Thursday, January 29, 2009

2008 Curtain Call

Time to do our 2008 theatre recap before January 2009 finishes.

We saw 98 plays, musicals and operas last year.
This includes 13 shows in 8 days in New York City during 4th of July week.
Our hike across Ireland in August included three shows in Dublin and one in Dingle.
We also spent a weekends in Sacramento (3 shows) and Palm Springs (2 shows), CA and Las Vegas (1 show), NV sampling some of the local community and professional productions.
However, most of the shows were seen in the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the pervious year, we had season subscriptions to TheatreWorks, ACT, SF Playhouse, Best of Broadway and the San Francisco Opera. We were also contributors to TheatreWorks and SF Playhouse, 42nd Street Moon and New Conservatory Theatre Center. Majority of the non-subscription tickets were bought in advance at half price on Goldstar.
Our full list of shows can be found here.

Favorite shows for 2008:
* Third - Wendy Wasserstein, TheatreWorks
A feminist college professor finds herself at a crossroads, her life as mother and daughter in disarray and her liberal convictions challenged by an intriguing new male student.
* The Palm Springs Follies, Palm Springs
A three-hour, song and dance extravaganza that recaptures the glorious days of vaudeville, the Ziegfeld Follies and showgirls with talented cast members from 56 to 84 years "young!"
* Blade to the Heat - Oliver Mayer, Thick Description
Deals with latent homosexuality in the boxing world of 1959. Three boxers vie for the middleweight championship. Fantastic staged boxing scenes.
* The Laramie Project - Moisés Kaufman, members of the Tectonic Theater Project, Palo Alto High School
Do not miss a chance to see this play performed by students at a local high school or college. It is a sad reminder that this year is the 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder and there is still no hate crime legislation.
* Caroline, or Change - Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, TheatreWorks
A musical story of forgotten pocket change becomes a story of massive sociological change. Saw it on Broadway and national tour. First regional production and it gets better each time.
* Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead - Bert V. Royal, Las Vegas Little Theatre
Parody of the Peanuts gang now in high school that covers topics such as drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity.
* The Weir - Conor McPherson, The Gate Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
Set in present day small, rural bar in Ireland. Newcomer Valerie is spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories from the local bachelors. Their tales are a mesmerizing mixture of rumor and local legend. However she has her own story to tell. The first and best of 3 McPherson plays we saw this year.
* Rock 'N' Roll - Tom Stoppard, A.C.T.
A decades-spanning tale that follows the passions and politics of a Marxist professor in Cambridge and his Stones/Pink Floyd obsessed protégé fighting for freedom in Soviet-dominated Prague.
* Radio Golf - August Wilson, TheatreWorks
A charismatic African American politician is running for mayor, caught between the fresh-faced spirit of the future and the soulful voices of the past.
Our favorite Broadway shows for the year were: August:Osage County, Sunday in the Park with George, The 39 Steps, South Pacific, A Catered Affair and Gypsy.


Esther said...

Great roundup, Guy Dads! Congratulations on a terrific year of theatergoing. I agree about your top Broadway picks. (Except for Sunday in the Park, which I didn't see.) But we have to part company on Rock 'n' Roll, which I also saw on Broadway. I just found it very unsatisfying.

GuyDads said...

I probably would not like "Rock N Roll" if it was not for 2 things that happened in my life.
1) My ex-wife went to college in Cambridge in the early 80's. While there she became deeply versed in the life and lore of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. She could lecture for an hour on the importance and impact he had on music and culture. (Must be something in the water there.)
2) Couple years ago, Eddie and I visited a museum in Prague where we got engrossed in the exhibits about the recent uprisings in Czechoslovakia that spanned the time of the Prague Spring of 68 to the Velvet Revolution of 89. There was even a section on the underground rock group Plastic People of the University.
Who knew these random events would someday be important in my understanding and enjoyment of a Tom Stoppard play?

Anonymous said...

hey guys. nice to see you are here.. long time no talk. xoxoxox

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