Monday, December 22, 2014

Best of New York City Theater 2014

As we come to the end of 2014, I wanted to recap some of my favorite show/moments on stage this past year (in no particular order).

I thought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was an amazing evening of theater. From the way it was adapted to the incredible storytelling - this show created a new genre of theater for me.

Side Show returned to Broadway and even though (like it's predecessor) it's closing too soon, this version gave the story of the real life conjoined twins a grittier look and more compelling story. I am very sorry to see it end in January.

I am a huge fan of Terence McNally and he did not disappoint with his play Mothers & Sons (which I saw twice). Tyne Daly and the rest of the cast gave riveting performances and McNally's words of how we have grown to view that horrible period when AIDS was first mentioned was spot on.

The Realistic Joneses
I'm not usually a lover of the juke box musicals, but Beautiful didn't feel like one (even though it followed the format of using one singer's music). I felt we got to know Carole King's story and Jessie Mueller's performance as the legendary singer/songwriter was  wonderful.

Audra McDonald can make anything she touches turn to gold, but with Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill - taking us through a real-time concert of Billie Holiday - it was more than gold: it was electric! What an evening. What a performance. And one to catch when HBO airs it.

Hedwig & The Angry Inch
I can't even tell you why, but The Realistic Joneses was a play that stuck with me after I left the theater. The 90 minutes in that theater felt real and fresh and I ate up every second of it.

The most energizing and captivating moment in the theater this season was witnessing Neil Patrick Harris in his Tony Award-winning performance as Hedwig and the Angry Inch. What a show!

The time I spent with Alan Alda and Candice Bergen while they read Love Letters to the audience is a moment I'll definitely remember as we leave 2014.

One of the last things I saw this season was off-Broadway, but definitely makes my list with the musical that takes women's empowerment to a new level with all of the princesses we know from Disney films. Disenchanted! was completely enchanting! 

Honorable Mention:

Bridges of Madison County
I must give a shout out to Bradley Cooper who blew me away in how he escaped into the role of The Elephant Man.

Sex With Strangers
If Bridges of Madison County had only shown us the interior chamber musical of the two lovers, it would definitely had been on my list. Everything about that portion of the musical was wonderful.

I didn't love the musical as a whole, but the final scene of Rocky was pretty incredible to see on stage.

The chemistry between Anna Gunn and Billy Magnessen in Sex With Strangers was something to witness first hand.


Benjamin Scheuer's one man show The Lion was wonderful at MTC.

Nick Offerman's riveting performance in Annapurna was a masterclass in acting. The man completely disappeared into the role.

Can't wait to see what 2015 brings to New York City on and off Broadway!

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