Sunday, December 30, 2018

From the Desk of Jim R, Take 2, Column 124, "The Best Plays and Musicals of 2018" (Equity)

By James V. Ruocco

Ticket Stubs.
Great Orchestra Seats.
Twelve Months at a Glance.

It was yet another great year for Equity-based theater with productions of every size, shape and color coming at you day by day, week by week, month by month.
It was also well worth the drive (thank you, OnStar), the traffic, the ice, the snow, the rain and oh, yes, the heat.

What worked?
What didn't?
What stood out?
What tanked?

After about 90 minutes of deliberation and scanning through an endless variety of content, from reviews and playbills to columns and specially marked reminder notes, things fell neatly into place, one by one, line by line.

Not, really.
Sort of.
An open mind?
Most definitely.
Time consuming?
Of, course.
Oh, yes.
Personal favorites?
Hell, yes.

My choices:

The Best Plays of 2018

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof " (Music Theatre of Connecticut)

"The Age of Innocence" (Hartford Stage)

"The Grapes of Wrath" (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

"El Huracan" (Yale Rep)

"A Lesson from Aloes" (Hartford Stage)

"Murder on the Orient Express" (Hartford Stage)

"The Pianist of Willesden Lane" (Hartford Stage)

"The Understudy" (Westport Country Playhouse)

"Constellations" (Hudson Stage Company)

"Constellations" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"Intimate Apparel" (Playhouse on Park)

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (Playhouse on Park)

"Peter and the Starcatcher" (Playhouse on Park)

"Hand to God" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"A Christmas Carol" (Hartford Stage)

"Steel Magnolias" (Playhouse on Park)

"The Revisionist" (Playhouse on Park)

"The Invisible Hand" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"Thousand Pines" (Westport Country Playhouse)

"Love Quest" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"Barefoot in the Park" (Sharon Playhouse)

"Feeding the Dragon" (Hartford Stage)

"The Roommate" (Long Wharf Theatre)

"Christmas on the Rocks" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"The Legend of Georgia McBride" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"Make Believe" (Hartford Stage)

"The River" (TheaterWorks/Hartford)

"The Prisoner" (Yale Rep)

The Best Musicals of 2018

"Evita" (Act of CT)

"Evita" (Broadway Method Academy)

"Oliver!" (Goodspeed Musicals)

"Jekyll & Hyde" (Music Theatre of Connecticut)

"Once" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"Anything Goes" (Westchester Broadway Theatre)

"Anything Goes" (Sharon Playhouse)

"Kiss Me Kate" (Summer Theatre of New Canaan)

"West Side Story" (Barrington Stage)

"A Night With Janis Joplin" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"In the Heights" (Playhouse on Park)

"The Drowsy Chaperone" (Goodspeed Musicals)

"Phantom" (Westchester Broadway Theatre)

"A Chorus Line" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"A Look Back" (Broadway Method Academy")

"The Will Rogers Follies" (Goodspeed Musicals)

"Always...Patsy Cline" (Sharon Playhouse)

"Man of La Mancha" (Westport Country Playhouse)

"Grease" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"The Fantasticks" (Ivoryton Playhouse)

"Johnny Guitar" (Majestic Theatre)

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