Northern Highlights

Northern Highlights

It’s time once again for my top 5 Marin theatrical productions of the year–combined with Barry Willis’s top 5 to make…let me see here…the

Top 10 Marin theater productions of 2016! Read more

We Are Proud to Present a Year in Review

31 December, 2015 Theater No comments
We Are Proud to Present a Year in Review

So, I’ll just say it: 2015 was a horrible, horrible year. Not for theater. There was some fine theater out there in the Bay Area, and I managed to see some of it. But for me, this year was pretty much a nightmare.

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Best of the North

30 December, 2015 Theater No comments
Best of the North

Once again Barry Willis and I pick five shows apiece for the Top 10 Marin theater productions of 2015!

Check it out in the Marin Independent Journal. Read more

That Was the Year That Was

30 December, 2014 Theater No comments
That Was the Year That Was

The long wait is over! Here are my Top 10 Bay Area shows of 2014, on KQED Arts!

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Northern Highlights

28 December, 2014 Theater No comments
Northern Highlights

It’s that time again… time for the Top 10 Marin productions of 2014! I only tackled five of them, but… well, you’ll see.

Read all about it in the Marin Independent Journal! Read more

My Year of Living Theatrically

16 December, 2013 Theater No comments
My Year of Living Theatrically

Well, this weekend I saw the last play I’m seeing this year (the 138th!), so I’m ready to unveil my top ten shows of 2013. But this time it’s on KQED Arts, so g’wan over and check it out!

(They’re in alphabetical order, mind you, not ranked.)

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Embarrassment of Riches

30 December, 2012 Theater No comments
Embarrassment of Riches

Boy, this was a hard year to reduce to a Top Ten. When I look over the list of the 117 shows I attended in 2012, eight strike me as shoo-ins for the list, and then there are fifteen other shows vying for the remaining two slots. Mind you, that’s a good problem to have; there really was a lot of good theater in the Bay Area this year—and, of course, some so-so and not very good theater as well. And of course there’s not any inherent virtue in the vast theaterscape of 2012 being reducible to a list in the first place, so maybe I should quit my kvetching, suck it up, and get to it. Although I’m restricting myself to ten, these shows aren’t ranked or numbered and are listed in chronological order.

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This List Goes to ’11

24 December, 2011 Theater 1 comment
This List Goes to ’11

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.

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Ten for Twenty-Ten

31 December, 2010 Theater 6 comments

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.

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Old Year, New Blog

Old Year, New Blog

Top Ten Theater Productions of 2009

Although I started 2009 reviewing theater for one paper and ended the year reviewing for another, when I look over the list of the 108 shows I saw over the course of the year to determine my top ten, I realize that none of my favorite shows are ones that I actually reviewed. Those respective papers have space, money and geographical constraints, and it just happened that there was no overlap between the shows in my review docket and those in this year’s top ten.

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