January 1, 2014

Favorite Performances of 2013

Happy New Year, everyone! Today, I'm taking some time to reflect on my favorite theatre experiences of 2013. I was fortunate to see many entertaining productions on Broadway, tour, and off-Broadway. I've listed a few of my favorites below. Be sure to comment and share your own favorites. Here's to a great year of theatre in 2014! 

1.) Murder Ballad played off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre this past summer. This production was very unique and intimate, unlike most of the big Broadway and National touring productions that I see on a regular basis. The music was raw and haunting, as were the individual performances. And I always love a twist at the end. 

2.) The Tony Award winning production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was one of the most comedic, yet poignant plays I have seen to date. Kristine Nielsen (Sonia) and David Hyde Pierce (Vanya) were especially hilarious, and I so wanted Kristine to win the Tony Award. With talent of that caliber, her day will come. 

3.) I saw Diane Paulus' production of Pippin at the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) in Boston in January of 2013 and knew instantly that it was something very special. During the past year, the show has transferred to Broadway, garnered multiple Tony Awards, and is enjoying a successful run at the Music Box Theatre. Once again, Diane Paulus has demonstrated her remarkable talent. 

4.) Kinky Boots, the Tony Award winner for Best Musical in 2013, is still going strong. Who would have thought that a musical about women's boots for men would be a box office success?  I definitely attribute part of its success to Cyndi Lauper's score and the individual performances of some of the actors, especially Tony Award winner Billy Porter, Stark Sands, and Annaleigh Ashford. The message of acceptance is also one that the world needs to hear from time to time. P.S. Kudos to Macy's for supporting this timely show. 

5.) The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) has offered an unusually solid season so far. This fall, the touring companies of Evita, Once, Ghost, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked have performed at PPAC. All of these shows are favorites of mine. And there's more to come- The Book of Mormon will be playing at PPAC this spring. 

6.) A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is the most recent addition to the long list of musicals I have seen. (I will be posting a blog soon!) I appreciated the skilled acting, clever comedy, and originality of the piece and would recommend this show to any theatre-goer. Hopefully, this musical will enjoy a solid Broadway run. 

7.) Does anyone remember Hands on a Hardbody? This show had a lot of heart, but that wasn't enough to sustain a long run on Broadway.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see it. 


  1. Good post! My fave shows of 2013 were(in no particular order)
    Vanya, et al-loved this show so much I saw it again at a local theatre in the winter! I normally don't like plays, but this was hysterical!
    Pippin-I had been dying, Dying, DYING to see this for the longest time, and it didn't let me down! Everything about it was awesomely amazing!
    F&$@ing Up Everything-this show I can not rave any more about how great it was! The music by far was wonderful! I'm impatiently waiting for a cast recording!
    Forbidden Broadway Alive and Kicking-this makes the cut bc not only was it hysterical, it's also a classic-and my first time ever seeing a FB show!
    Old Jews Telling Jokes-HYSTERICAL!!! Love all the anecdotes and stories...the book was funny, the show even better!
    First Date-this show was funny, but one of the songs, "Safer," made me realize that her story was my story. It was surreal to see my life on stage. Loved the show, loved the music!
    Once-Providence Performing Arts Center. First, I must say this is one of the shows I wasn't initially excited for. Then I started listening to the music and started liking some of the songs and started getting excited for the show. And then I found out that Matt DeAngelis, who I've liked since Hair, was going to be in it! That clinched it for me! I was pleasantlyy surprised by Once, and enjoyed it very much!
    Wicked-Prov Perf Arts Center-this production was great, Wicked is a classic, but the best parts were A-winning lottery $25 tix 3rd row, and B-seeing Gina Beck as Glinda. I had the pleasure of seeing Gina when I went to London. She was as awesome as Glinda then, and continues to be awesome as Glinda now!
    Gentlemans Guide to Love and Murder-I went to see this not knowing much about the show except that it was funny. I was beyond satisfied with my expectations! AND this show was an original! Also, Bryce Pinkham...delightful to watch on stage...not to mention delightful to look at as eye candy :)
    Finally, Billy Elliot. I saw this on tour in CT at the Bushnell Theatre, I'd refused to see this show for a long time. When I finally got into it, it not only had closed on Broadway, I'd missed the tour in Boston too! So I was grateful CT had it come on tour there! Again, pleasantly surprised! Billy Elliot was simply electrifying!