Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Favorite Theater of 2017

Paul Hilton and Anna Francolini as Peter
Pan and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
Photo by Steve Tanner.
It's been an odd year (in many, many, many ways). On the theater scene, one of those many oddnesses was the top-heaviness of it - the 2016-2017 season was so jam packed, I can't quite hold it all in my head. And then here at the tail end of the first half of the 2017-2018 season, we've had instead a rather spare (and unfortunately largely uninspiring) autumn. I still managed to find plenty to love, however: my initial attempt at building a Top list started at 35 which I then whittled to 26, then 21 (the task becoming more challenging with each culling), before landing at the current list. Some shows culled from the list made a strong impression on first viewing, but perhaps haven't etched themselves in my memory enough to warrant place here.

Part of why, even with a sparse autumn, the whittling was so difficult, lies in the fact that I hit a personal record this past year: 151 shows total (ho-ly merde), with 16 repeats, leaving 135 unique shows, besting last year by 24 unique shows and besting my highest year (2013) by 13.

So we should probably get started. I've had such a difficult time cutting the list down, and at this point, I don't even know how to rank them, so instead for a change of pace, I'm presenting them in chronological order of when I saw them.