BEST OF THE DECADE:
Jeff and Mike's Favorite
FAVORITE SCENIC DESIGNS OF A PLAY:
A memory play, this glorious design was a wonder of specificity and cloudy remembrance. The balance between now and then was perfection, even as the action took place entirely on small platforms that seemed to hover over a pool of black water. Less is more here.
Count us both among those who gasped when the lights came up on the set for the second part of the play. How the set managed to be both ice cold and warm, just as A, B and C themselves were, was design gold.
In a play with so many spectacular elements, the accomplishment here is that the set didn't overwhelm the production. Instead, it added to the sweeping epic aspect of the story when necessary, and pulled back to allow the focus to be squarely where it belonged when necessary. Brilliant.
FAVORITE SCENIC DESIGNS OF A MUSICAL:
Walking into the Shubert Theatre was like walking into a child's imagination, perfect for this show. It revealed delight after delight, scare after scare, and it was simply wonderful.
We were pessimistic that anyone could come up with anything close to the movie version. We couldn't have been more wrong. It is, well, spectacular. The best part for us was that there were plenty of familiar nods to the film, but that McLane embraced the live theatrical element present in the musical. It's always great to see stage designs that show off things that the stage can do that film can't.
Immersive productions were quite a trend over the past decade. This show took it to a whole new level. I'll never forget walking into the Imperial door and right into a metallic smelling Russian bunker. I'll also never forget walking into the theater itself and right into another world bathed in red, wreaking of opulence and excess.