Thursday, December 21, 2017

Best Theatre of 2017

There are about 10 days to go, but I am not scheduled to see any theatre in Dec. (and I don't plan on going to Common Boots' outdoor show -- not interested in being cold after that stretch of 72 hours or so without heat).  Thus, I might as well go forward with my personal faves from 2017.  It definitely went in cycles with Feb/March, July and Sept./Oct. being the best theatre months (for me).  I probably am getting pickier or something, as I am not subscribing as much to companies.  I also noticed that there are more theatre events that I declined to list below, as they didn't make the cut (and nothing at all from Nov. or Dec., which is definitely a first for me, though I saw some good concerts in those months).  I probably am starting to value my time a bit differently (and perhaps am still hoping to move more into the role of a content producer and a bit less of a pure consumer).  At any rate, there are quite a few enticing entries in Feb./March 2018, so at least next year is starting off strong.

As always, there was much I enjoyed in Toronto and occasionally elsewhere.

Sequence -- Tarragon

Twelfth Night -- Shakespeare Bash'd
John by Annie Baker -- The Company Theatre (wasn't thrilled by the ending/destination but the journey was interesting)
As You Like It -- George Brown
My Night With Reg -- Studio 180/Mirvish (first 2 scenes quite good, but the third fell flat)
A Streetcar Named Desire -- Plain Stage @ The Box (solid, intimate production)

Stupid F**king Bird -- The Bird Collective
7 Stories by Morris Panych -- Hart House
Proof -- Theatre UnBlocked/Red Sandcastle
Three Sisters -- Wolf Manor

A Flea in Her Ear -- George Brown (quite funny though too much reliance on slapstick violence in 2nd act)
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood -- George Brown

Midsummer -- Tarragon
For colored girls -- Soulpepper
The Best Dad in the World and other Sad Characters -- Red Sandcastle

Office Hours -- East Side Players (funny but very uneven acting)
Saint Joan by G.B Shaw -- Shaw Festival

Confederation & Riel & Scandal & Rebellion -- Video Cabaret (fantastic as always)
Billy Bishop Goes to War -- Soulpepper
The School for Scandal -- Stratford
The Changeling -- Stratford
Twelfth Night -- Shakespeare in High Park
Adult Entertainment -- Triple Bypass/TO Fringe
Hogtown -- Hogtown Collective

Reality Theatre -- Summerworks
The School for Lies by Moliere/Ives -- Artistic Home (Chicago)
Midsummer's Night's Dream -- Theatre in the Ruff

Waiting for Godot  -- Soulpepper (decent production but only the 3rd best I've seen)
The Aliens by Annie Baker -- Coal Mine (excellent)
Title and Deed by Will Eno (Nightfall Theatrics @ Tarragon)

The Fish Eyes Trilogy -- Factory Theatre
Hedwig and the Angry Inch -- Hart House (amazing -- and I almost skipped this!)
The Catch by George Walker -- Leroy St. Theatre (fun but an unconvincing ending)

Hard to narrow it down even more, though probably the stand-out productions were The Aliens at Coal Mine, Video Cabaret's History Plays, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Hart House, Stupid F**king Bird, and The School for Scandal at Stratford.  I was also very glad I got to see Eric Peterson tackling Billy Bishop.

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