Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lowering the curtain on 2009

Here are a few final thoughts before I bid farewell to 2009, my third year of theatergoing:
  • Speaking of posters, not that it matters but A Steady Rain had one of the worst designs I've ever seen. How can you take two handsome men like Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman and make them almost painful to look at? I guess it was designed to symbolize their friendship, the merging of their lives. But it made them look like a two-headed Cyclops.
  • Of my favorite lines in 2009 none was more shocking than one from Mary Stuart. I could not believe it when Janet McTeer as the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots taunted Queen Elizabeth I (Harriet Walter) with: "The throne of England is desecrated by a bastard." Not a wise thing to say to the woman who holds the keys to your jail and the warrant for your execution!
  • Spoiler alert: I never realized that watching someone vomit on stage could be so entertaining but Hope Davis was superb at, er, "erupting" in God of Carnage. And watching the other three actors scurry around, trying to help her and cleaning up the mess, was hilarious. This is a scene that I knew was coming but it was executed in a way that still managed to surprise me.
  • reasons to be pretty had an ending that made me laugh and cheer. Thomas Sadoski's character makes an obscene gesture after he's quit his job in the warehouse of a Costco-like chain. It was a beautiful moment and symbolized the way Sadoski's Greg became his own man. I hadn't planned on seeing this play but I ended up enjoying it so much, in large part due to Sadoski's engaging performance. Despite the ever-increasing appearance of celebrities on Broadway stages, it's most often the actors who aren't household names who end up making the biggest impression on me.
  • On the downside, I've noticed more theatergoers arriving late and is it my imagination or have candy wrappers become more crinkly and noisy in the past year?
  • I'd been dreading 2009 long before January but thanks to my theatre-loving friends, it turned out to be a wonderful year, better than I could possibly have imagined. They made sure I had the best birthday ever. I am so grateful to them for that and for so much more.
  • To everyone who read my blog, left a comment, followed me on Twitter, friended me on Facebook, sent me an e-mail, joined me for lunch, brunch dinner or a show, thank-you for the gift of your time and your friendship. Here's to a happy, healthy and adventure-filled 2010!
  • Finally, out of everything I've read about theatre in 2009, this description by playwright Adam Szymkowicz of the plays that excite him resonated with me the most:

    "I want to have a good time. I want to laugh, I want to be engaged, I want to care. I like plays about things. I like crazy off the wall experiments and I like naturalism, too. Most importantly, I like narrative. If you're not telling me a story, I get bored and I hate your play. I don't want to hate your play. I want you to show me something new. I get excited by something I haven't seen before."


Linda said...

I loved reasons to be pretty. I'm glad you liked it too.

Esther said...

Oh I loved it! It was so entertaining. It was a play I had no intention of seeing and I'm so glad I did.

Thomas Sadoski and Steven Pasquale in particular were excellent. I loved watching how Sadoski's character grows and gets more confident as the play goes on. Really a memorable character.

I saw it the afternoon of the Tony awards. I was at dinner with some of my fellow bloggers the night before and we all wrote down on a piece of paper the name of a play or musical I should see and put them in a glass. I pulled out reasons to be pretty! I went to TKTS Sunday morning and got my ticket.