|Daniel N. Durant as Moritz in Deaf West's Spring Awakening.|
Photo by Kevin Parry.
I'm quite proud to report that my attendance bumped up from last year - I saw 130 shows in 2015, and when we remove the repeats, it comes out to 121 unique shows - only one fewer than I saw in 2013, and 24 up from last year. It's been an odd mix this year - some truly extraordinary theater, including the groundbreaking work by Broadway's biggest nerd, Lin-Manuel Miranda - but the Fall season on Broadway, at least in terms of straight plays, was oddly disappointing. However, Off-Broadway picked up the slack, there's still plenty of good work to remember from this past Spring, and loads to anticipate for 2016.
So let's get started. (and before anyone calls the dogs out on any shows I omitted, the list started at 32 for the year, which I then had to painstakingly cull down to its present length)
Honorable Mention: I can't officially include Hedwig and the Angry Inch on this list, since the production made my '14 list last year, but if I didn't include John Cameron Mitchell's incredible performance in the role he created, I'd be doing a disservice to all of us. I saw him only after his injury early in his run, but even hobbled as he was by multiple knee braces, his Hedwig was a terrifying and heartbreaking force of nature. The role (and the show) transformed under his care, running a good twenty minutes longer from all the riffing and adlibbing. This was Hedwig as I knew her from before - bitingly cruel one moment, sweet and loving the next. A deeply-bedded river of bitterness ran through her, even as she valiantly soldiered on, crutch tucked under her arm. And oh god, the moment JCM opened his mouth in the first song, sounding just like he did twenty years earlier, I started to cry. (I feel it would be remiss if I did not also mention the fact that my friend Marissa received the infamous car wash treatment when we attended together - without a doubt, an unforgettable evening).