Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 in Review: JK's Theatre Awards, Pt. 1

Well, I am biting the bullet and creating "Best of 2009" lists, which you will be seeing all week. Since I didn't see any shows in December of 2009, I'll count 2009 as December 1, 2008 - November 30, 2009. And since I am seeing shows in January 2010, next year 2010 will actually be 2010!

Later in the week, I'll blog about my favorite shows, actors and actresses for the year, as well as those that disappointed me. But I thought I'd start out with some "JK's TheatreScene" Awards for 2009, mostly to recognize things not normally covered by traditional awards. Couldn't think of a snazzy name for mine - feel free to send your ideas to me - so here they are, in no particular order:


Best Place to Eat Cheap and See Broadway Stars: The Cafe Edison in the Edison Hotel
Best Place to Eat Cheap and Still Afford Broadway Shows: Dallas BBQ on 42nd Street (ABOVE)

Most Welcome Opening in New York: The New TKTS Booth in Times Square
Most Fun in Times Square: Being a sandwich board person for a Broadway show (BELOW)

Best PR for a non-Show (So far): The PR for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Best PR for a Broadway Show: The PR for Ragtime - it is EVERYWHERE these days!
Most in Need of PR for a Broadway Show: The lack of PR for Memphis - It should be a blockbuster.
Gone, But Not Forgotten: Garage ads for Cry-Baby - Until very recently, the parking garage near the Henry Miller Theatre had banners for Cry-Baby that ran the length of a block, from door to door. In just the past month or so they finally changed them to Wintuk.

Best Ads/Logo - Play: After Miss Julie (Above)
Best Ads/Logo - Musical: Memphis
Best Ads/Logo - Broadway-related: Broadway Bares 19.0 (Below)
Best Show Website: TIE: Hair and Ragtime - Lots of cool stuff, very easy to navigate and both are true to their shows

Best Lemons from Lemonade: TIE: Getting Roseland for the BCEFA Flea Market and creating a children's book from the song "The Butterfly" from a flop show, The Story of My Life

Best New Trend: Shows moving from Broadway to Off-Broadway (Avenue Q, The 39 Steps)

Most Comfortable Theatre: The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, home of MTC. LEG ROOM IN EVERY ROW!!!

Best Stage Door Behavior: TIE: Chad Kimball at the Shubert Theatre, above, (Memphis) and Alice Ripley at the Booth Theatre (next to normal). They talk directly to each person in line as if they are the only ones there. They sign (Alice draws her name so she has more time with each person) and take pictures and really go out of their way to show appreciation to the fans.
Worst Stage Door Behavior: Why ruin a nice awards blog? But you know who I'm talking about!

Best Broadway Cheerleader: By far, the nicest guy on Broadway, Tony-winner Gregory Jbara.
Best Broadway News to Make National Headlines: The entire company of Hair took a day off from the show (with the producers' backing!) to attend and perform at the Equality March for Gay Rights and Marriage in Washington, DC. Pictured above, Gavin Creel.
The Hardest Working Cast of a Broadway Show: Hair. Like Visa, they were everywhere this year. Eskimos and Sarah Palin even knew Hair was back on Broadway.

Best Thing to Do When Not Attending a Show: Watching Broadway stars tear up TV on Glee!

Best Merchandise Related to a Musical: The pillbox available at next to normal. (ABOVE)
Best Merchandise Related to a Play: Donuts at Superior Donuts.
Best Merchandise Trend: TIE: Cheaper window cards at the actual show (next to normal/Finian's Rainbow/Memphis) and souvenir programs made entirely of recycled paper and environmentally friendly inks (Hair/West Side Story)
Most Missed Merchandise: Playbill Collector cards. It's like taking away baseball cards from Yankee fans...
Merchandise I Wish I Had Invented: Taking legitimate advertising brochures (they are free all over Times Square) and decoupaging them to glassware and cardboard purses and charging $75 and up!

Best Free Merchandise and Most Clever: The "lighters" that you get when you enter Rock of Ages. What would 80's hair band rock be without a lighter?

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