockingbird leave you feeling hopeful and that’s a good thing to feel right about now.
Watch Billions? See American Buffalo.
Who doesn’t love to scheme? While the financial shenanigans on Billions are considerably risker than that of the American Buffalo plot — the tension, drama, and mystery that surrounds each and every moment is all the same. Coincidentally, the upcoming revival of David Mamet’s junk shop drama stars screen legends Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, and Darren Criss. While you wait for the next season of Billions, this is the Broadway show for you.