This Friday we go on stage, the ultimate stage perhaps, Broadway. January and February are usually considered the “zombie months” on Broadway, says New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley. However, this season is a “surprisingly good one,” he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. Even better, tickets are still available for some of Brantley’s favorite shows this winter. He shares his four top picks.

Ben Brantley’s 4 Broadway Picks

1. Constellations

Jeremy Daniel

A musical started on Broadway, went to Hollywood and finally traveled all over the world. Now it’s coming to San Antonio and I was able to speak to one of its stars.

“My name is Roz Ryan!”

Roz stars in a key role in a production you’ve surely heard of.

“We’re coming with Chicago, the Musical, which is a pretty awesome show that I’ve been in-and-out-of for about 15 years.”

Nathan Cone

Flutist Kay Ragsdale remembers the exact moment she knew she’d be part of the “Lion King” phenomenon. A musician friend had invited her to see the new musical during its tryout run in Minneapolis. It was Saturday, Aug. 30, 1997. That night, the world was talking about the death of Princess Diana in France (where it was already past midnight). And though Ragsdale was not immune to the shock of Diana’s death, her world was changed even more by the show she was witnessing.

Courtesy The Lion King

It’s a Broadway and touring smash hit. Now it’s set for a San Antonio return engagement. I spoke with one of its animal actors.

(To hear the story, hit Listen above)

That haunting call at the start tells you what show this is.

“In 'The ‘Circle of Life,’ the opening number, everyone reports that it’s the most moving 10 minutes on stage.”

Ben Lipitz plays Pumba, that funny Warthog. He says the opening number gives everyone chills.

Neil Patrick Harris' new memoir describes the surprising twists and turns of his life and career, from becoming a child actor to starring in two hit TV shows to winning a Tony. But Harris wrote his memoir, Choose Your Own Autobiography, in an unconventional way: The book is based on the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series in which young readers decide which plot to follow.