Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 in Review: My Favorite Things

Oprah has her list, and I have mine.  Over the past year, I've really come to enjoy these 5 theatre-related things A LOT!  Here they are in no particular order.

  • Times Square:  Now that I'm used to it, I can really appreciate it.  I'm talking about the pedestrian mall in Times Square.  I love the TKTS...the huge steps to sit on and ogle check out all of my fellow theatre-fans.  I love standing in the middle of it and having the time to really look up - all the way around without the fear of being hit by a taxi cab, messenger bike, or one of those bike/carriage things.  I've never felt so small, so in awe or so much a part of things at once in my whole life.

  • Broadway Record Companies: You know the ones I'm talking about - Sh-k-boom/Ghostlight, PS Classics and Kritzerland.  Without them, so much great Broadway music would be lost forever.  Even the not so great stuff still contains some gems, and the historical record these albums create is immeasurable in its importance.  And can we talk quality?  Even the CD booklets are first rate.  Without them, our collections might not include Promises, Promises (London Cast), Godspell, Follies, Catch Me If You Can, The Book of MormonLegally Blonde, The People in the Picture, Xanadu, next to normal and dozens of other titles.  Let's hope Bonnie and Clyde and Lysistrata Jones are on their radar!

  • Transport Group Theatre Group:  one of my biggest regrets of 2011 is missing their environmental and oh so naughty revival of Hello Again.  But these people have provided me with two of my best theatre experiences of the year, Lysistrata Jones and Queen of the Mist.  Talk about diverse - silly, witty foam and a hearty thinking man's musical meal back-to-back!  Exciting productions that feel like you are on the verge of something new and cutting edge... you can't beat that!

  • The Gym at Judson:  Aside from the cramped stairwell where you line up before the doors open, I love this space.  Small in that cozy, every-seat-is-literally-good kind of way, the space has also proven very versatile and in both cases of the shows I've seen there, the way it is configured is central to the themes of the show.  And you can't beat the location - the heart of NYU and Greenwich Village.  It is so NEW YORK, I can taste apples every time I'm there!  I can't wait to see what plays there next.

  • The Scale of Prices Flat Screens:  Every Broadway theatre box office has one now, and I love it!  I'm talking about the flat screen TVs that tell you the scale of prices per performance, per row.  Crystal clear!  I also love that they show you what you are seeing, and even sometimes, clips from that show (granted there's no volume, but it sure beats staring at the back of some old lady's fur coat while she argues with the guy behind the glass over why she can't get a center orchestra seat for next Wednesday's matinee of The Book of Mormon.  Come on, I know you've all seen her - too much lipstick, well past her lips, thick Brooklyn accent, and a well-worn pocket calendar crammed with little slips of paper... 

She might just be my 6th favorite thing!

What are your favorite theatre things this year?

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