Hot off the presses: my review of Keith Huff’s noir melodrama in today’s Marin Independent Journal. So head over there to read about it before the ink cools and the world collapses into chaos and void.
It’s a good problem to have: Looking over the list of the 118 local shows I saw this year, I had a hard time narrowing it down to a Top Ten. There are plenty of ways in which 2011 was a tough, lousy, no-good year, but in terms of what I saw on the Bay Area stage, it was pretty damn good. It was a great year for solo shows, between the Marsh (Marga Gomez’s Not Getting Any Younger, Don Reed’s The Kipling Hotel and Geoff Hoyle’s Geezer) and Berkeley Rep (Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and The Last Cargo Cult, Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy and Rita Moreno’s Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup). There were a couple of great visiting performances by screen stars: Kevin Spacey as Richard III, John Malkovich as mass murderer Jack Unterweger. And there were any number of other shows that thoroughly charmed me in one respect or another but didn’t quite crack the Top Ten: Crowded Fire and Asian American Theatre Company’s Songs of the Dragons Crying to Heaven, Sleepwalkers Theatre’s The Nature Line, Shotgun Players’ Beardo and Care of Trees, Impact’s Disassembly, SF Playhouse’s Tigers Be Still. As for what did make it onto the list, I tried to rank them in order of preference, but no matter how many times I tweak it the ranking feels arbitrary. So let’s say that, like one’s own children, I love them all equally, and just hope they buy that.
I reviewed this Tennessee Williams chestnut for today’s Marin Independent Journal. So it’s all over yonder if you want to read all about it.
Show #96: Bellwether, Marin Theatre Company, October 11.
Show #76: Seven Guitars, Marin Theatre Company, August 16.
Show #55: Tiny Alice, Marin Theatre Company, June 7.
Show #33: Fuddy Meers, Marin Theatre Company, April 5.
I have not one but two reviews in today’s Marin Independent Journal: the cheeky Raisin in the Sun companion piece Clybourne Park at ACT and the new translation of Chekhov’s Seagull at Marin Theatre Company. You can follow the links in the last sentence to read all about ’em.
Here we are pretty much back where we started on this blog, with my Top Ten list of my favorite shows for the year. It was awfully hard to whittle the 126 shows I saw this year in the Bay Area down to ten, which is probably a good sign: that’s a far better problem to have than not being able to think of ten good ones. I limited myself to shows that actually opened in 2010, which disqualifies shows like Ann Randolph’s hilarious monologue Loveland that otherwise would be high on my list. Most links are to my original reviews earlier in the year, and the shows are more or less in order of preference.
Show #120: Happy Now?, Marin Theatre Company, November 16.