Best Theater/Live Performances of 2008
Since everyone else is making lists, I thought I’d make some of my own “best of” for 2008. I don’t know why anyone else would care what the best piece of art, theatre or movie I experienced in 2008 was but I’m going to do it anyway – so there (that should tell you the level of maturity that you will now be subjected to – prepare yourself)
My Best of List for 2008 (insert trumpet fanfare – I didn’t feel like finding the appropriate sound wave so just imagine trumpets blowing and banners flapping and you know… fanfare)
Best Theater Experience of 2008 – I had the good fortune to travel to NYC and see Patti Lupone on Broadway in Gypsy! Wow-wee-wow-w0w wow to quote myself from a previous post. Words cannot describe the power of the performance she and the other cast members gave. I was a little disappointed in the stage design but since that is my supposed “area” I tend to be a bit more critical of sets and lighting and costumes. As my old set design teacher, Mr. Burroughs used to say, “You don’t want them leaving the theater humming the scenery” but when you have powerhouse performers such as Lupone I think they could have revved up the pageantry just a tad. I’m not sure if she’s still performing this on Broadway, but if she is and you get the chance to see this, go! – well worth the price of admission. By the way, thank goodness we got half priced tickets right before show time or else I’m not sure I could have afforded to see the performance).
EXTRA BONUS – since this venue for my blathering was not available to me in 2007 – here is my 2007 best theater performance….
Best Dramatic Theatre piece of 2007 – Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. Wow – Mr. Noodle can act! I’ve always loved Bill Irwin but have only seen him in lighter fare (Northern Exposure, Sesame Street). I’ve always known he is a first rate clown but the man is also a first rate thespian (as is Ms. Turner, thespian, not clown). Apparently Irwin can do the internal as well as external gymnastics required of great performers. The play provided wonderful performances, nuanced, expressive, layered. A splendid interpretation of the piece. I was frankly afraid I would be repulsed by the play. My only experience with it was the much more strident, vindictive version of the characters as performed by Taylor and Burton in the film version. The Irwin/Turner version of the characters made the experience of viewing the play deeper, richer and their dialogue and actions much more understandable than was evident in the film. (Note: I wrote this thinking I had seen this performance in 2008 but on fact checking and, yes I do check my facts, I realized it was 2007 that I saw this play… the grey cells they are adyin’…. sigh…..)
Best Live Concert Performance in 2008: (at least I think it was this year I saw him…..) Arlo Guthrie hands down. A blast from the past and highly entertaining. He is still Arlo under the grey hair and his storytelling abilities are equal to his musical abilities and that’s saying something. I found his live rendition of City of New Orleans held greater emotional and lyrical quality for me than his recorded version of many years ago.
Next post – 2008 best films and art and such, should you care to come by….