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Thursday, July 9, 2020

BEST OF THE DECADE: Favorite Costume Designs

Today, we finish up our Best of the Decade round-up of theatrical design elements. It's all about the amazing costumes created for each production. Sometimes they are elaborate, visually stunning extravaganzas, other times they are modern dress works. We suspect that neither end of the spectrum is easy. Costumes have a lot to convey - time, place, character. The devil is in the details! Here were our favorites of the last ten Broadway seasons:


BEST OF THE DECADE
Jeff and Mike's Favorite
Costume Designs

COSTUME DESIGNS OF A PLAY:

Angels in America
- Designed by Nicky Gillibrand

With a 7+ hour show that ranges from stark realism to mind bending fantasy, and features everything from 80s New York City chic to Russian military garb and a small army of angels, one must be on top of their game. Ms. Gillibrand was certainly that. The angel alone was worth the price of admission.

The Boys in the Band
- Designed by David Zinn

Upper crust gays of the 70s were defined by their sense of style as much as anything else. Mr. Zinn nailed it right down to the tiniest of details. Even the closets were meticulously stocked. He had to know every gay man in the audience was mentally critiquing every thread.

Casa Valentina
- Designed by Rita Ryack

This special, emotionally charged play had to take us back to the early 60s, and reveal to us a group of unique individuals as connected to their clothing as they are to the people they are. They were lovely.

Peter and the Starcatcher
- Designed by Paloma Young

The difficult part of this show is creating costumes that fit the concept of this new take on a familiar story, while still being recognizable to fans of the classic Peter Pan story. Ms. Young managed this feat perfectly.

Twelfth Night
- Designed by Jenny Tiramani

The production, produced by Shakespeare's Globe no less, strove to recreate as much as possible, an authentic Elizabethan staging. And the costumes were gorgeous approximations.


COSTUME DESIGNS OF A MUSICAL:

Hadestown
- Designed by Michael Krass

Mythology meets the Big Easy. Sexy, jazzy and otherworldly, the costumes here perfectly matched the entire production - the darkness and light, the industrial texture and Broadway sparkle.

Hamilton
- Designed by Paul Tazewell

Who knew colonial garb could be so 21st Century? The costumes have become a big part of the iconic stature of this history-making show.

Head Over Heels
- Designed by Arianne Phillips

What I loved best about this design was that it created a fantastic world that was equal parts Camelot, punk rock concert and drag show. Even the silhouettes were cheeky fun. That's just what this cheeky, outrageous and supremely funny show needed.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
- Designed by Tim Chappell and Lizzy Gardiner

This one really deserved its Tony for Best Costume Design. I wish I had invested in a sequin/make up company! They were as beautiful as they were zany, and practically a character themselves. I still think of this show every time I see a flip flop.

West Side Story
(2020) - Designed by An D'Huys

As we said at the top, modern dress street clothes are harder to design than it looks. These gritty, extremely specific costumes are a love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing (not unlike the show). We loved it.

#2360

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