Tapeworthy

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Stageworthy: The Best of Stage 2012

159 shows in 2012! My new record (beating 2011 by 1)! In Toronto, New York, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Sydney, Niagara-On-the-Lake, Stratford, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Montréal.

151 individual shows from those 159 times. Shows I've seen in previous years are ineligible (including 2011 faves Once, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Godspell, and 2007 favorite Traces) and while new versions of some previous favorites (2009's Giant, 2010's Leap of Faith, and a 2011 workshop of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever), with new directors, premiered in 2012 (and thus would be eligible), the new versions were sadly inferior to the original versions I saw.

Anyways, the list of EVERYTHING I saw this past year is at the end of the post, and here are my picks for the year.

Here's the Best of Stage 2012:

1. Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna and Iris and O
Amaluna (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil's Le Grand Chapiteau at The Quays - Montreal, QC - Original Review - and at The Port Lands - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Director of Creation: Fernand Rainville, Directed by Diane Paulus
Iris (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at The Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Director of Creation: Jean François Bouchard, Written and Directed by Philippe Decouflé
O (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio - Las Vegas, NV - Original Review
Directed by Franco Dragone


I had a bit of a Cirque kick this year, seeing 7 different Cirque shows 8 times. And while they were all good, the newest Cirque show, Amaluna, and one of Cirque's earliest Vegas entries O, simply blew me away. Living up to the hype and the already-heightened expectations, both shows raised the bar and then jumped (or tossed or trapezed or flung) way over it. Amaluna had the benefit of Diane Paulus' storytelling framework to unify the female empowering themes, while Franco Dragone's Vegas classic is simply mesmerizing in its haunting and astounding lyrical imagery. Meanwhile, Iris is a beautiful homage to its Hollywood home, with some inventive mix of Cirque's usual tricks rolled into the history of filmmaking.


2. Matthew Bourne's Play Without Words (Dance Play Revival) - New Adventure in association with National Theatre at Sadler's Wells - London, UK - Original Review
Devised by Matthew Bourne based on the Joseph Losey film The Servant, Music by Terry Davies

A dance play sans words that has more to say than many shows. Bourne's clever use of multiple actors playing the same role simultaneously conveys the idea of choreography, multiple emotions and multiple time frames. The revival feels fresh and invigorating, with a haunting jazz score by Terry Davies lead by originating cast member Richard Winsor. The sex and lust that gets cut with vengeance between the classes is played out on a beautiful stage set by Lez Brotherston.


3. Death of a Salesman (Play Revival) - Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - *Biased Review*
Written by Arthur Miller, Directed by Mike Nichols

On the original Joe Mielzner set, with the original score by Alex North, Mike Nichols and a superb cast took us back in time to experience Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Andrew Garfield, in an amazing Broadway debut, went toe to toe with a broken down Willy Loman inhabited by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Newcomer Finn Wittrock more than holds his own as Happy, while Linda Emond is rapturous as the lady of the house trying to keep things together. The entire cast, down to the smallest roles, are filled with extraordinary performances that layer the dream play with the haunting haze Miller created.


4. Posh (Play) - The Royal Court Theatre at The Duke of York's Theatre - West End - London, UK
Written by Laura Wade, Directed by Lyndsey Turner

Bad British boys behaving badly, and never has it been more fun and thrilling, or more damaging, to the unlucky owners of a local restaurant. Wade's play has a grand time both laughing with and laughing at these posh Oxford school boys on their annual night of debauchery, as they exude their upper class status while throwing money in the face of the local working class. Turner maintains a zippy freshness in the age old war of the classes, the secrets and clubs we keep, and what we think money can buy. The play also finally justifies the existence of LMFAO's song "Sexy and I Know It" (in a hilarious a cappella version used in the show).


5. Hairspray (Musical Revival) - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA (Greater Washington D.C.) - Original Review
Music by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, Book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Based on the 1988 film Hairspray by John Waters, Directed by Eric Schaeffer, Choreographed by Karma Camp and Brianne Camp

An exuberant and bouncy revival of the sweet musical that pushes the emotional heart of the show in this big show at the very small Signature Theatre. The original was never my favorite, but Schaeffer has directed such a joyous and moving musical, with a stupendous lead in Carolyn Cole, that I've had to rethink the entire show itself. With a fabulous cast with many of Signature's regular roster, and a beautiful set by Daniel Conway, the show defines Big Blonde and Beautiful!


6. The Golden Dragon (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON
Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig, Translated by David Tushingham, Directed by Ross Manson

A cast of 5 (and a terrific cast at that) portrays multiple characters in a tale around The Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant, with storylines threading in and out as actors switch roles that defy their race or gender. Schimmerlpfennig feels like a new and modern story of a traditional folktale, with humour, drama, horror all mixed in just the right amount for a perfectly blended taste. Manson, setting the show in the round, has stirred up a delicious theatrical meal that is both hearty and flavourful.


7. Iceland (Play) - Summerworks at Lower Ossington Theatre - Toronto, ON
Written by Nicolas Billon, Directed by Ravi Jain

How do three very different individuals in Toronto, each giving us the audience their own monologue, have anything to do with each other, let alone explain the title of this play? Billon's new play (being remounted at Factory Theatre in 2013) cleverly weaves three different personal stories that connects on a more global scale, sometimes to tragic results, sometimes filled with schadenfreude. Of course, it probably depends on who you identify with more, but a brilliant cast and taut direction by Jain keeps this simple production feel otherworldly.


8. Tribes (Play) - Barrow Street Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - Original Review
Written by Nina Raines, Directed by David Cromer

A deaf grown son lives with his hearing family but finally discovers his own world when he meets a girl with early hearing-impairment. There are some fascinating issues unraveling in Nina Raines' play, and while sometime things feel a bit overdone with every family member having overly quirky and pressing attributes, Cromer balances it with clever and tight staging in-the-round in the tiny Barrow Street Theatre, with surtitles and a sound design that gives us an idea of the hearing-impaired world. Russell Harvard is terrific in the lead of this ensemble drama and helps ground the play from its overly manic elements.


9. Dogfight (Musical) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Book by Peter Duchan, Based on the film written by Bob Comfort, Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, Directed by Joe Mantello

When three Marines plan a night of debauchery on the eve of deployment, they devise a nasty game that cruelly humiliates the most "dog" girls they can pick up, it's hard to have any sympathy for the guys. But when the ringleader Eddie (Derek Klena) begins developing actual feelings for his "pick" Rose (a revelatory Lindsay Mendez), deeper emotions and issues evolve. Mantello directs a slick but sweet and heartfelt musical that digs deep into some dark and ugly attitudes, and a lot rides on Klena's believability in his internal struggle and changing attitude, but Klena won me over in a subtle performance that matched Mendez's optimistic but secretly intelligent and strong-willed Rose. Pasek and Paul's music is one of the catchiest and strongest new musical entries in recent years.


10. The Little Years - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Written by John Mighton, Directed by Chris Abraham

When an intelligent girl is born in small-town Ontario in the wrong time, the devastating results, despite the best efforts of a sister-in-law, is not enough to combat a path setforth by the sting of her mother's words and the expectations of a patriarchal world. Abraham's beautiful production in Tarragon's reconfigured space (by Julie Fox), with Kimberly Purtell's smart lighting and Thomas Ryder Payne's composition and sound design adds to Mighton's intelligent and thoughtful play.


11. Cock (Play) - The Duke - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Mike Bartlett, Directed by James MacDonald

Cory Michael Smith, Jason Butler Smith and Amanda Quaid go head to head in full on rounds of cock fighting in a play about... well... one young man's decision to dump his older boyfriend and then ends up falling in love with a woman... only to second guess his decisions. MacDonald's intense setting (in a theatre created to be a cockfight ring) is perfect for the little rounds of wars Bartlett has strung together. While a 3rd act when a 4th interloper interrupts the bouts of battle rounds doesn't quite work, the three main characters quick feet and rapid zingers are just reactions to the internal struggles each one finds themselves in in the war of love and relationships. Bartlett brings up intriguing questions and the cast keeps the ambiguity and subtlety in check in a show brazen with big ... uh... bold... ideas.


12. Gatz (Play) - Elevator Repair Service at Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Text by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Directed by John Collins

Who knew a complete reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic book The Great Gatsby, live on stage, could be such a thrilling ride? The story of Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan comes alive through the odd happenings in a boring office as a bored office worker begins reading the book, when slowly, office workers begin mimicking characters in the book and the dazzling world of Jay Gatsby fills the grey office with a world of wonder, and ultimately a haunting ending. Elevator Repair Service's creative storytelling idea doesn't always work in every passage but ultimately, this is not a bad dream.


13. National Ballet of Canada's Hamlet and The Seagull and Chroma and Song of a Wayfarer
Hamlet (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Choreographed by Kevin O'Day, based on William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Music by John King The Seagull (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Center - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Choreographed and Designed by John Neumeier, After the play by Anton Chekhov, Music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Evelyn Glennie, Pyotr Iliych Tchaikovsky and Alexander Scriabin
Chroma and Song of a Wayfarer (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Center - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Chroma - Choreographed by Wayne McGregor, Music by Joby Talbot and Jack White III
Song of a Wayfarer - Choreographed by Maurice Béjart, Music by Gustav Mahler 

Ballet versions of Checkhov's The Seagull and Shakespeare's Hamlet? Losing the text yet not losing the language, the dance versions of two classic plays seems only to heighten the emotions without losing any of the plot or the point (while, dancing, on point!). The contemporarily modern productions, including Chroma and modern classic Song of a Wayfarer are a perfect showcase for the company and its dancers, which keeps things fresh and bold.


14. Stephen Sondheim revivals of Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George
Sweeney Todd (Musical Revival) - Adelphi Theatre - West End - London, UK - Original Review
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler based on the book by Christopher Bond, Directed by Jonathan Kent
Sunday in the Park with George (Musical Revival) - Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theatre - Chicago, IL
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine, Directed by Gary Griffin

While Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park are often mentioned as favorite Sondheim shows, mine are Into the Woods and Company. However, two new productions prove that they indeed are some of Sondheim's best. Jason Danieley is wonderful contemplative and dashing as George Seurat and George in Gary Griffin's beautiful production manages to finally click with me and all the elements, the sarcasm, the portrayal of life in the art world, and art in life, seemed to be balances with just the right touch.

Over in London, a chilling Sweeney Todd led by Michael Ball in the title role in a production that is dank and dirty and wonderfully funny and satiric without losing any grime or emotional heft. Ball is terrific but the show finally clicks into its mad insanity with Imelda Staunton's Mrs. Lovett. Staunton captures the mad humour, the controlling obsessiveness, the wild heartache with such exuberance and evil glee that her Mrs. Lovett is possible one of the best performances I have ever seen. Period.


15. Cinderella (a RATical retelling) (Musical) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Original Review
Written by Mike Kenny, Original Music by Jason Jestadt, Directed by Allen MacInnis

A delightful twist on the classic tale with the fabulous cast doubling as the narrator rats as well as Cinderella's evil family as Steffi D's charming Cinderella gets to go to the ball and meets her Prince in a wonderfully independent way. Cute songs, a cast that turns in performances worthy of a Shakesperean effort, and a show that doesn't talk down to the its audience, this new RATical retelling is RATically awesome.


16. Singin' in the Rain (Musical Revival) - Palace Theatre - West End - London, UK - Original Review
Music and Lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Field, Based on the MGM Film, Choreographed by Andrew Wright, Directed by Jonathan Church

Let's face it. Seeing people dance in the rain live on stage is just pure fun and the gimmick totally works. It helps that this classic film is so beloved, and with game performances, especially from lead Adam Cooper, and a hilarious Katherine Kingsley as the horrible Lina Lamont. Seeing Daniel Crossley's Cosmo Brown perform "Make 'em Laugh" live is simply astounding and the whole show has an old-school Hollywood joy that recent stage efforts have had a hard time duplicating.


17. One Man, Two Guvnors (Play) - Music Box Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Original Review
Written by Richard Bean, Based on the play The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, Music by Grant Olding, Directed by Nicholas Hytner

What a silly silly show. With little depth and barely a story this should be completely forgettable. Yet it's totally the point and James Corden and a zany cast go all out in milking the laughs, while a skiffle band The Craze play wonderful songs in between scenes. It's all quite the mishmash resulting in one of the most fun times at the theatre in a long long time with too many laugh-out-loud moments to count.


18. Proud (Play) - Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs - Toronto, ON
Written by Michael Healey, Directed by Miles Potter

The controversial comedy about Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is less controversial and far funnier than the controversy would lead you to believe. In a make-believe world (or is it?), Michael Healey's Stephen Harper is a numbers nerd whose policies are explained less as an evil megalomaniac (as I believe) and more because he's a nerd. In comes a new MP from Quebec who wins on a surprise landslide (pretend if those NDP winners in Quebec were actually from the Cons) and things start to shake Harper's government. Maev Beaty is hysterical as the naive new MP, while the play is clever in twisting the realities and our perceptions of our politicians and having some fun with it all.


19. The Whale (Play) - Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Samuel D. Hunter, Directed by Davis McCallum

The whale metaphor doesn't quite pay off at the end, but up until then, Davis McCallum's swealtering production is a fascinating portrait into the life of a very large man, his caretaker, his estranged daughter and a Mormon on his mission. Shuler Hensley gives a devastating performance, with Cory Michael Smith, Tasha Lawrence and Rebecca Henderson wonderfully aiding alongside. A wonderfully suffocating set by Mimi Lien, and some tricky lighting design by Jane Cox enhance the themes  in Hunter's interesting new play.


20. Without You (Musical) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON
Written by Anthony Rapp, Directed by Steve Maler

Anthony Rapp's beautiful deeply personal musical memoir of his experience with Rent and his relationship with his mother. It might be the Renthead in me, or my on-going crush on Rapp that began during those Rent days, but this wonderfully intimate solo show (Rapp is back up with a band) feels so personal that it feels like it's on a different plane.


Most Promising Shows: 

Come From Away (Musical) - An excerpt shown at the Canadian Music Theatre Project - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON
A new Canadian musical from the creators of My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding about 9/11. Yes. 9/11. And it was one of the most thrilling, moving experiences I had in the theatre and this was all solely based on a staged reading performed by Sheridan College Theatre students. A full staging will be performed by Theatre Sheridan in Feb. 2013.

Kinky Boots (Musical) - Bank of America Theater - Chicago, IL
A musical adaptation based on the little British film of the same name, it's far from perfect and still in need of some major cuts and editing (particularly the first three songs), but when Cyndi Lauper stops trying to write musical theatre songs and writes songs in her own style, the musical, with a funny book from Harvey Fierstein, hits its stride and becomes a joyous show that has the potential to become a new classic. Despite the flaws, I ran back to see it again and loved it despite everything, and hopefully the creative team will recognize the problems before it moves to Broadway in Mar. 2013,

Through the Gates (Musical) - Musical Works in Concert at Summerworks at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON
A beautifully luscious score from Scott Christian is promising for this exotic tale based on the story of Buddha's youth. While the book needs to lighten up and restructure itself, the bones to the story and the wonderful music give hope to a something enlightening and special.



Breakthrough Performances (in alphabetical order):

The Mechanicals in A Midsummer Night's Dream: John Cleland, Mark Crawford, Richard Lee, Pierre Simpson

The cast of Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking: Natalie Charlé Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern, Marcus Stevens

The cast of Iceland: Claire Calnan, Christine Horne, Kawa Ada

The cast of Ignorance: Nicolas di Gaetano, Viktor Lukawski, Trevor Leigh

The cast of Posh: Max Bennett, Leo Bill, Pip Carter, Jolyon Coy, Richard Goulding, Edward Killingback, Harry Lister Smith, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Charlotte Lucas, Joshua Maguire, Tom Mison, Jessica Ransom, Steffan Rhodri, Simon Shepherd

The cast of Potted Potter: Daniel Claskson and Jefferson Turner

Nick Blood in Backbeat
Charlie Brady in Xanadu
Tom Chambers in Top Hat
Oliver Chris in One Man, Two Guvnors
David Christo in Ajax (por nobody)
Carolyn Cole in Hairspray
Liza Colón-Zayas in Water by the Spoonful
Carmen Cusack in Sunday in the Park with George
Tom Edden in One Man, Two Guvnors
Annie Funke in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Gil Garratt in The Game of Love and Chance and A Midsummer Night's Dream
Natasha Greenblatt in The Never Ending Story
Zabryna Guevara in Water by the Spoonful
Russell Harvard in Tribes
Melody A. Johnson in Miss Caledonia
Katherine Kingsley in Singin' in the Rain
Derek Klena in Dogfight
Billy Magnussen in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Ava Jane Markus in Terminus
Rob McClure in Chaplin the Musical
Jessica Moss in Was Spring
Alfredo Narciso in Red Dog Howls
Daniel Pagett in Help Yourself
Dawn Petten in Tear the Curtain!
Johnny Rabe in A Christmas Story: The Musical
Da'Vine Joy Randolph in Ghost
Lara Jacobs Rigolo in Amaluna
Amy Rosoff in Assistance
Sarah Sherman in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pamela Sinha in The Little Years
Summer Strallen in Top Hat
Carly Street in Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare
Raviv Ullman in Russian Transport
Tim Walker in Help Yourself
Adrienne Warren in Bring It On
Erin Weaver in Xanadu
Adam Wilson in Terminus


Great Performances (in alphabetical order):

The cast of Cinderella (a RATical retelling): Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Matt Brown, Dmitry Chepovetsky, DeAnn deGruijter, Élodie Gilette, Amy Lee, Richard Lee

The cast of Death of a Salesman: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Andrew Garfield, Linda Emond, Finn Whitrock, Bill Camp, Molly Price, John Glover, Fran Kranz, Remy Auberjonois, Glenn Fleshler, Stephanie Janssen, Kathleen McNenny, Elizabeth Morton.

The cast of The Golden Dragon: David Fox, Lili Francks, Tony Nappo, Anusree Roy, David Yee.

The cast of I Love You Because: Jeff Madden, Elena Juatco, Jay Davis, Gabi Epstein.

The cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jim Norton, Chita Rivera, Andy Karl, Jessica Mueller, Betsy Wolfe, Nicholas Barasch, Peter Benson, Robert Creighton, Alison Cimmet, Kyle Coffman, Nick Corley, Janine DiVita, Jenifer Foote, Justin Greer, Shannon Lewis, Kiira Schmidt, Spencer Plachy, Eric Sciotto, Jim Walton.

The cast of Torch Song Trilogy: David Badella, Sara Kestleman, Joe McFadden, Tom Rhys Harries, Perry Millward.

The cast of Working: Marie-France Arcilla, Joe Cassidy, Donna Lynne Champlin, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Nehal Joshi, Kenita Miller

Guillaume Côté, Magee Maddox and the National Ballet of Canada Company in Hamlet, Chroma, Song of a Wayfarer and The Seagull.

Annaleigh Ashford in Dogfight and Kinky Boots
Kate Baldwin in The Music Man and Giant
Maev Beaty in Proud
Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher
Justin Bott in Blood Ties
Philip Boykin in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jason Butler Harner in Cock
Kathleen Chalfant in Red Dog Howls
Adam Cooper in Singin' in the Rain
James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors
Jason Danieley in Sunday in the Park with George
Danny Devito in The Sunshine Boys
Erin Dilly in A Christmas Story: The Musical
Arlene Duncan in Caroline, Or Change
Jonathan Goad in Speaking in Tongues
Ari Graynor in The Performers
Jake Gyllenhaal in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Michael Healey in Clybourne Park and Proud
Shuler Hensley in The Whale
Megan Hilty in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Bethany Jillard in The Little Years
Rebecca Naomi Jones in Murder Ballad
Spencer Kayden in Don't Dress for Dinner
Celia Kenan-Bolger in Peter and the Starcatcher and Merrily We Roll Along
Diane Lane in Sweet Bird of Youth
Tracy Letts in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Audra MacDonald in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Tatiana Maslany in Other People
Yanna McIntosh in Speaking in Tongues
Sheila McCarthy in The Arsonists
Lin-Manuel Miranda in Merrily We Roll Along
Lindsay Mendez in Dogfight
Lauren Molina in Marry Me a Little
Eric Morin in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Donna Murphy in Into the Woods
Cynthia Nixon in Wit
Nova Y Payton in Hairspray
Darren Pettie in Detroit
Irene Poole in The Little Years
Billy Porter in Kinky Boots
Anthony Rapp in Without You
Richard Roxburgh in Uncle Vanya
Stark Sands in Kinky Boots
Scott Shepherd in Gatz
Christopher Sieber in La Cage Aux Folles
Imelda Staunton in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sarah Stiles in Into the Woods
Katie Thompson in Giant
Richard Winsor in Play Without Words
Shawn Wright in The Arsonists


Here is every Stage Show I saw in 2012 in alphabetical order. All reviews are based on a 5 stars system (Workshop Labs, Readings, Concerts and Cabarets are not graded):

Absent Friends (Play Revival) - Harold Pinter Theatre - West End, London, UK - **1/2

A Christmas Carol (Play Revival) - Soulpepper in the Baillie Theatre at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - **1/2

A Christmas Story (Musical) - Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Ajax (por nobody) (Play Revival) - Summerworks at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - ****

Alice in Wonderland (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Alligator Pie (Musical) - Soulpepper in the Michael Young Theatre at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ***

Amaluna (Circus) x2 - Cirque du Soleil's Le Grand Chapiteau at The Quays - Montreal, QC - Review ****1/2 - and at The Port Lands - Toronto, ON - Review *****

A Man and Some Women (Play Revival) - Shaw Festival's Court House Theatre - Niagara-On-the-Lake, ON - **1/2

American Beauty Live (Reading) - tiff at Ryerson Theatre - Toronto, ON

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Play Revival) - Canadian Stage at Shakespeare in High Park - Toronto, ON - Review ****

The Arsonists - Canadian Stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Assistance (Play) - Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Backbeat (Musical) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Gore Vidal's The Best Man (Play Revival) - Schoenfeld Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ***

Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare (Musical) - Theatre20 at the Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ***1/2

Blood Ties (Musical Workshop Lab) - Summerworks at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON

The Blue Dragon (Play) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

Bring It On (Musical) x2 - Ed Mirvish Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Camp Schecky (Play) - Fringe Toronto on a Bus - Toronto, ON - ***

The Canadian Music Theatre Project (Musical Workshop Lab) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - Includes excerpts from Central Park Tango (Musical) and Come From Away (Musical)

Caroline, or Change (Musical) - Acting Upstage at the Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Chaplin the Musical (Musical) - Barrymore Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - Review ***

Chroma and Song of a Wayfarer and Elite Syncopations (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Cinderella (A RATical Retelling) (Musical) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

Closer Than Ever (Musical Revival) - York Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Clybourne Park (Play) - Studio 180 and Canadian Stage Company at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

Clybourne Park (Play) - Walter Kerr Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Cock (Play) - The Duke - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

The Columnist (Play) - Manhattan Theater Club at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review **1/2

The Common Pursuit (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - New York City, NY - **1/2

Constellations (Play) - Royal Court Theatre at The Duke of York's Theatre - West End - London, UK - ***1/2

Cruel and Tender (Play) - Canadian Stage Company at Bluma Appel Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - Review **1/2

Death of a Salesman (Play Revival) - Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2 *Biased Review*

Detroit (Play) - Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Dogfight (Musical) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Don't Dress For Dinner (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theater Company at the American Airlines Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

End of the Rainbow (Play) - Belasco Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review *1/2

Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking (Musical) - 47th Street Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

The Game of Love and Chance (Play Revival) - Canadian Stage Company at Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre - Toronto, ON - Review ***

Gatz (Play) - Elevator Repair Service at Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Gay Nerds (Play) - Fringe Toronto at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Musical Revival) - Encores! at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ****

Giant (Musical) - Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Ghost (Musical) x2 - Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Godspell (Musical Revival) - Circle in the Square Theatre – Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Golden Child (Play Revival) - Signature Theatre in The Griffin at The Pershing Square Signature Center - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

The Golden Dragon (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****1/2

Grace (Play) - Cort Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Hairspray (Musical Revival) - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA (Greater Washington D.C.) - Review ****1/2

Hamlet (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

Harvey (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54 - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Hay Fever (Play Revival) - Noel Coward Theatre - West End - London, UK - ***1/2

Help Yourself (Play) - Fringe Toronto at George Ignatieff - Toronto, ON - ****

Hiding Words (for you) (Play) - Enwave Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

How I Learned to Drive (Play Revival) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Musical Revival) x3 - Al Hirschfeld Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2 *Biased Review*

How To Train Your Dragon Live (Play) - Rogers Centre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Hypnogogic Logic (Play) - Next Stage at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

Iceland (Play) - Summerworks at Lower Ossington Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****1/2

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (Play) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Ignorance (Play) - Canadian Stage at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

I Love You Because (Musical) - Angelwalk Theatre at the Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Into the Woods (Musical Revival) x2 - The Public Theatre at the Delacorte Theatre - Central Park - New York City, NY - ***1/2

I on the Sky (Play) - DynamO Théâtre at Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ***1/2

Iris (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at The Dolby Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - ****1/2

The Judy Monologues (Play) - Fringe Toronto at Annex Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

 (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at MGM Grand - Las Vegas, NV - Review ****

Kinky Boots (Musical) x2 - Bank of America Theater - Chicago, IL - ***1/2

La Cage Aux Folles (Musical Revival) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Leap of Faith (Musical) - St. James Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ***

Legally Blonde (Musical) - Lyric Theatre - Sydney, AU - ***

The Little Years (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

Long Day's Journey Into Night (Play Revival) - Soulpepper at Bailie Theatre in Young Centre - Toronto, ON - ***

Look Back in Anger (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - New York City, NY - *1/2

The Beatles LOVE (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage - Las Vegas, NV - Review ****

Matilda (Musical) - Cambridge Theatre - West End - London, UK - ***1/2

Marry Me A Little (Musical Revival) - Keen Company at The Clurman Theatre in Theatre Row - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Medicine (Play) - Fringe Toronto at Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse - Toronto, ON - ***

Merrily We Roll Along (Musical Revival) - Encores! at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Miss Caledonia (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Murder Ballad (Musical) - Manhattan Theatre Club in the Studio at Stage II in New York City Center - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ***

The Music Man (Musical Revival) - Finchlander Theatre at Arena Stage - Washington, D.C. - Review ****

Mystère (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island - Las Vegas, NV - Review ***1/2

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Musical Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54 - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

The Neverending Story (Play) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ***1/2

Nice Work If You Can Get It (Musical) - Imperial Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review **1/2

Noises Off (Play Revival) - The Old Vic at Novello Theatre - London, UK - Review **1/2

O (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio - Las Vegas, NV - Review *****

Of Mice and Morro and Jasp (Play) - Fringe Toronto at Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Musical Revival) - St. James Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Once (Musical) - Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

One Man, Two Guvnors (Play) - Music Box Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ****

Outside People (Play) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY- ***

Ordinary Days (Musical) - Angelwalk Theatre at the Studio Theatre at the Toronto Centre for the Arts - ***

Other People (Play) - The Tank Theatre at The Young Centre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Pam Ann: Around the World (Play) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Penny Plain (Play) - Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ***

The Performers (Play) - Longacre Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ***

Peter and the Starcatcher (Play) - Brooks Atkinson Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ***

Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular (Musical) - Phantom Theatre at the Venetian Resort - Las Vegas, NV - **1/2

Pippin (Musical Revival) - Menier Chocolate Factory - London, UK - ***

The Pirates of Penzance (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON - Review **1/2

Matthew Bourne's Play Without Words (Dance Play) - New Adventure in association with National Theatre at Sadler's Wells - London, UK - Review *****

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (Musical Revival) - Richard Rodgers Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review **1/2

Posh (Play) - The Royal Court Theatre at The Duke of York's Theatre - West End - London, UK - ****1/2

Potted Potter (Play) x2 - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ***

The Princess of Porn: A Musical (Musical) - Fringe Toronto at Randolph Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

Proud (Play) - Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs - Toronto, ON - ****

Queen for a Day (Musical) - Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts - Richmond Hill, ON - ***

Ragtime (Musical Revival) - Shaw Festival's Festival Theatre - Niagara-On-the-Lake, ON - ***

Rare (Play) - Best of Toronto Fringe at the Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - * 

Raw (Play) - Toronto Fringe at Robert Gill Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Red Dog Howls (Play) - New York Theatre Workshop - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Russian Transport (Play) - The New Group at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

The Seagull (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Center - Toronto, ON - Review  ****1/2

Seminar (Play) - Golden Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **

Sharron Matthews - Christmas Cabaret (Cabaret) - Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts - Richmond Hill, ON

Singin' in the Rain (Musical Revival) - Palace Theatre - West End - London, UK - Review ****

Sister Act (Musical) - Ed Mirvish Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein (Concert) - Toronto Symphony at Roy Thompson Hall - Toronto, ON - 

Speaking in Tongues (Play Revival) - Company Theatre at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Sunday in the Park with George (Musical Revival) - Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theatre - Chicago, IL - ****1/2

The Sunshine Boys (Play Revival) - Savoy Theatre - West End - London, UK - **** *Biased Review*

Sweeney Todd (Musical Revival) - Adelphi Theatre - West End - London, UK - Review ****1/2

Sweet Bird of Youth (Play Revival) - Goodman Theatre - Chicago, IL - ***

The Taming of the Shrew (Play Revival) - Best of Fringe Toronto at the Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - **

Tear the Curtain! (Play) - The Electrics Company Theatre at Canadian Stage's Bluma Appel Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Terminus (Play) - Summerworks at Factory Theatre Mainspace - Toronto, ON - ****

Through the Gates (Musical Workshop Lab) - Musical Works in Concert at Summerworks at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON

tick (Play) - Best of Fringe Toronto Kids - Theatre Direct at Wychwood Barns - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Top Hat (Musical) - Aldwych Theatre - West End - London, UK - ****

Torch Song Trilogy (Play Revival) - Menier Chocolate Factory - London, UK - ***1/2

Traces (Circus) - Union Square Theatre – Off-Broadway - New York City, NY – (Original Review from Toronto ****1/2) - ****1/2

Tribes (Play) - Barrow Street Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ****1/2

Uncle Vanya (Play Revival) - Sydney Theatre Company at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ****

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Play) - Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater - Off-Broadway - NewYork City, NY - ***

Viva Forever - Piccadilly Theatre - West End - London, UK - **

The Wakowski Bros. (Musical) - Fringe Toronto at St. Vlad's Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

War Horse (Play) - The Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Was Spring (Play) - Tarragon Theatre Extra Space - Toronto, ON - Review ***

Water by the Spoonful (Play) - 2econd Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

The Whale (Play) - Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Play Revival) - Booth Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Wit (Play Revival) - Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - Review ****

With Love and A Major Organ (Play) - Fringe Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille Backstage - Toronto, ON - ***

Without You (Musical) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Working (Musical Revival) - Prospect Theater Company at 59E59 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Xanadu (Musical) - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA (Greater Washington D.C.) - Review ****

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Musical) - La Jolla Playhouse at the Mandell Weiss Theatre - La Jolla, CA - ***1/2

You're A Good Man Charlie Brown (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON - Review ***

Zapata! The Musical (Musical) - New York Musical Festival - The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center - New York, NY - Review *

Zarkana (Circus) - Cirque du Soleil at Radio City Music Hall - New York City, NY - Review ***1/2



_________________________________________
Best of 2012 Lists:
Best of Music 2012
Best of Television 2012
Best of Stage 2012
Best of Movies 2011/12


Previous Best-of Lists:

Best of 2011 Lists:
Best of Music 2011
Best of Television 2011
Best of Stage 2011


Best of 2010 Lists:
Best of Music 2010
Best of Television 2010
Best of Stage 2010
Best of Movies 2010


Best of 2009 Lists:
Best of Music 2009
Best of Television 2009
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Movies 2009


Decadeworthy - The Best of 2000-2009 Lists:
SYTYCDworthy (w/ Videos) - List Format
Theatre of the Decade
Best Films of the Decade
Favorite Films of the Decade
Television of the Decade
Television of the Decade - 1 Season Wonders


Best of 2008 Lists:
Best of Music 2008
Best of Television 2008
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Movies 2008
Best of Television Fall '07 - Winter '08 List


Best of 2007 Lists:
Best of Music 2007
Best of Television 2007
Best of Movies 2007
Best of Stage 2007
Best of 2007 (The Final Wrap Up)
Best of Television Fall '06 - Winter '07 List


Best of 2006 Lists:
Best of Music 2006
Best of Television 2006
Best of Movies 2006
Best of 2006
Best of Television Fall '05 - Winter '06 List


Best of 2005 Lists:
Best of Television 2005
Best of Movies 2005


Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

No comments:

International Jock Crocs, Inc. Bare Necessities>