Tapeworthy

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dazed and Confused - Cruel and Tender - Play Review

Cruel and Tender - Canadian Stage Company at Bluma Appel Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Written by Martin Crimp, based on Sophocles'
Trachiniae, Directed by Atom Egoyan.
Runs until Feb. 18th 2012


A bold stark white set looms over the stage, with walls leaning inwardly on two sides resembling an airport control tower, with clean rectangular openings cut out near the top. Looking a bit like a Richard Meier or Gwathmey and Siegel building. The simplicity in the beautifully epic looking set (by Debra Hanson) prepares the audience for the operatic leveled emotions set forth in this modern retelling of a Greek tragedy by Sophocle. The power level sustained in the heavy story, much like the wavering lighting, is sadly uneven despite the best efforts by an impressive cast. Whether the absurdities in the play were heightened by director Egoyan or they were already in Crimp's play itself, the play failed to overcome my own personal dislike for the Greek tragedy play structure (often with long monologues spoken directly to the audience), and it diluted the overall impact of Cruel and Tender.

Jeff Lillico, who I have been touting as one of Toronto's best young talents (Soulpepper's Parfumerie, The Fantasticks), doesn't disappoint as the son of a General who has been away at war. His turn from spoiled son to anger at his mother should have been brought out more in the play to become the heart of the story, instead of a peripheral story around the mother at the centre of it all.

Daniel Kash, the General being spoken of in much of the play, is amazingly terrifying. Despite appearing only in the later half of the play, and never appearing in the same scene with his wife Amelia, Kash's General displays his reign of terror within seconds, pulling together much of the first half into perspective, and easily showing the cruel side of the play.

Arsinée Khanjian's Amelia is the disillusioned, in denial, devoted wife of the General. Amelia waits for her General husband to return but while waiting, slowly discovers the truths of the General's terror in war (all to, ironically, fight terrorism). While being pampered by her staff (a housekeeper Rachel, played by Brenda Robins; a physiotherapist, played by Stratford's Cara Ricketts; and a Beautician, played by Sarah Wilson). Perhaps it was Khanjian's performance, but while I believe we were supposed to feel the most for Amelia, I felt her performance left me cold through most of the play. There didn't seem to be a connection with Khanjian and the audience, despite having all the monologues that spoke directly to us. Then again, I've never really felt that device (with the 3 girls sort of acting as a chorus like entity) works in modern day theatre.

With lots of glasses breaking at the end of scenes, wildly varying lighting schemes, characters singing bad karaoke, and the appearance of Laela (a lovely Abena Malika), one of the General's new lovers he took from the war ravaged land he was in, there needed to be a coherence to put all the varying pieces together. It was absurdity without that underlying point which didn't quite make the whole play work despite interesting moments throughout. The play was never boring, but partly because I was just trying to figure it all out, trying to put all the pieces together. In the end, I didn't quite get it, but it was definitely a fascinating, if quite a mindf#ck of an experience.

The interesting thing about experiencing Cruel and Tender was that I didn't quite know what to make of it after the show, and even now. I could understand those that found it brilliant (and there are definitely fans), and those that hated it (which I didn't quite fall into either).

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Monday, January 23, 2012

Me and My People - Other People - Play Review

Other People - The Tank Theatre at the Young Centre - Toronto, ON - **** (out of 5 stars)
Written by Christopher Shinn, Directed by Aaron Willis


I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable watching "Other People" act awkwardly towards each other. For that, Other People, the play, was a fascinating look at the connections we try to form with other people, and our self destructive nature we seem to inherently have in building the bonds we want. With a terrific cast of young Toronto up-and-coming actors giving outstanding performances, Other People easily becomes a self-investigating look at our own relationships.

Shinn's play works best in its realistic moments of conversation or the awkward moments that come about. Roommates and friends Petra (Tatiana Maslany) and Stephen (Ben Lewis) invite Stephen's ex-boyfriend Mark (Indrit Kasapi) to stay with them as he returns from a bout in rehab. The intelligent Petra hides her job as a stripper from her roommates, and then finds her mind and personality as the object of a man's (Mike McPhaden) fascination. Meanwhile, Stephen says he's still loves Mark, but Mark, who has turned religious, finds himself entangled with a street kid named Tan (Brendan McMurtry-Howlett). Stephen finds Mark's religious epiphany a little perplexing, and returns to meet a bad date named Darren (Richard Lee).

Tatiana Maslany (Dog Sees God) gives an intelligent and thoughtful performance in Petra. She easily draws in the audience, never needing to fully explain her choice to strip for money, and yet still making Petra feel instantly relatable in her inability to move beyond the emotional boundaries she sets herself. McPhaden is instantly likable as the shlubby man, and his connection with Maslany's Petra gives Other People its heart, while Shinn gives Petra probably the best speeches and the best lines, including the explanation for the play's title.

Stephen is the centre of all the relationships axis and Ben Lewis (Dog Sees God, Degrassi: TNG) is a perfect foil as our audiences' entry point. Indrit Kasapi gives a solemn and mysterious performance as newly religious Mark and Lewis's Stephen outwardly vocalizes and reacts in the same manner I would have to such a turn of events.

Kasapi's performance is "weird" because I would find the same types of people's spin in life sort of weird and mysterious, and Kasapi nails down the role. When a completely energetic and confident Tan (a refreshing Brendan McMurtry-Howlett) pops into Mark's life, Mark is slowly drawn out yet afraid, with Kasapi slowly revealing the layers Mark is trying to keep tight.

Shinn's play falters at moments when it sacrifices realism with jolts to move the plot along, but when it settles backs into the conversations between Petra and the man, Stephen and Darren (a funny Richard Lee in a small role), Stephen and Mark, Mark and Tan, and when the roommates all converge in the apartment they live together in, yet not truly understanding each other's lives, does Other People hit its stride.

I left the show not exactly liking it, because it so easily makes you self-reflect into our own disconnections in our life. I liked the play because it's a perfect starting point to a great discussion. Despite some characters being strippers, or multi-millionaires and crack addicts, I found myself easily recognizable in all of these other people on stage, and making similar mistakes. The play isn't fun per se, since it gives the audiences so much to think about, but that's sort of the point, and it's taken me a few days to write this review because I keep trying to wrap my brain around each characters stories. Luckily, despite the sadness the play brings up, the production is clever and witty with some tremendous performances from some of the best young actors to watch out for. These are people to take notice of.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can Do Attitude - Hairspray - Musical Review

Hairspray - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA (Greater Washington D.C.) - ****1/2 (out of 5 stars)
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
Runs until Feb 5th 2012


You really can't stop the beat in your head once you've seen Signature's take on the musical Hairspray. Signature does it again on their tiny stage, filling it with an abundance of energy and sass on a superb looking set. Schaeffer, hot off his Broadway hit Follies, switches gears to a more fun and frothy musical that takes some serious issues of prejudice and overcomes it with positive can-do attitude, supplied in ample size in Carolyn Cole as our protagonist Tracy Turnblad.

Carolyn Cole is a true find as Tracy Turnblad, easily mixing sassy attitude with a lovability factor that is only topped by her comedic timing. Cole is VERY funny in all manners, from her demeanor and tiny laughs, to the sounds she makes as she bounces and twists around the stage, or her zippy line readings that add heart to her character and the story. Cole balances her Tracy just right, making her out-of-the-box-thinking believable while making her a champion of the outsiders without verging onto grating annoyance. It's hard not to smile when Cole's Tracy is on the stage, and when she moves, you can understand why Corny Collins is on her side.

Cole is surrounded by a terrific ensemble, probably the best set of enthusiastic and young dancers I've seen in this company. The choreography is probably the best I've seen come out from Karma Camp (this time co-choreographing with Brianne Camp), as it keeps the story flowing with a non-stop beat that gives the entire show its energy and helps sets the time and place.

The set by Daniel Conway (who also did the gorgeous set from Woolly Mammoth's In the Next Room, the Vibrator Play) , which I believe is a reconfiguration of his beautiful set from Sunset Boulevard, is simple but extremely effective, while leaving ample space for the dancing. The overhead crown of window and shop signs is a nice touch that really fills the room, making the audience feel right in 1962 Baltimore. Kathleen Geldard's costumes are fun and bright, and with sets that have an overall muted blues and pinks, it allows the characters to pop out from the stage.

Robert Aubry Davis makes a loving Mama Edna Turnblad, while Signature stalwart Harry A. Winter is an adorable Papa Wilber Turnblad.

Sherri L. Edelen (wonderfully opposite in Siganture's Walter Cronkite is Dead) is hysterical as the evil racist nemesis Velma Von Tussle, and really milks every look and walk and insult. Edelen takes a perfectly appropriate diva turn, while still emanating a mother's overbearing love for her "perfect" daughter Amber, played with wonderfully snootiness by Erin Driscoll.

Stephen Gregory Smith (so great in Signature's The Boy Detective Fails) is charming as ever as Corny Collins, the host of the dance show Tracy is trying to get onto.

James Hayden Rodriguez as Seaweed, is another great find. Handsome, smooth and charming, he's exactly what is required in Seaweed, and his connection with Lauren Williams' Penny Lou Pingleton is sweet and amusing. Williams herself is adorable and funny as Penny, Tracy's best friend.

Patrick Thomas Cragin is terrific as Link Larkin, the boy both Tracy and Amber like. Cragin has the voice and the moves of a leading man, and ironically, looks a little like a miniature version of Matthew Morrison, who originated Link on Broadway.

Nova Y. Payton rounds out the main cast, and while she doesn't appear until late in Act 1, she certainly makes up for it in every song she sings. With a quiet start, Payton nicely holds back in her diva songs, and in her dialogue delivery, giving the build up into her songs the patience they require. It makes Motormouth Maybell's "I Know Where I've Been" all the more moving.

I absolutely adored this production of Hairpsray, with my face grinning the entire time from cheek to cheek. A great response considering I felt indifferent to the show when I saw the Toronto sit-down of the original Broadway production. When the film version came out, I thought it was a vast improvement over the stage show, but Signature shows that the stage version can work with a terrific cast, a beautiful set, and an added intimacy Signature is known for. While the show inherently still has some tiny moments that don't quite work for me, (I still don't love the song "The Big Dollhouse", though here it's quite an amusing production number, nor the duet "(You're) Timeless to Me" which I never thought quite worked in any version I've seen), overall, its message of positive perseverance, it's buoyant songs and dancing, and a superb Signature production, easily won me over.

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Best of Stage 2011

Another great year on the stage, which includes plays and musicals in theatre, revivals, ballets, opera, cabarets, one-person shows. I saw shows in Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston this year. 148 different shows, 155 different times. Plus 3 theatrically related concerts that aren't with Hugh Jackman.

It was also my first foray into Broadway on a business level, where I have a personal investment in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway. So take my review as what you want, since I've involved myself with the show, but I truly did love it (and went back to see it 4 times (and not free!)).

As always, I consider shows I saw in 2011, whether they opened or not during that year. I however do not consider shows I've already seen in previous years (unless it's a brand new production) and that includes shows: Candide, Black Watch, Spring Awakening, Hair, Billy Elliot, The Lion King, As You Puppet, Chicago, The Importance of Being Earnest, War Horse, Traces as seen in previous lists:
Best of Stage 2010
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Stage 2007

And I had my personal record this year, seeing 158 shows, and with so much good stuff, I had to add an Honourable Mentions at the end of the list, any of them which would have easily made my Top 20 in other years. But alas, these are my Top 20 picks from everything on I saw on stage in 2011!

Here's the Best of Stage 2011:

1. The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Play) - Anspacher Theater at The Public Theater - New York, NY - Review
Written and Performed by Mike Daisey, Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
A man at a desk rants about his love for Apple, and the ups and downs in Steve Jobs career. Sounds like a lecture, and yet Mike Daisey someone transforms his diatribe of the rise and fall and rise again of Apple and Steve Jobs into an thought provoking, emotional theatrical play, that slowly unfolds and explains how the religion of Apple computers came to be. Daisey doesn’t hold back in damning the company that creates products he and all of us love, but the simplicity and beauty in his presentation (including a subtle but stunning lighting design) takes the story of the biggest company on earth Into a human and humane level.


2. Oklahoma! x2 (Musical Revival) - Fichander Theater - Arena Stage at the Mead Center - Washington D.C. - Review
Music by Richard Rogers, Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, Directed by Molly Smith, Choreographed by Parker Esse, Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
What I used to think of as a creaky old corny musical is given a refreshingly young and spirited revival that makes Rogers & Hammerstein's iconic musical feel relevant and new again. With a beautiful young and colour-blind cast full of soaring voices to spare, Molly Smith invigorates Oklahoma! into a gloriously exciting show, and gives Eleasha Gamble, Nicholas Rodriguez, Cody Williams, June Schreiner, and Nehal B. Joshi star-making turns.


3. Once (Musical) – New York Theatre Workshop – Off-Broadway, New York, NY
Music & Lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová, Book by Enda Walsh, Based on the Motion Picture Written & Directed by John Carney, Directed by John Tiffany, Movement by Steven Hoggett
Either you will roll your eyes to sleep, or, like me, this magical little musical will keep melting your heart until you succumb into its romantic haze. With direction and movement from John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett (of my favorite stage play production Black Watch), the musical stage version of the movie takes the simple love story and transcends the cutesy premise with a deepening richness through the magic of a theatrical staging, and Enda Walsh beefs up the stories and side characters and improves upon the film it's based upon. The new additional music from Hansard and Irglová is absolutely beautiful and at every moment a new song started, I felt like something special is revealing under my eyes and ears. I cannot wait to see this again when it moves to Broadway in 2012.


4. Assassins (Musical Revival) - Birdland Theatre & Talk is Free Theatre at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - Review
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Libretto by John Weidman, Directed by Adam Brazier
Toronto musical star Adam Brazier basically assembled some of the best musical actors in the city in his remount of Assassins and created a rich, deeply moody and atmospheric Assassins. Every assassin gets to shine and tell their "moment" in Sondheim's absorbing musical, and Brazier and the amazing cast gives it the depth, the twisted dark humour, and the emotional pathos required to elevate an already great musical into one of the year's best.


5. Sleep No More (Play Revival) - The McKittrick Hotel - Off-Broadway, New York, NY
By Punchdrunk
Macbeth by way of Hitchcock in a 100 room "hotel" that you must walk through to experience. The visuals and set decoration is worth the price of the ticket alone, but as the bellhop states at the beginning, the curious will be rewarded, and if you open your eyes (under the required mask) and seek it out, you will experience Macbeth like you've never experienced before.


6. Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Play) - Richard Rogers Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - Review
Written by Rajiv Joseph, Directed by Moisés Kaufman
The ghost of a tiger, played by Robin Williams no less, haunts and wanders through the Baghdad zoo and the American soldiers who guard the grounds, all while their Iraqi translator is forced to face his own demons. Williams holds back and integrates himself perfectly with the rest of the excellent cast, including Arian Moayed and Brad Fleischer, while Kaufman, using Derek McLane's beautifully simple yet epic feeling set, directs a layered and thought provoking play that is both moving and disturbing. Rajiv Joseph's story is both comical and tragic, while interweaving the lives of an Iraqi translator, the American soldiers and the son of Saddam Hussein, all while questioning life and all its priorities while surrounded by the Iraq war. Strangely profound for a play with a tiger at its centre.


7. His Greatness (Play Revival) - independent Artist Repertory Theatre at Factory Studio Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review
Written by Daniel MacIvor, Directed by Edward Roy
A play about Tennessee Williams' in Canada near the end of his career, his dutiful assistant, and the male escort hired for the premiere of a reworking of one of Williams' later failed plays. Writer Daniel MacIvor joins the cast in an intimate but grand mess of a night within William's life. Greg Gale as the escort, and Richard Donat as Williams, give epic performances that is like a trashy behind the scenes look at a classy subject matter. Or is it a classy behind the scenes look at a trashy subject matter? His Greatness lets you decide, but it's fascinating either way.


8. How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Musical Revival) - Al Hirschfeld Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - *Biased Review*
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser, Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, based on the book by Shepherd Meade, Directed and Choreographed by Rob Ashford
I might be totally biased (see intro above) but I had an absolute blast watching one of my favorite musicals come to life in a delightfully spirited and energetic production (with some amazing choreography from Ashford). The satirical tone is a little too toned down for my taste, and Anderson Cooper muddles the role of the narrator (missing most of the comical beats) but an amazing supporting cast of Ellen Harvey, Rose Hemingway, Christopher J. Hanke, Mary Faber, Michael Park and Rob Bartlett only reinforced the charming and gung-ho Daniel Radcliffe in the leading role. While his voice wasn't belting quality, it was suitable for the young naive go-getter who must use a book to overcome his career standing and to get ahead of the rat race. Radcliffe gives his fullest effort which shines the most in his dancing skills as he easily oozes his awkward charms. John Larroquette seems to be having a blast, and the pairing of Larroquette and Radcliffe is inspired. Ashford didn't quite have the pacing right (but has cut and edited the show down several minutes creating a smoother show) but what the show lacked in finesse, it overcompensated in energy, a little like it's central character!


9. Clybourne Park (Play) - Woolly Mammoth Theatre - Washington, D.C.
Written by Bruce Norris, Directed by Howard Shalwitz
A sort of sequel to Raisin in the Sun, Pulitzer Prize winner Clybourne Park is a clever, and surprisingly hysterical follow-up to Lorraine Hansberry moving classic (pun not initially intended but works, so why not?!). The beauty of Clybourne Park is that we get both the historical telling, that looks at the other side of Raisin in the Sun, at the house being sold to the black family. Act 2 fasts forwards to current times when we can no longer decipher if our prejudices are based on racial factors, economics, or simply architectural preferences which Norris sets up a thought provoking play without losing any entertainment value. Shalwitz and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre cast delivers it with zest and aplomb, in a beautiful set that manages to let the audience reactions become part of the story, further pushing the discussions (and the buttons) the play brings up.


10. Venus in Fur (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY
Written by David Ives, Directed, by Walter Bobby
Is she a silly dumb actress or is she hiding her intelligence? Is she playing the writer/director or is she just his puppet? Who has the power, the female actress or the male writer/director? And is there even more to David Ives' fun and intriguing play about an actress who is late for an audition, but barges in anyways to give an audition of a lifetime? Nina Arianda is everything you have heard about and revives her astounding performance against a worthy opponent in Hugh Dancy. The fun is watching the power balance constantly shifting back and forth, and Arianda and Dancy are superb in this masochistic quest to outsmart each other in this "casting" process. Or is this even a "casting" process? Either way, it's a sexy power struggle that is out of this world.


11. Jesus Christ Superstar x2 (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice, Directed by Des McAnuff
An Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Jesus Christ makes my list? Hell ya! Des McAnuff's thrilling new revival of the rock classic (that I had never loved before) is both deeply moving and richly layered in a strangely subtle interpretation of the very bombastic musical. Having the Stratford Shakespeare company of actors give serious performances, and bringing out the subtle love triangle between Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, somehow gives the show the depth it needs. Stratford's trio of musical stars Paul Nolan, Chilina Kennedy and Josh Young, anchor the show, while vets Brent Carver and Bruce Dow adds some extra luster to the shiny production. McAnuff's interpretation that uses modern sets and Lisa Shriver's pounding choreography and mixing it with a mix of ancient and modern costumes, gives the story it's historical period weight while adding relevancy to the biblical play.


12. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Play Revival) - Shaw Festival's Royal George Theatre - Niagara-On-the-Lake, ON
Written by Tennessee Williams, Directed by Eda Holmes
Gray Powell, Jim Mezon and Moya O'Connell sizzle in Tennessee Williams' classic tale of disappointments and family commitment. The heat seems to seep through Sue Lapage's set, letting O'Connell sweat it out as Powell's Brick and Mezon's Big Daddy battle it out. Thrilling as ever and Powell is heartbreaking.


13. Ghosts (Play Revival) - Soulpepper Theatre at Young Centre’s Baille Theatre
Written by Henrik Ibsen, Adapted and Directed by Morris Panych
Gregory Prest and Nancy Palk, as the son and mother who are entrapped in a life left behind from their late father/husband, give quiet but entrancing performances in Ibsen's classic. Panych's no frills re-telling of Ghosts is crisp and sits within its wonderfully beautiful set letting the ensemble give straightforward performances that doesn't muddle Ibsen's captivating story of familial binds.


14. The Grapes of Wrath (Play Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON
Adapted by Frank Galati, Based on the novel by John Steinbeck, Directed by Antoni Cimolino
A sprawling tale of misfortunes thrust upon a family crossing the land from the midwest to California seems like it would be a difficult tale to put on a static stage, but Cimolino and the large Stratford casts keeps the show moving by being extremely... well..., moving. A superb cast, led by Evan Buliung, Janet Wright, and Tom McCamus, (and includes Paul Nolan, Chilina Kennedy, Josh Young, also starring in Jesus Christ Superstar) reminds us that stories of the poor and downtrodden are timeless and in every time period.


15. The Book of Mormon (Musical) - Eugene O'Neill Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY
Music, Lyrics and Book by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Robert Lopez, Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Two Mormons go to Africa and learn that they are not necessarily the butt of all jokes, but in fact the Black people are. Still, the music from Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) combined with the spitfires of the South Park boys Matt Stone and Trey Parker, have created a spirited and spiritual new musical that is every bit as heartwarming and loving as a the musical classics, only with a lot more swear words. While the satire and the punches don't go quite as far as I had hoped, and the jokes while amusing, aren't necessarily gut-hurting laughs, it's still one of the most fun and hummable new musicals to appear on Broadway, one that has made stars out of the talented but unknown Josh Gad (Back to You), Andrew Rannells (who was wonderful in Jersey Boys tour) and Nikki M. James (who held her own against Christopher Plummer at Stratford a couple years ago).


16. Peggy Pickit Sees The Face of God from Another Africa (Play) - Volcano Theatre presented by Canadian Stage Company at St. Lawrence Centre's Bluma Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review
Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig, Directed by Liesl Tommy
Two couples reunite after one couple returns from years of charity work in Africa, while the other has led the typical suburban North American life, and as the night progresses and the wine flows, hurtful truths, secrets and tragedies spill out. It reminded me of God of Carnage only much better, far deeper, and with a larger emotional punch. With a neat use of live video projection, and a time jumping device that reinforces key plot points after bouts of confusion, Tommy's production blurs the lines between the comical and the devastating turns in these two couples' lives.


17. On A Clear Day You Can See Forever Workshop (Musical Revival) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY
Music by Burton Lane Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, New book by Peter Parnell Based on the original book by Alan Jay Lerner, Reconceived and Directed by Michael Mayer
While the full Broadway production has been much maligned (even though I really loved it as well, despite a hideous set design, and some poor stage directions), I was truly enthralled at the workshop lab that was presented at the Vineyard Theatre to it's subscribers and insiders. While the cast (almost all who have moved to the Broadway production, except notably the lead Marc Kudisch who was a stand-in for Harry Connick, Jr.) simply sat in an arc, only standing and raising their music stands holding their scripts, the simplicity let my imagination run along with the wildly crazy new book about a therapist who hypnotizes a gay florist only to discover a jazz singer from a former life. With Jessie Mueller belting out gorgeous tunes, David Turner as a delightfully simple florist, Drew Gehling as a gentlemanly boyfriend, and Sarah Stiles as the sassy best friend, gives Marc Kudisch's straight laced and strong centre more room to emotionally collapse, and it's quite the emotional twister.



18. Arabian Nights (Play) - Arena Stage's Finchlander Theatre - Washington, D.C. - Review
Written and Directed by Mary Zimmerman
Mary Zimmerman made Greek seem easy in the astounding Metamophoses and then gave us a splendidly funny Voltaire via her revised Candide. This time around, she presents the 1001 tales of Arabian Nights in a magical evening of moral and odd tales and tales within tales that can sometimes be confusing and a little overwhelming, but when it worked, Zimmerman took us away to the desert nights of ancient times within the confines of theatre-in-the-round at Arena Stage. The flexible cast switched it up to present the numerous tales, and creates a whirlwind of intimacy when the cast finishes off the remaining 1001 stories be splitting off to tell each corner of the theatre all the different stories as they slowly rotated around the stage. Definitely magical.



19. Seussical (Musical Revival) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review
Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Directed by Allen MacInnis
A delightful production of an imperfect musical made to feel perfect for the young and the young-at-heart from a superb cast, some colourful and imaginative costumes, and the lovely music of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. And George Masswohl is so devastating as Horton, who tries to save the Who's, he really does become the elephant in the room.


20. Anything Goes (Musical Revival) - Roundabout Theater at Stephen Sondheim Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Original Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, New Book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, Directed and Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall
Really? That's the story of this classic Cole Porter musical? And this is the revised version? Despite the clunky story that pulls together a string of zany characters each with their own completely different storylines (is that why it's called Anything Goes?), the cast is game and the show truly starts sailing as soon as the tap dancing numbers begin. And oh what tap dancing numbers with a giant cast of delicious looking sailors and the sparkly Sutton Foster at the helm.



Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

A Minister's Wife (Lincoln Center Theater Off-Broadway)
Andrea Martin’s Final Days! – Everything Must Go!! (Oakville, ON)
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes - Part One: Millennium Approaches, Part Two: Perestroika (Signature Theatre Off-Broadway)
Follies (Broadway)
Godspell (Broadway)
Good People (Manhattan Theatre Company on Broadway)
The Hollow (Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA)
Hugh Jackman in Concert (Toronto)
The Normal Heart (Buddies and Bad Times Theatre/Studio 180 in Toronto) and The Normal Heart (Broadway)
Now. Here. This. (Vineyard Theatre Off-Broadway)
Other Desert Cities (Broadway)
Red (Canadian Stage Company in Toronto)
Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater Company Off-Broadway)
Suicide, Incorporated (Roundabout Theater Company Off-Broadway)
Unnatural Acts: Harvard's Secret Court of 1920 (Classic Stage Company Off-Broadway)



Independent Shows
These shows may not have large budgets, but while some are imperfect and could use a bit of retooling, I believe these shows could have definite futures on a larger scale (in alphabetical order):

Hero & Leander (Musical) - Summerworks at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON
Music by Scott Christian, Lyrics by Wade Bogert-O'Brien, Book and Directed by Kevin Michael Shea

Kim's Convenience (Play) - Best of Fringe at Studio Theatre in Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON
Written by Ins Choi

Mickey and Judy (Musical) - Fringe Festival at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space - Toronto, ON - Review
Written by Michael Hughes

The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go! (Musical) - Fringe Festival at Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON
Written, Directed and Choreographed by Allison Beula, Original Music by Jeffery Straker



Breakthrough Performances (in alphabetical order):
The Cast of Unnatural Acts: Harvard's Secret Court of 1920: Jess Burkle, Joe Curnutte, Frank De Julio, Roe Hartrampf, Roderick Hill, Max Jenkins, Brad Koed, Jerry Marsini, Devin Norik, Will Rogers, Nick Westrate

Uzo Aduba in Godspell
Nina Arianda in Born Yesterday and Venus in Fur
Gabriel Ebert in Suicide, Incorporated
Greg Gale in His Greatness
Eleasha Gamble in Oklahoma!
Drew Gehling in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Joel Gomez in Rent (Sheridan)
Sarite Harris in The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Kaylee Harwood in Camelot
Jacob James in The Life & Times of Mackenzie King
Nehal B. Joshi in Oklahoma!
Steve Kazee in Once
Aaron Krohn in The Homecoming
Telly Leung in Godspell
Jennifer Lim in Chinglish
Julia Mattison in Godspell
Julia McLellan in Rent (Sheridan)
Lindsay Mendez in Godspell
Cristin Milioti in Once
Arian Moayed in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Jessie Mueller in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Chris Perfetti in Sons of the Prophet
Kimberly Persona in Hero & Leander
Gray Powell in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Gregory Prest in Ghosts
Elizabeth Rodriguez in The Motherf*cker with the Hat
Nicholas Rodriguez in Oklahoma!
George Salazar in Godspell
Brett Schaller in Rent (Sheridan)
June Schreiner in Oklahoma!
Andrés Sierra in Rent (Sheridan)
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee in Kim's Convenience
Alexandra Silber in Master Class
Stephen Gregory Smith in The Boy Detective Fails
Yul Vázquez in The Motherf*cker with the Hat
Cody Williams in Oklahoma!
Jonathan Winsby in Camelot



Great Performances (in alphabetical order):

The Cast of Angels in America: Robin Bartlett, Christian Borle, Bill Heck, Zoe Kazan, Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, Robin Weigert, Frank Wood

The Cast of Assassins: Graham Abbey, Whitney Ross-Barris, Kevin Dennis, Alex Fiddes, Lisa Horner, Martin Julien, Paul McQuillan, Janet Porter, Steve Ross, Christopher Stanton, Jonathan Tan, Alicia Toner, Geoffrey Tyler, Ezra Tennen

The Cast of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark: Stephanie J. Block, Daniel Breaker, David Garrison, Kimberly Hebert, Kevin Isola, Sanaa Lathan, Karen Olivo

The Cast of Clybourne Park (Washington, D.C.): Chris Dinolfo, Kimberly Gilbert, Michael Glenn, Mitchell Hébert, Jennifer Mendenhall, Cody Nickell, Jefferson A. Russell, Dawn Ursula

The Cast of Other Desert Cities: Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Stacy Keach, Judith Light, Thomas Sadoski

The Cast of Peggy Pickett Sees the Face of God: Tom Barnett, Maev Beatty, Tony Nappo, Kristen Thompson

The cast of Traces: Mason Ames, Valérie Benoît-Charbonneau, Mathieu Cloutier, Bradley Henderson, Philippe Normand-Jenny, Xia Zhengqi, Florian Zumkehr

Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop
Tammy Blanchard in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Justin Bott in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Evan Buliung in The Grapes of Wrath
Danny Burstein in Follies
E. Faye Butler in Oklahoma!
Bobby Cannavale in The Motherf*cker with the Hat
Jenn Colella in Kiki Baby
Mike Daisey in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
Tyne Daly in Master Class
Hugh Dancy in Venus in Fur
Oliver Dennis in The Fantasticks (Toronto)
Colman Domingo in Chicago
Richard Donat in His Greatness
Bruce Dow in Jesus Christ Superstar
Michael Esper in The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures and The Lyons
Francesca Faridany in The New York Idea
Brad Fleischer in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Santino Fontana in Sons of the Prophet
Sutton Foster in Anything Goes
Josh Gad in The Book of Mormon
Renée Elise Goldsberry in Good People
Christopher J. Hanke in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
John Benjamin Hickey in The Normal Heart (New York)
Adam Jacobs in The Lion King
Nikki M. James in The Book of Mormon
James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy
Ryan Kelly in Living with Henry and The Normal Heart
Marc Kudisch in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Workshop)
Florence Lacey in Sunset Blvd
Linda Lavin in The Lyons
Hugh Jackman in Hugh Jackman in Concert
John Leguizamo in Ghetto Klown
Matt Leisy in The Fantasticks (New York)
Jeff Lillico in Parfumerie
Hamish Linklater in School for Lies
Chilina Kennedy in Jesus Christ Superstar and The Grapes of Wrath
Lorne Kennedy in The President
Daniel MacIvor in His Greatness
Andrea Martin in Andrea Martin’s Final Days! – Everything Must Go!!
George Masswohl in Seussical
Jan Maxwell in Follies
Jim Mezon in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Red
Liz Mikel in Lystrata Jones
Jeff Miller in The Normal Heart (Toronto)
Patina Miller in Sister Act
Tam Mutu in Chess
Paul Nolan in Jesus Christ Superstar
Moya O'Connell in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
Lisa O'Hare in Gigi
Sarah Orenstein in The Normal Heart (Toronto)
Geoff Packard in Liberty Smith( and Candide)
Nancy Palk in Ghosts
Christopher Plummer in Barrymore
Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Aaron Ramey in Oklahoma!
Andrew Rannells in The Book of Mormon
Fiona Reid in White Biting Dog
Cara Ricketts in The Homecoming
Mark Rylance in Jerusalem
Melissa van der Schyff in Bonnie & Clyde
Eliza-Jane Scott in Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to Fly
Jeremy Shamos in New York Idea and We Live Here
Jos Slovick in The Secret Garden
Piotr Stancyk in Romeo & Juliet
Bobby Steggert in A Minister's Wife
David Turner in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can
Robin Williams in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Janet Wright in The Grapes of Wrath
Josh Young in Jesus Christ Superstar




Here is every Stage Show I saw in 2011 in alphabetical order. All reviews are based on a 5 stars system:

The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Play) - Anspacher Theater at The Public Theater - New York, NY - Review *****

Alice in Wonderland (Play) - Théâtre Tout à Trac at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People - Toronto, ON - Review ***

All New People (Play) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2

All's Well That Ends Well (Play Revival) - The Public Theater at Delacorte Theater - Shakespeare in the Park, Central Park - New York, NY - **1/2

Amelia: The Girl Who Wants To Fly in Concert (Musical Revival) - Theatre 20 at Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

A Minister's Wife - Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Andrea Martin’s Final Days! – Everything Must Go!! (Play) – Oakville Theatre – Oakville, ON - ****1/2 *Biased Review*

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes - Part One: Millennium Approaches, Part Two: Perestroika (Play Revival) - Signature Theatre at The Peter Norton Space - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Another Africa (Play) - Volcano Theatre presented by Canadian Stage Company at St. Lawrence Centre's Bluma Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****
Shine Your Eye - ***
Peggy Pickit Sees The Face of God - ****1/2

Anything Goes (Musical Revival) - Roundabout Theater at Stephen Sondheim Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Arcadia (Play Revival) - Barrymore Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***

Arabian Nights (Play) - Arena Stage's Finchlander Theatre - Washington, D.C. - Review ****

Assassins (Musical Revival) - Birdland Theatre & Talk is Free Theatre at The Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

As You Puppet (Play) - Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People - Toronto, ON - Original Review *****, Revised Review ****1/2

Barrymore (Play Revival) - Elgin Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Play) - Richard Rogers Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - Review ****1/2

Bharatti (Musical) – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts – Toronto, ON - **1/2

The Big League (Play) - Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People - Toronto, ON - Review ***

Billy Elliot (Musical) - Canon Theatre - Toronto, ON - Original Broadway Review ****1/2, ****1/2

Black Watch (Play) - National Theatre of Scotland at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harmon Hall - Washington, D.C. - Original Toronto Review *****, Original New York Review *****, *****

The Blue Flower (Musical) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - *1/2

Bonnie & Clyde (Musical) – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Broadway, NewYork, NY - **

The Book of Mormon (Musical) - Eugene O'Neill Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2

Born Yesterday (Play Revival) - Cort Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***

The Boy Detective Fails - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA - ***1/2

Bullet for Adolf (Play) - Hart House Theatre - Toronto, ON - *1/2

Burning (Play) – The New Group at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - Review ***1/2

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Play) - Second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - Review ***

Calendar Girls (Play) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review **

Camelot (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Festival Theatre - Stratford, ON - ***

Candide (Musical Revival) - Huntington Theatre – Boston, MA – (Original Review from Washington, D.C. ****1/2) - ****1/2

Catch Me If You Can (Musical) - Neil Simon Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Play Revival) - Shaw Festival's Royal George Theatre - Niagara-On-the-Lake, ON - ****1/2

Celebrating Greta (Ballet) - The National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Centre - Toronto, ON - Review ****
Mozartiana - ***

Other Dances - ****
In the Upper Room- ****1/2

The Cherry Orchard (Play Revival) - Classic Stage Company – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Chess x2 (Musical Revival) - Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Chicago (Musical Revival) - Ambassador Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Chinglish (Play) - Longacre Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY – ***

Cinderella (La Cenerentola) (Opera) - Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - **1/2

Close Up Space (Play) - Manhattan Theater Club at Stage 1 City Center – Off-Broadway, New York, NY = **

Clybourne Park (Play) - Woolly Mammoth Theatre - Washington, D.C. - ****1/2

the cosmonaut's last message to the woman he once loved in the former soviet union (Play) - Canadian Stage Company at Bluma Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Review *1/2

Dangerous Beauty (Musical) - Pasadena Playhouse - Pasadena, CA - ***

Death Takes A Holiday (Musical) - Roundabout Theatre at Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center For Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Musical Revival) - Empire Theatre - Belleville, ON - ***1/2

Don Quixote (Ballet Revival) - The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Driving Miss Daisy (Play Revival) - Golden Theatre - Broadway - New York, NY - Review ***

The Fantasticks (Musical) - Jerry Orbach Theater at the Snapple Theater Center - Off-Broadway - New York, NY - Review ****

The Fantasticks (Musical Revival) - Soulpepper at Baillie Theatre at the Young Centre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Follies (Musical Revival) - Marquis Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Forests (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review *1/2

Ghetto Klown (Play) - Lyceum Theatre - Broadway - New York, NY - Review ****

Ghosts (Play Revival) - Soulpepper Theatre at Young Centre’s Baille Theatre - ****1/2

Ghost Stories (Play) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Gigi (Musical Revival) - Reprise Theatre Company at Freud Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA - Review **

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

Good People (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****

The Grapes of Wrath (Play Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON - ****1/2

The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Musical Revival) - Hart House Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Hair (Musical Revival) – Royal Alexandra Theatre – Toronto, ON – (Original Review from the Park and Broadway ****1/2) - ***1/2

Hero & Leander (Musical) - Summerworks at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

His Greatness (Play Revival) - independent Artist Repertory Theatre at Factory Studio Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****1/2

The Hollow (Musical) - The Max at Signature Theatre - Arlington, VA - ****

The Homecoming (Play Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Festival Theatre - Stratford, ON - ***

House of Blue Leaves (Play Revival) - Walter Kerr Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying x 4 (Musical Revival) - Al Hirschfeld Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2 *Biased Review*

Hugh Jackman in Concert x2 (Musical) - Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

The Importance of Being Earnest (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre at American Airlines Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Play) - Newman Theater at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2

i think i can (Play Revival) - Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Jerusalem (Play) - The Music Box Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***

Jesus Christ Superstar x2 (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON - ****1/2

Julius Caesar (Play Revival) - Shakespeare Theatre Company at Sidney Harmon Hall - Washington, D.C. - **1/2

Kiki Baby (Musical) - New York Musical Festival at The Theatre at St. Clements - New York, NY - **1/2

Kim's Convenience (Play) - Best of Fringe at the Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - ****

The Last 15 Seconds (Play) - Theatre Passe Muraille - Toronto, ON - ***

Liberty Smith (Musical) - Ford's Theatre - Washington, D.C. - ***

The Life & Times of Mackenzie King: The History of the Village of the Small Huts: 1918-1939 (Play Revival) – VideoCabaret at Cameron House – Toronto, ON – Review ****

The Lion King (Musical) - Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Little Miss Sunshine (Musical) - Mandell Weiss Theatre at La Jolla Playhouse - La Jolla, CA - **1/2

Living with Henry (Musical) - Fringe Festival at George Ignatieff Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

Love Lies Bleeding - Alberta Ballet at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts – Toronto, ON – Review *

Love Virtually (Musical) - Best of Fringe at the Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - ***

The Lyons (Play) - Vineyard Theatre – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Lysistrata Jones (Musical) – Walter Kerr Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2

Master Class - Manhattan Theatre Company at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Measure for Measure (Play Revival) - The Public Theater at Delacorte Theater - Shakespeare in the Park, Central Park - New York, NY - ***

Mickey and Judy (Musical) - Fringe Festival at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Milk Like Sugar (Play) – Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

The Milk Trains Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre at Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center For Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - *1/2

The Misanthrope (Play Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Festival Theatre - Stratford, ON - ***

Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage! (Play) - Sofia's Restaurants Downstairs Cabaret Theater - Off-Broadway - New York, NY - Review **1/2

The Motherfucker with the Hat (Play) - Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

The Mountaintop (Play) - Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - ***

My Mother’s Jewish, My Father’s Italian, and I’m in Therapy! (Play) - Bathurst Street Theatre – Toronto, ON - *1/2

Newsies (Musical) - Paper Mill Playhouse – Millburn, NJ - ***1/2

The New York Idea (Play Revival) - Atlantic Theatre at the Lucille Lortel Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York, NY - Review ***

The Normal Heart (Play Revival) - Buddies and Bad Times Theatre in association with Studio 180 - Toronto, ON - Review ****

The Normal Heart (Play Revival) - Golden Theatre - Broadway - New York, NY - Review ****

Now. Here. This. (Musical) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Oklahoma! x2 (Musical Revival) - Fichander Theater - Arena Stage at the Mead Center - Washington D.C. - Review ****1/2

Olive and the Bitter Herbs (Play) - Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - *

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

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever Workshop (Musical Revival) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2

Once (Musical) – New York Theatre Workshop – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2

Other Desert Cities (Play) - Lincoln Center Theater at the Booth Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Parade (Musical Revival) - Acting Upstage and Studio 180 at the Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs - Toronto, ON - Review **1/2

Parfumerie (Play Revival) - Soulpepper Theatre at Young Centre’s Baille Theatre - ***1/2

The Post Office (Play Revival) - Pleiades Theatre at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review **

The President (Play Revival) - Shaw Festival's Royal George Theatre - Niagara-On-the-Lake, ON - ***

Private Lives (Play Revival) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review **1/2 and
Private Lives - Music Box Theatre - Broadway - New York, NY - Review ***1/2

The Railway Children (Play) - Roundhouse Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Red (Play) - Canadian Stage Company at Bluma Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Relatively Speaking (Play) - Brooks Atkinson Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - *1/2

Rent (Musical Revival) – Sheridan College Theatre – Oakville, ON - ****

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

Saint Carmen of the Main (Play Revival) - Bluma Apel Theatre at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - Review *1/2

The School For Lies (Play) - Classic Stage Company - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - Review **1/2

The Secret Garden (Musical Review) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review **1/2

Seussical (Musical Revival) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - Review ****

Sex, Religion and Other Hang Ups (Play) - Theatre Passe Muraille - Toronto, ON - Review ***1/2

The Shape of a Girl (Play Revival) - Green Thumb Theatre at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People - Toronto, ON - Review ***

Sister Act (Musical) - Broadway Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***

Sleep No More (Play Revival) - The McKittrick Hotel - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2

The Soaps - The Live Improvised Soap Opera (Play) - Fringe Festival at Bathurst Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Songs For a New World (Musical Revival) - Angelwalk Theatre at Studio Theatre in the Toronto Centre for the Arts - Toronto, ON - Original Review ****1/2, Revised Review ****

Sons of the Prophet (Play) - Roundabout Theater at Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center For Theater - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Musical) - Foxwood Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - Review **

Spring Awakening (Musical) - Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - Original Broadway Review *****, ****

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Play) – Minetta Lane Theatre – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Stick Fly (Play) – Cort Theatre – Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2

Suicide, Incorporated - Roundabout Theater at the Black Box at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theater – Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

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

Theme and Variations & Apollo & Russian Seasons (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - ****
Theme and Variations - ***1/2
Apollo - ***1/2
Russian Seasons - ****1/2

Three Sisters (Play Revival) - Classic Stage Company - Off-Broadway - New York, NY - Review ****

The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go! (Musical) - Fringe Festival at Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

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

Unnatural Acts: Harvard's Secret Court of 1920 (Play) - Classic Stage Company - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - ****

Untitled - La La La Human Steps at Canadian Stage - Bluma Appel Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

Venus in Fur (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****1/2

Wanda T. Grimsby: Detective Extraordinaire (Play) - Fringe Kids at Palmerston Library Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

War Horse (Play) - Lincoln Center Theater at Vivian Beaumont Theater - Broadway, New York, NY - Original London Review ****, ****

War of the Clowns (Play) - Fringe Festival at Jewish Community Centre's Courtyard - Toronto, ON - *1/2

We Live Here (Play) - Manhattan Theater Club at Stage 1 City Center – Off-Broadway, New York, NY = **1/2

White Biting Dog (Play Revival) - Soulpepper Theatre at Young Centre's Michael Young Theatre Stage - Toronto, ON - **

Wishful Drinking (Play) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

The Wizard of Oz (Pantomime) – Ross Petty at the Elgin Theatre – Toronto, ON - ***

The Yellow Brick Road (Musical) - Theatreworks USA at The Lucille Lortel Theatre - Off-Broadway, New York, NY - Review ***




_________________________________________


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

Previous Best-of Lists:
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

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