Monday, January 2, 2023

From the Desk of Jim R, Take 2, Column 362, "The Best Musicals of 2022 (Non-Equity) "

 By James V. Ruocco


The beauty of LIVE theatre - Non-Equity- had its defining moments throughout 2022.

Opening night was a hit.
Standing ovations were plentiful.
The reviews came out.
Critics were quoted in big, colorful adverts.
The music of Stephen Sondheim and Jonathan Larsen was celebrated in grand, theatrical fashion.
Jimmy Johansmeyer's meticulous attention to detail, fabric, color and design for original costuming at  Pantochino Productions was definitive "haute couture" on every level.
And every theatre gave audiences top notch musical theatre well worthy of a standing ovation or two.

After months of deliberation and revisiting an endless variety of content, from reviews and playbills to columns and specially marked reminder notes, choices for The Best Non-Equity Musicals of the Year fell quickly into place.
And rightly so!

Absolutely not.
Pros and cons?
Not really.
An open mind?
But of course
Time consuming?
Hell, no.
Personal favorites?
It comes with the territory.

But first, a few simple rules.
Only "press invited shows" (i.e., invites from Non-Equity Theaters or marketing departments within the actual venue are eligible for "Best Musical" consideration. 

My choices are as follows.

Please note: This year there's a tie for first place.
"Rent" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" have received first honors in this year's round up of eligible musical productions.

The Best Non-Equity Musicals of 2022

(Downtown Cabaret Theatre)
director: Andrea Pane

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
(Broadway Method Academy)
director: Audra Bryant

Putting It Together
(Fairfield Center Stage)
director: Christy McIntosh-Newsom

Christmas Carol
(Pantochino Productions)
director: Bert Bernardi

School Spirits
(Pantochino Productions)
director: Bert Bernardi

The Rocky Horror Show
(Pantochino Productions)
director: Bert Bernardi

tick, tick...Boom!
(Brookfield Theatre for the Arts)
director: Beth Bonnabeau

Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical
(The Arts at Angeloria's)
director: Peter Weidt

La Cage aux Folles
(The Arts at Angeloria's)
directors: Lori Holm and Peter Weidt

Checking in on Charles
(Pantochino Productions)
director: Bert Bernardi

The SpongeBob Musical
(Fairfield Center Stage)
director: Joel Fenster

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