Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 at the Theater

Broadway Shows That Opened in 2013
 If 2012 was the year of Chekhov, then 2013 was definitely the year of Shakespeare. There were so many Shakespearean productions on the NYC stage, I lost track after Macbeth opened on Broadway for the second time. 

Putting Shakespeare aside though, I had many wonderful moments at the theater in 2013.  On Broadway, it was an absolute pleasure to see Cicely Tyson in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful. I don't know if this is it for the octogenarian actress, but if so, I am deeply satisfied after her touching performance. The clever Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike made me laugh when I needed to laugh, and After Midnight was absolutely swinging. 

If my schedule...(moreso) if my budget allows, I look forward to seeing Twelfth Night, The Glass Menagerie and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Marriage soon. After these productions hit multiple 2013 top 10 lists, I would be remiss not to experience them.    

Off/Off Off Broadway - Keeping It Real
While I love Broadway, I must admit though that Off/Off Off Broadway is where you want to go though if you are looking to keep it real. There was Bethany about a woman dangling over a financial precipice. Since the Fall of 2008, many people can relate. There was I Know What Boys Want about a compromising video that goes viral in today's information age. Remember Atlantic Theater's Good Television about the exploitation of a meth addict by television executives producing a reality TV program, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin about white collar crime and Charles Fuller's One Night about American soldiers returning home with no resources and PTSD and the victimization of women in the US military. These Off Broadway productions were not perfect but they were so timely and oh so relevant.   

The Laramie Project Cycle
The Laramie Project Cycle returned to the NYC stage this year...the same year gay bashings were on the rise in the city. Ironically, a few months later, a journalist would publish a book challenging that homophobia was not the cause for Matthew Shepard's brutal murder. I suspect many will disagree... 

Immersive Theater
Now, I am an absolute fan of immersive theater experiences. Some of my top experiences in 2013 included disco musical Here Lies Love about Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and the riveting Roadkill about sex and human trafficking  All I can say is... theater producers and directors, break down those damn walls...I am loving it! 

Special Mentions
My special mentions go out to a few productions that lingered with me weeks after seeing them - Jessica's Hecht's graceful performance in The Assembled Parties, the touching The Drawer Boy and These Halcyon Days, the inspirational Who's Your Daddy, the subtle Core Values, the moving Choir Boy and finally 1935 play Cornelius about a man trying to save his business from bankruptcy. 

Ode to the Productions I Missed
Of course I am not able to see everything that I wanted to see on the NYC stage (but boy do I try). So, at this time, I would like to say an ode to the productions I missed:  CSC's Passion, 2nd Stage's The Last Five Years, NYTW's Belleville, LCT's A Kid Like Jake, and ERS' Arguendo

What can I say...maybe next time...

Other Posts: 
2012: Another Year at the Theater

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