Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 in Review: The Best of the Best

Yesterday, I named my best musical and play moments of the year (HERE).  Today, I'll name my favorite/best individual elements of the shows on and off Broadway in 2014.

Non-Performance Bests

Best Broadway Show Logo (Musical): Hedwig and the Angry Inch Any version.  It manages to be subversive and mainstream, rock and roll and showtune, sensual and sexy.  Just like the show it advertises.

Best Broadway Show Logo (Play): This Is Our Youth It reeks of disenfranchised youth.  It is trendy and grungy. The RENT generation has grown up and this is the play for them.

Best Show Logo Do-Over: If/Then I liked the original to begin with, especially the two color schemes. But I really love the realistic/photographic version even more.

Best Box Office Do-Over: The Marquis Theatre Box Office.  Have you seen the latest version on 46th Street?  Hip!

Best Upper-Level Theatre Seating: The American Airlines Theatre.  You can sit comfortably even as other people go past you to find their seats!  And it doesn't feel like you are a mile from the stage, either.

Best Theatre District Dinner: Virgil's BBQ.  HUGE portions, fast, attentive service.  And you won't go broke, either.

Biggest Loss to the Theatre District: The closing of my beloved Cafe Edison.  Please re-open...

Cafe Edison
Best Loss to the Theatre District: The removal of the scaffolding around the former Milford Plaza Hotel.  How nice to be able to walk on that block of 8th Avenue and not rub against a few dozen strangers.

Best Idea, Worst Execution: The Tony Awards Pop Up Shop.  I'm all for temporary, topical shopping.  But stock it with more stuff next time, okay?

Performance Bests

Best Use of Projections: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Wow.  What else is there to say?

Best Set Morphing (Play): The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Wow. Did you really think all of that would happen in a geometric box?  I was shocked.  Over and over.

Best Set Morphing (Musical): Hedwig and the Angry Inch Wow. Did you really think all of that would happen on an up-cycled fake musical set?  I was shocked.  Over and over.

Best Strobes (Play): The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time It only lasted a few seconds at a time.  But my appreciation for what some people must live with every second of their lives will last a lifetime.

Best Strobes (Musical): Hedwig and the Angry Inch The amazing-ness of "Midnight Radio" was all the more so because of those amazing blinkers.

Best Costume Quick Change (Small-scale): Side Show What a transition into "Stuck With You."

Best Costume Quick Change (Large-scale): Aladdin Not once, but twice.  25 people look like a cast of hundreds in both "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali."

Best Show Economy: TIE Allegro and Violet Both shows were trimmed to 90 intermission-less minutes or so.  And both were all the better for it.

Best On-stage Chemistry - Siblings: Erin Davie and Emily Padgett as Violet and Daisy Hilton in Side Show.

Best On-stage Chemistry - Bros: Tony Yazbeck, Clyde Alves and Jay Armstrong Johnson as Gabey, Ozzie and Chip in On the Town.

Best On-stage Chemistry - BFFs: Laura Benanti and Heidi Blickenstaff as Rosabella and Cleo in The Most Happy Fella.

Best On-stage Chemistry - Forbidden Love: Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry as Violet and Flick in Violet.

Best On-stage Chemistry - Period: Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale as Francesca and Robert in The Bridges of Madison County.

Special Bests

Best Replacement: Michael C. Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch I thought he was better than NPH.

Best Alternate: Taylor Trensch in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Can Alex Sharp be any better?

Best Pinch-hitter: Curtis Holbrook in If/Then A vast improvement on Anthony Rapp.  Sorry, Rentheads.

Who or what did I leave out?  What would you have picked?  Let me know!  Email: jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com or Twitter: @jkstheatrescene


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