Thursday, December 31, 2009

The best performances, direction and design of 2009



Tired of my ongoing "Best of 2009" list yet? Well, we're almost to the end - I did want to throw a few more bouquets, however, to the performers, directors and designers whose work has stuck with me over the past year. To wit:




Best Actresses

Anne Gottlieb (above, with Robert Pemberton) - The Goat, Gloucester Stage

Karen MacDonald - The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gloucester Stage

Nancy E. Carroll and Paula Plum - The Savannah Disputation, SpeakEasy Stage (It's hard to think of them separately in this particular piece, although Carroll also sparkled in Humble Boy, and Plum shone in The New Century.)

Crystal Fox - Fences, Huntington Theatre

Mariann Bassham - Little Black Dress, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Shana Dirik - Sweeney Todd, Metro Stage

Kate Donnelly - Bash, Theatre on Fire

Rachael Hunt - Speech and Debate, Lyric Stage

Alicia Kahn - On the Verge, Nora Theatre

Cheryl McMahon - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Lyric Stage, and Cabaret, New Rep

Sasha Castroverde - An Ideal Husband, Bad Habit Productions

Adrianne Krstansky - 2.5 Minute Ride, New Rep

Tracy Oliviero - The Random Caruso, CentaStage

Amanda Good Hennessey, The Superheroine Monologues, Phoenix Theater Artists/Company One



Best Actors

Timothy John Smith (above) - Jerry Springer: The Opera, SpeakEasy Stage

Will Lebow - Romance, American Repertory Theatre

Ed Dixon - Pirates!, Huntington Theatre

David Engle - La Cage aux Folles, Reagle Players

Ben DiScipio - Sweeney Todd, Metro Stage

Stephen Libby - A Child's Christmas in Wales, Boston Children's Theatre

Adam Freeman - A Child's Christmas in Wales, Boston Children's Theatre

John Kuntz - The Caretaker, Nora Theatre

Barlow Adamson - On the Verge, Nora Theatre

Robert Walsh - Sins of the Mother, Gloucester Stage

Gabriel Kuttner - Speed-the-Plow, New Rep

Will Lyman - Exits and Entrances, New Rep

Gordon Joseph Weiss - A Moon for the Misbegotten and The Seafarer, Merrimack Rep

David Adkins - The Seafarer, Merrimack Rep

Nigel Gore - Humble Boy, Publick Theatre

Alex Pollock - Daughter of Venus, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Michael Forden Walker - The Duchess of Malfi, Actors' Shakespeare Project

Best Ensembles

Marianna Bassham, Jeremiah Kissel, Alex Pollock, Karl Baker Olson - Little Black Dress, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, directed by Ari Edelson

Erez Rose, Mark Vashro, Christine Busler, Brian Quint and Lorna Nogueira - Dark Play, or Stories for Boys, Apollinaire Theatre, directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques

Nancy E. Carroll, Aimee Doherty, Philana Mia, Joe Lanza, Dennis Trainor, Jr., Cedric Lilly, and Rebecca Skye Hamberg - The Pain and the Itch, Company One, directed by M. Bevin O'Gara

Stephanie Clayman, Nigel Gore, Nancy E. Carroll, Tom O'Keefe, Claire Warden, Dafydd Rees - Humble Boy, Publick Theatre, directed by Diego Arciniegas

Paul Farwell, Owen Doyle, Marianna Bassham, Scott Sweatt, Scott Severance, Stacy Fisher, Christopher James Webb, Neil A. Casey, Dennis Trainor - Picasso at the Lapin Agile, New Rep, directed by Daniel Gidron

Alma Cuervo, Dick Latessa, Alfredo Narciso, Christina Pumariega, Pedro Pascal, Gregory Wooddell, and Lucy DeVito - The Miracle at Naples, Huntington Theatre, directed by Peter DuBois

Best Directors

(Why doesn't this list match the "Best Ensemble" list? Because these directors, in addition to drawing superb work from their actors, also mined unexpected depths from their respective plays.)

Ari Edelson - Little Black Dress, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Edward Morgan - A Moon for the Misbegotten, Merrimack Rep

Charles Towers - The Seafarer, Merrimack Rep

Paul Daigneault - The Savannah Disputation, SpeakEasy Stage

Nicholas Martin - The Corn is Green, Huntington Theatre

Israel Horovitz - Sins of the Mother, Gloucester Stage

Davis Robinson - The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde, Tennesee Williams Festival at the Charlestown Working Theater



Best Designers

There was one design that towered over the rest of the year: the incredible spinning-earth set Francis O'Connor devised for the otherwise-disappointing Two Men of Florence (above) at the Huntington. This was one of the most inspired and thought-through sets I've ever seen in my life. But there were plenty of other memorable designs this year. A few of the best:

Eric Levenson - sets, The Goat and The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gloucester Stage

Cristina Todesco - sets, The Pain and the Itch, Company One, The New Century, SpeakEasy Stage, and Dead Man's Cell Phone, Lyric Stage

Alexander Dodge - set, The Miracle at Naples, Huntington Theatre

Richard Wadsworth Chambers - set, A View of the Harbor, Merrimack Rep

Rafael Jean - costumes, Kiss Me, Kate, Lyric Stage, The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

Greg Maraio - costumes, The Superheroine Monologues, Phoenix Theatre Artists/Company One

Frances Nelson McSherry - costumes, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gloucester Stage

Gail Astrid Buckley - costumes, The New Century, SpeakEasy Stage

Whew! Well, I think that's it for my "best of" lists, at least for the theatre - I'm still mulling one for music. Till then, have a Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Garvey!

    And you don't have to publish this but I thought you might enjoy my best of the decade list over at

    http://dreamsandfalsealarms.blogspot.com/

    And if you see Midsummer any time soon, know that I am sick as a dog-- which effects not my work or my choices but my voice considerably. Just sayin'.

    We don't always agree but I appreciate your high standards and always value what you have to say.

    Happy New Year,
    Marianna

    ReplyDelete