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Author Topic: Your Favorite Plays 2009  (Read 7990 times)
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Diva
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« on: December 21, 2009, 11:37:07 AM »

Let's get some discussion and some back-patting going on here!  What were your favorite shows in 2009?  Any standout performances?
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Rik Deskin
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 02:35:15 PM »

My favorite shows this year were some overlooked productions in the case of my top two. Tragically overlooked by critics but seen by some fellow colleagues and a good number of the community:

1. Macbeth by Eclectic Theater Company. I'm personally biased as I was in it, but everyone that saw it was blown away by our performance and performers and I feel that it was my best work as an actor to date. Starting with a point of departure of Tim Burton's concepts, L. Nicol Cabe put together a topnotch production team and ensemble of actors and the result was a remarkable high quality production. Stand-out performances by all the cast--I can't thank them enough!

2. Woyzeck by Eclectic Theater Company. Also biased but this production really shined with L. Nicol Cabe's keen direction and musical direction by Mai Li Pittard. It really raised the bar for ETC's quality of work and working in multiple mediums. Also a great ensemble led by Traci Biegenwald and Patrick Bentley and a haunting score by Mai Li Pittard.

3. Blood Squad Presents Dead Until Twilight  & A Nightmare on 34th St. This is a tie because both of these runs were especially funny due to the subject matter. Typically a Blood Squad performance is always good and results in sidesplitting laughter. The performers: Brandon Felker, Elicia Wickstead, Michael White and Molly Arkin are very generous performers and their brand of long-form improv consistently proves it's in a category of it's own.

4. Equivocation at the Seattle Repertory Theater. A splendid companion piece to having just worked on The Scottish Play! I enjoyed it immensely!

5. Citizen Scrooge by Unexpected Productions. A hilarious hybrid of Dickens and Welles with a dash of Holiday homage to other pop culture classics. Stand-out performances by UP Ensemble Members Brandon Felker, Elicia Wickstead and special guest actors Steve Grenley and Keith Dahlgren and strong performances by the rest of the cast.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 02:54:54 PM by Rik Deskin » Logged

Rik Deskin
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 02:51:38 PM »

Tryst, performed at Seattle Public Theatre.

I loved it so much the first time I brought a few more friends and went again. It was truly an astonishing, exquisite, mesmerizing production. Both actors were so flawless in their roles that I was truly captivated start to finish, both times I attended. It was exactly what a perfect theatre experience should be.
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 10:34:09 AM »

Like Rik, I'm gonna toot my own company's horn.

Titus Andronicus.   It was our most successful indoor show ever, with a total attendance of over 1200 people, many of which saw it 2 or 3 times. It was a big, bloody, and absolutely hilarious good time. The cast was stellar, especially Patrick Bentley as Titus, Sam Hagen as Marcus, and Nicole Vernon as Lavinia...

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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 01:22:29 PM »

Oh my goodness; I've seen so many! But here are a few of the juiciest:

New Century's "Orange Water Flower"
Theater Schmeater's "When the Messenger is Hot"
Taproot's "Enchanted April"
ACT's "Rock and Roll"
Seattle Rep/OSF's "Equivocation"
Seattle Shakes' "Merchant of Venice"
Broadway tour of "Rent" at the Paramount


And while, it's not Seattle, I have to pick the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production of "Macbeth"
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 01:24:24 PM by Kristin Alexander » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 07:34:03 PM »

Kristin, I didn't see as many shows as you did, but close!

Here are the top three that had me shakin' in my boots they were so powerful:


A Dream Play, Ghost Light Theatricals

Titus, WET (Ken, Greenstages production rocked too!!)

Artifacts of Consequence, Satori Group


and I'll go ahead and say that Long Day's Journey Into Night, New Amerikan Theatre, was one of the most profound plays
I've had the opportunity to perform in and co-produce
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Jesse Putnam
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 12:08:08 AM »

The Seafarer was my fav of the year. Russell Hodgkinson was great, as was Hans and the rest of the cast. Another that comes to mind is UW PATP's production of Coward's Blithe Spirit. Samantha Cole was simply splendid, as her Ruth might say. Saw two memorable student productions at SPT -- one was Coward's Hay Fever, the other production, the name I can't recall, featured a young actor whose Boston accent was the best I have heard since Lawrence Fishburne in Mystic River. His accent was wicked good! Lastly, Norman Bell's Subprime was a strong solo piece. Well written and engaging. Gin Hammond directed.
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Rik Deskin
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2009, 12:15:03 AM »

Subprime was also a great play to see Jesse. Smiley
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Rik Deskin
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2009, 09:50:30 AM »

Saw two memorable student productions at SPT -- one was Coward's Hay Fever, the other production, the name I can't recall, featured a young actor whose Boston accent was the best I have heard since Lawrence Fishburne in Mystic River. His accent was wicked good!

Thanks so much for the shout-out, Jesse! Just for the record, that young actor is the delightful, generous, and extremely versatile William Lavely, currently a high school junior. The play was Israel Horowitz's "Lebensraum". On behalf of the entire SPT Youth Ensemble, mucho gratitude for your support!
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2009, 11:04:23 PM »

Culled from my list of 52 on the other thread, a quick top ten:

End Days, Seattle Public Theater
Of Mice and Men, Seattle Public Theater
The Merchant of Venice, Seattle Shakespeare Company
Das Barbecu, ACT
Orange Flower Water, New Century Theatre Company
The Elephant Man, Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Opus, Seattle Repertory Theatre
Tryst, Seattle Public Theater
Equivocation, Seattle Repertory Theatre
Sweeney Todd, ArtsWest Conservatory

Disclosure: I work at Seattle Public Theater, and my bias shows through. All of their 2009 youth program shows could have earned a spot here, particularly The Shakespeare Stealer, Hay Fever and Lebensraum (so I'm told, I unfortunately didn't get to see it!). And this list is heavy on bigger houses - in 2010 I'm going to try and make it to more smaller theatres around town.
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Rik Deskin
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2009, 01:39:25 AM »

Add Rapunzel at the Jewel Box Theater and The Masters at Odd Duck Studio.  Wink
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Rik Deskin
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Louise Penberthy
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 05:18:29 PM »

Our Town, Barrow Street Theater, New York
It was real, gritty, heartfelt, and completely without sentimentality or preciousness.

Opus, Seattle Rep
It reminded me of the string quartet I was in.  And when Charles Leggett's character smashed the violin, I thought I was going to die.

Twelfth Night, Seattle Shakespeare Company
Never mind what Misha Berson said about it not using the dark elements of the story.  This production had an "aww" quality that I thought was perfect for the holidays.

Orange Flower Water, New Century Theater Company
Well done, though I felt disgusted with the characters at the end.

Titus Andronicus, GreenStage
The blood!  Nuff said.

Zastrozzi, The Master of Discipline, Balagan Theatre
For sheer, campy, committed weirdness.  Aimee Bruneau's line "Eat your banana" was the best.

And, for personal reasons...

No More Than Reason, Little Red Studio (playwright)
Especially the last night, the audience was really responsive, and at the end the production captured what I was trying to portray: the sweetness and bitterness of love in middle age.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 05:37:20 PM by Louise Penberthy » Logged

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