I've always loved that old Lifesavers commercial that had the child saying "Do it again, Daddy" after watching the sunset. There are lots of times I think we all feel like that about life moments..."do it again, universe, do it again."
I saw nearly 150 shows in the calendar year of 2012, and instead of a "Top 10" or "Best of" list, I decided to compile a list of the shows that left me thinking "do it again, please" right then~I didn't want the feeling I had at the end of the show to go away. As an experiment, I'm making this list based on my gut instincts and trying not to over think. As a result, they are not in any particular order. This is not to say that I didn't want to (and did) see other shows more than once, and/or thought them wonderful and very worth seeing; these just comprise the "experience cream" that rose to the top of the theatre pot I stirred this year.
Now these are not necessarily all shows that opened in 2012~Godspell and Priscilla both played their final performances in 2012 and those final performances were amazing experiences, so they made the list.
And now that I've made the list, these are a few shows that came to mind after I've given myself more time to consider: Newsies (a fantastic cast giving a memorable performance), The Best Man (a truly all-star cast including Angela Lansbury & James Earl Jones), The Break (a staged reading of a new musical at Signature Theatre in Virginia).
I'm always a bit overwhelmed by my eclectic tastes, and this list represents such a diversity! But I feel as if it's a real testament to the choices in theatre we are fortunate enough to be offered.
In brief, the list includes:
Time-wise, the shows cover the entire year; some are from early on and some I just saw in December.
They also represent shows with famous actors (John Lithgow, Kathleen Turner, Neil Patrick Harris, Bebe Neuwirth, Christina Ricci); Broadway stars (Will Swenson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Christian Borle) and with lesser-known (but no less talented!) actors that I will absolutely follow to their next project (Rob McClure, Lindsay Mendez, among others).
Geographically, they cover Arlington,Virginia; Washington, DC; New York City and Boston...and they include shows that made intimate spaces seem enormous, and shows that made cavernous theaters seem intimate. Not one of these shows inspired agreement among those I know that saw them; all that mattered was how they made me feel.
By the way, I'm completely confident that 2013 will live up to its older sibling, and it begins tonight with C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, from The Shakespeare Theatre Company here in DC. Can't wait to get started!
These marquees are of three of the 2013 shows on the calendar; and I'm also really looking forward to Motown The Musical and Kinky Boots!