Friday, December 29, 2023

2023 in Review: Our Favorite Productions

Before we sign off for 2023, Mike and I thought we'd weigh in on our favorite productions that we saw over the past twelve months. Overall, the shows we loved far outweighed those we didn't. That said, there were those we felt were the cream of the cream of the crop. Here they are:

2023 in Review:
Our Favorite Productions
(6 Categories)

Favorite New Musical

What we said: & Juliet is proudly, unabashedly a jukebox musical. Heck, there's an actual jukebox center stage and spotlighted at the start and the finish of the show! And just when I was ready to write off such fare, along comes this perfect gem of a show. The entire enterprise has elevated the genre and is now the gold standard of catalog musicals. Everyone involved should be proud. Grade: A+

Favorite New Play

What we said: 
So rarely does a play receive such rave reviews as Leopoldstadt. Even more rarely does a production so fully deserve such accolades.This one is as advertised. It is a masterpiece. Grade: A+


What we said: When people ask me why I love theater as passionately as I do, I answer by talking about shows like Life of Pi. Nothing compares to seeing such artistry and sharing a deeply human experience happening right in front of you. Grade: A+

Favorite Revival

What we said: There simply aren't enough adjectives or words that even do justice to the magnitude of this production. All I can think of is "thank you." Grade: A+


What we said: This is not a Sweeney for the faint of heart. And it just builds from there. Part psychological thriller, part horror show, part musical comedy, this production embraces all of it. It is traditional yet acutely modern. The result is one of the top theater experiences I've ever had. Grade: A+

Favorite Off-Broadway Production

What we said: The Encores! presentation of The Light in the Piazza is the perfect example of the joy and pain of the ethereal nature of the art form we love so much. It's that "capturing lightning in a bottle" thrill of witnessing a once in a lifetime moment, savoring the memory of it, and lamenting that it'll never happen again. Grade: A+

Favorite Regional Production

What we said: Pacific Overtures is a stunning classic, rarely performed, and perhaps underappreciated. True, it isn't for the faint of heart, and you need to bring your "A" game to fully understand it as an audience member. But, when there's as glorious a production as Signature Theatre's current revival, it is most definitely worth the extra effort. Grade: A+

Most Disappointing Production

What we said: They say in the show that well-behaved princesses rarely make history. Neither do rotten musicals. If pop hits and girl power re-write is what you need, head over to the Sondheim and grab tickets for & Juliet. Grade: F

2023 in Review: The Final Tally

Over the course of our yearly review, we honored 19 of the 21 productions we saw in 2023. 90 acknowledgements were made and here's how they broke down by show:

Shucked 12
& Juliet 10
Parade 10
Sweeney Todd 9
Here Lies Love 8
The Light in the Piazza 8
Bad Cinderella 5
Life of Pi 5
Bob Fosse's Dancin' 4
Pacific Overtures (Signature Theatre) 4
Back to the Future 3
Leopoldstadt 2
New York New York 2
Sunset Boulevard (Kennedy Center) 2
The Gardens of Anuncia 2
A Beautiful Noise 1
Camelot 1
Once Upon a One More Time 1
The Play That Goes Wrong (Kennedy Center) 1

Thank you all for joining us this year. We wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy and theatrical new year!

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