2018 Top Picks!

Here they are: our 2018 Top Picks that portray mental health issues with compassion and accuracy.  The following are endorsed by Julie Ridge, LCSW-R, President and Founder. (last updated: February, 2018)

TOP BROADWAY and Off- Broadway SHOWS of 2018!

  • Still on Top!  “Dear Evan Hansen.” Winner of SIX 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A teenager wrought with social anxiety becomes an unwitting high school hero after the suicide of a classmate. This intimate musical touches on the delicacy of parenting, the all-consuming creature known as the internet, and our desperate need for connection.  Few Broadway shows, least of all musicals, are as psychologically accurate or strike as powerful an emotional chord as “Dear Evan Hansen.” 
  • Addy & Uno,” for children of all ages.  Puppets and people with all manner of disability from AD/HD to autism, to blindness, to hearing impairment.  Sweet songs, talented cast, stigma busting.  Playing off-Broadway on 42nd Street Theater Row.
  • Angels of America” star-studded first class revival revealing the most human sides of HIV/AIDS and its impact on our community.  If possible, catch it before Andrew Garfield wins his Tony Award on June 10th.
  • Last, but absolutely not least on our recommended show list, the completely original new musical “Come From Away.”  When US air space was shut down in the days immediately following 9/11, one tiny town, Gander, Newfoundland, population 9,000, opened their arms to 7,000 stranded travelers. This musical tells the tale of heart-melting generosity and the kindness of strangers – sheer resilience in the face of tragedy and trauma. “Come From Away” is playing at the Schoenfeld Theater.

BEST MOVIES of 2017-2018!

  • My Life as a Zucchini.” Nine year old orphans come together in a group foster home.  A story of love, healing and resilience in this Academy Award nominated clay animation film.
  • The Darkest Hours,” starring Academy Award nominated Gary Oldman.  Winston Churchill suffered debilitating depression throughout his life.  Oldman’s powerful performance soars.
  • Crown Heights,” based on a true story.  Wrongfully convicted and sentenced to decades in prison, this young man battles depression and PTSD en route to redemption.
  • Last Flag Flying,” starring Steve Carrell and Bryan Cranston.  Powerful reminder of the lies wars tell. 
  • Loving Vincent” the story of Vincent Van Gogh.  Nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for best animated picture.  Stunning graphics, rare glimpse into the brilliant but tortured sould of Van Gogh.
  • Heaven is a Traffic Jam,” directed by Frank Stiefel, the story of a marvelous artist, Mindy Alper.  Alper lives artfully with depression and anxiety.  2018 Academy Award nominated for best Documentary short film!

Best Television in 2018:

  • Young Sheldon,” growing up Asperger’s – the prequel to the Big Bang Theory.
  • Law & Order SVU” continues to address mental health conditions reliably and compassionately.
  • This is Us,” now in it’s second season, isn’t just great t.v. – it touches on a myriad of mental health issues including: PTSD, addiction, binging.
  • Rise,” teen angst meets theater in a struggling mid-western town. This gritty, very real and deeply human new series explores a number of mental health concerns including: teen addiction and depression.
  • Elementary,” back and better than before with the return of the challenge medical illness plays on sobriety.

Favorite Book discoveries of the year:

  • To Siri with Love,” a mother’s ode to her child with autism, by Judith Newman.  Newman captures the very human side of the struggle of navigating the world for her son, on an NYC budget.  Punctuated with heart and humor.  A great read.  c. 2017.
  • Marbles, mania, depression, Michelangelo & me,” by Ellen Forney.  In this dazzling graphic novel Forney captures life inside bipolar, the doubts and questions, and the long winding road to balance.  c. 2014. 

Ongoing best website: The Treatment Advocacy Center, founded by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, one of the world’s foremost research psychiatrists, specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His web site provides a plethora of global information and resources on all mental health conditions.