09 March 2009

Top Plays of So Long Ago: Six Awesome Plays from 2008

As with my top books of 2008, I'm just gonna throw these up here with minimal commentary, more for record-keeping than because-anyone-including-me-cares-ing. 2008 was not so bountiful with awesome theatre as 2007, but I think I also just saw less. (Let's see... 72 in 2008 vs. 86 in 2007. Hm.) I don't want to be constrained by the fact that we have ten fingers, so here are the plays from 2008 that looking back now I think, Damn that was awesome, or thereabouts.

Top Several Plays, 2008
(in order of seeing)
The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island or, The Friends of Dr. Rushower We call things "innovative" and "challenging" like it's whatever, but this musical at the Vineyard did truly new things (at least to me) with the visual landscape of the show. The musical itself was also really awesome.
Passing Strange Rather disliked this off-Broadway, loved it on-. A testament to the power of dramaturgical collaboration. Okay, and to all the artists involved.
Satyagraha Ohmagoodness. I looked forward to this opera for, like, years, and then it happened, and I saw it, and it was even more than I could have hoped for. From the Best Theatre Artists In the World, Julian Crouch & Phelim McDermott of Improbable,* a production that is more than any adjective could express.
Top Girls Loved this so much. A wonderful, lucid, gorgeous production.
Jollyship the Whiz-Bang I was heavily obsessed with this show for a summer. Probably longer. Sort of like with Satyagraha, the formula (in this case: pirate puppet rock opera full of cute boys) was so promising that it's almost inconceivable how that promise was surpassed. There are rumors of a spring return.
Back Back Back Itamar Moses' play about steroids & baseball was so much more than that, a meditation on admiration and betrayal and hot actors in well-fitted jeans. Wait, what?

Super-awesome but revisitations, so disqualified from the list: Slava's Snow Show, Avenue Q (which, let us not forget, is one of the funniest and best-constructed musicals maybe ever, certainly playing right now).

All the plays, plus a couple of random puppet/circus things:
Amazons and Their Men; The Fall and Rise of the Rising Fallen; The Homecoming; Etiquette; Crimes of the Heart; Grace; Sand; The Evildoers (Yale Rep); Liberty City; The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island or, The Friends of Dr. Rushower; Paradise Park; Deathbed; Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?; Next to Normal; BOOM; U.S. Drag; The Four of Us; Argonautika (McCarter); Dead Man's Cell Phone; Something You Did; Almost an Evening; Passing Strange; Hostage Song; From Up Here; The Drunken City; Satyagraha; Steve & Idi; The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928); Top Girls; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang; Great Small Works' Toy Theater Festival, program 5; Saved; Port Authority; You're Welcome; Hamlet; Jigsaw Nation - Denver; THE MeLTING BRiDgE; Body Awareness; The Honest-to-God True Story of the Atheist; reasons to be pretty; [title of show]; Green Girl (SPF); Do Not Do This Ever Again; Tio Pepe (SPF); Future Me (SPF); Animals Out of Paper; What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends; Good Pictures; Fuerzabruta; Punch; Lady; What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling; King of Shadows; Three Changes; Fifty Words; Blue Man Group; Wig Out!; Equus; Kindness; Clay; Absinthe; The Language of Trees; Blasted; Farragut North; Spin; The Most Damaging Wound; Avenue Q; Girls I've LIKE Liked; Back Back Back; Cape Disappointment; Slava's Snowshow; Becky Shaw.


1 comment:

Isaac said...

Yay "Top Girls"!