11 January 2008

Top Howevermany

I went through my list of theatre seen in 2007* looking for a top ten, and although I do have a list, this is not like last year where I had to include a bonus three because there was so much brilliance. I saw some amazing theatre this year, and I saw a lot of theatre (86!), but I did not see a lot of amazing theatre. Quite a bit of quite-good theatre, and a decent bit of really awful stuff, but almost exactly ten wonderful things. Here's what they were, in chronological order:

Famous Puppet Death Scenes (Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Under the Radar Festival 2007 at the Public) Puppet theatre rocks my world. This was macabre and hilarious and I loved it.
Fluke (by Radiohole) Crazy-ass shit, and it was great.
Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen (by Kate Walat, at the Women's Project) I'm not sure if any play has ever left me so high. A bright, high-energy production and a fantastically engaging, moving, wonderful wonderful play.
Journey's End (by R. C. Sherriff, on the broad way) What do I hate? Realism. What do I hate? Plays written between 1750 and, like, 1996. What do I not really want to dwell on? War. Why did I love this play? A gorgeous, honest (and darkly lit!) production, an honest, frightening, understated script, and the best cast you could ask for. I hate realism, except when it's really freaking good.
The Receipt
(by Will Adamsdale and Chris Branch, Brits off Broadway festival) Kinda like puppet theatre, but with people, this was a strange and beautiful two-man show in a tiny theatre at 59E59.
The Prophet Muhammed: a musical (by Tommy Smith and Gabe Kahane, at Williamstown) A fantastic new musical at Williamstown, which will hopefully show up in NYC. Sadly without any help from me, aside from proselytizing here. (I think the title's been changed to Caravan Man, so if you hear about that, or, really, any other musicalization of the life of Muhammed, it's this show.)
Speech & Debate (by Stephen Karam, Roundabout Underground) Okay, maybe this got me as high as Victoria Martin. What is it about high schoolers? Sarah Steele should be everyone's hero.
August: Osage County (by Tracy Letts, on Broadway, from Steppenwolf) What more is there to say? If Tony Kushner won't start a cult for me to join, will Tracy Letts?
The Farnsworth Invention (by Aaron Sorkin, on Broadway, on the same delicious block as August) Smart, funny, interesting, informative, smart, fast, witty, smart, funny, engaging, interesting, fast, awesome.
Pumpgirl (by Abby Spallen, MTC's Stage II) I've never seen a monologue play as dramatic and in-the-moment as this one. Three beautiful performances, a beautiful script, a beautiful set, and I went with my sister, which was awesome.

Runners up: Amazons and Their Men, Frost/Nixon, Opus, Iphigenia 2.0, The Misanthrope, No Dice.

Shows that were awesome but I wasn't seeing them for the first time, so they don't really count: Slava's Snowshow, The Little Dog Laughed, Eurydice.

Broadway plays: 3
Broadway musicals: 0
Musicals in Massachusetts: 1
Plays from British/Irish writers: 3
New plays/musicals (taking "plays" strictly, not including puppetry or crazy performance art): 6
New plays/musicals (taking "plays" to mean "theatre"): 9!
Never enough: Puppet theater. Seriously, one a year is not going to cut it.


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*Slava's Snowshow; Sonia Flew (Steppenwolf); Famous Puppet Death Scenes (Old Trout Puppet Workshop at the Public); 365 Days/365 Plays Week 11 (Ars Nova); Fluke; Translations; A Very Common Procedure; Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen; The Little Dog Laughed; Journey's End; Mary Rose; Honor and the River; Prelude to a Kiss; King Lear; Coast of Utopia: Salvage; Dying City; Spring Awakening; BFF; Stay; volume of smoke; King Hedley II; Essential Self-Defense; Chicken; All the Wrong Reasons; Blackbird; transFigures; Coram Boy; The Sea; Talk Radio; Passing Strange; The Unmentionables (Yale Rep); The Receipt (Brits Off Broadway); Radio Golf; In a Dark Dark House; God's Ear; Greedy; Eurydice; Amazons and Their Men; One Thing I Like To Say Is; Romeo and Juliet (NYSF); Company; Badge; Unfold Me (SPF); Lower Ninth (SPF); My Wandering Boy (SPF); Cipher (SPF); Flesh and the Desert (SPF); Missing Celia Rose (SPF); boom (BTPRep); Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (BTPRep); Torah! Torah! Torah! (BTPRep); 365 Days/365 Plays: July; The Wikipedia Plays; The Prophet Muhammed: A Musical (WTF); Frost/Nixon; Susan Gets Some Play (Fringe); Opus; 100 Saints You Should Know; A Midsummer Night's Dream (NYSF); Till the Break of Dawn; Iphigenia 2.0; The Misanthrope; Blind Mouth Singing; The Wolves in the Walls; Xanadu; Spain; Electra (National Theatre of Greece); Speech and Debate; Happy Sunshine Kung-Fu Flower; A View from 151st Street; Oh, the Humanity; Bad Jazz; Rag and Bone; The Brothers Size; The Overwhelming; Cymbeline; August: Osage County; Doris to Darlene; The Farnsworth Invention; Queens Boulevard; Cyrano de Bergerac; The Glorious Ones; Pumpgirl; No Dice; Peter and Jerry; Yellowface

1 comment:

Isaac said...

Wow. I see our drunken trip to Duane Reade did not make the list. :(

But yay for JOURNEY'S END! May it live forever in our hearts and memories.

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