Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2005 Theatre Roundup


We attended 81 plays, musicals and operas last year. This beats our previous year’s record of 76. Most of the performances were in the Bay Area. However, we did spend an intense week at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh where we saw 25 performances in six and half days. Here is our list of favorites:
TOP FIVE
My list:
1 The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? - Edward Albee, A.C.T.
[Subtitled: Notes toward a definition of tragedy. A modern American tragedy in the ancient Greek style.]
2 Parade - Alfred Uhry, Jason Robert Brown, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
[Musical based on the trail of Leo Frank in 1913, Atlanta wrongly accused for the murder of a child. Best show we saw at the festival.]
3 The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Part One & Two - Charles Dickens, David Edgar, California Shakespeare Theater
[Outdoor marathon production, 6.5 hours in one day/evening. Great cast.]
4 Golda's Balcony - William Gibson, at A.C.T. (Tovah Feldshuh)
[One woman show of Golda Meir, Israel’s blunt and impassioned prime minister from 1969 through '74.]
5 Well - Lisa Kron, ACT
[A look at wellness in the individual and community. Bring your Mom.]

E’s list:
1 The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Part One & Two - Charles Dickens, David Edgar, California Shakespeare Theater
2 Parade - Alfred Uhry, Jason Robert Brown, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
3 Dolly West's Kitchen - Frank McGuiness, TheatreWorks
[Beautiful but improbable love story involving two gay soldiers that take place in a small Irish town during WWII.]
4 Nuts Coconuts - Jordi Milan, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
[The story of the ‘Gibraltar Follies’ variety theatre company. Don’t be late! Is it a (gay) revue or deconstructionist theatre? Great fun watching the set being struck.]
5 The Overcoat - Morris Panych, Wendy Gorling, Nikolai Gogol, Dmitri Shostakovich, ACT (CanStage, Toronto)
[Wordless play adapted from Gogol's story. A cross between a silent movie and a modern dance ballet.]

Our Favorite Gay Plays
Dolly West's Kitchen - Frank McGuiness, TheatreWorks
[Beautiful but improbable love story involving two gay soldiers that take place in a small Irish town during WWII.]
Take Me Out - Richard Greenberg, Best of Broadway
[Talking baseball in the shower. Professional pitcher comes out to the team.]
Lilies - Michel Marc Bouchard, A.C.T. M.F.A. Program with Theatre Rhinoceros
[A lyric and erotic play where inmates re-enact a tale of an impassioned love between two young men Also a 1996 movie.]
Beautiful Thing - Jonathan Harvey, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
[Story of sexual awakening of two lads in Southeast London. Also a 1996 movie. Excellent cast]
Mambo Italiano - Steve Galluccio, New Conservatory Theatre Center
[Coming out story full of love & loss, family and guilt. Also a 2003 movie.]

4 comments:

Houston said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Houston said...

Culture whores! Ain't it glorious! I stand in awe of your stamina though.

I thought of you two after I saw Brokeback Mountain. I wondered what kind of life Jack and Ennis could have had if only Jack and visited San Francisco instead of going to Mexico. He would have learned that he had so many more options for living a happy and productive life.

The difference between your year and their summer on Brokeback Mountain is that your year is a brick in the foundation of your lives together and not as isolated chance encounter, even if in a perfect place.

Being Gay is so much more liberating than simply being homosexual. There's more to do and you get to look fabulous while doing it, and you two looked fabulous at the opera the night I saw you.

Best wishes for the coming year.

(I recreated this comment because of an ugly edit failure on my part which left the wrong word in a place which gave the sentence a completely different meaning. I hate when that happens.)

Anonymous said...

Howdy - just discovered your blog.

not being a theater queen snob... but i saw the broadway return of nicholas nickelby by the RSC, in October 86. cost me $100, and i was 20 years old with a crappy job, and i starved for a month so i could see it. stayed with my aunt in soho for five days, too. anyway, the whole thing was about five hours one night and almost that long the second night.

so. my question is:

how in the name of god did they get it down to six and a half hours?? did they just play it at crazy fast speed?

after reading your blog, i partly wish i were you

Another gay dad said...

For Nicholas Nickleby the California Shakespeare Theater worked with David Edgar, the writer/adaptor to shorten the production. I believe one whole sub-plot and group of characters were removed. All the critics thought it was great.

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