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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of Stage 2015

I saw 199 shows in 2015. Just short of 200 but still way over my record for one year. There were some terrible stuff, but mostly it was a pretty good year and a strong year for new musicals.


I saw some repeats from previous years including A View from the Bridge (which topped last year's listThe Audience, Fun Home, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Myth of the Ostrich, and then new versions of Canadian Music Theatre Project musicals that I had seen workshops in previous years, including the still promising The Enlightenment of Percival von Schmootz, and then there is Come From Away. Despite being a student workshop production, the earlier version still ended up on top of my 2013 list, but in 2015, its first professional production premiered in a co-production between La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Rep with many changes in a shortened one-act version, but as you'll see, the new Canadian musical continues its reign on top.

(For previous years Best of Stage Lists:
Best of Stage 2014
Best of Stage 2013
Best of Stage 2012
Best of Stage 2011
Best of Stage 2010
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Stage 2007)


So again, any new production I saw for the first time in 2015 is eligible and EVERYTHING I saw this year is listed at the bottom of the post.


Here's the Best of Stage 2015:

1. Come From Away - La Jolla Playhouse's Potiker Theatre - La Jolla, CA
and Seattle Repertory Theatre's Bagley Theatre - Seattle, WA
Music, Lyrics and Book written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Directed by Christopher Ashley, Choreographed by Kelly Devine


The musical you don't realize you need to see. A cathartic emotional release of sadness balanced by a joyous affirmation of the best of humanity in a musical about the town of Gander, Newfoundland on September 11th 2001 when they found themselves unexpected hosts to diverted planes full of people of the world. I had seen earlier workshops (which was great enough to land on the top of my 2013 list) but Sankoff and Hein have fine tuned their amazing musical in a beautifully rendered production by Ashley into what has easily become my favorite musical ever.



2. Hamilton - Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Music, Lyrics and Book Lin-Manuel Miranda, Directed by Thomas Kail, Choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler


I was lucky enough to see the first official preview and a few songs in, knew that by intermission, I needed to tweet out that this was the game-changer. By now, you've all heard they hype and yes, for good reason. Miranda, both as writer and performer, make this musical about the founder of the U.S. Federal Reserves into an exciting, invigorating, complex and thrilling show, aided by a Kail and Blankenbuehler's smooth direction and choreography with a game cast full of star making performances. But I'm sure you've all heard this by now. The ending got a little muddled and slows down the fast beat the show set itself up for but I've heard that it was streamlined since, but since it has become the hottest ticket on Broadway, I haven't had the chance to go back to see the tighter Hamilton, but considering what I saw already in the first preview, I can only imagine how amazing it is now.



3. The King and I - Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater - Broadway - New York City, NY
Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics and Book by Oscar Hammerstein II, Directed by Bartlett Sher, Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli


What I once thought of as a creaky cheesy old musical has been epically brought back to relevance in a luscious and respectful staging by Sher. Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe's chemistry lights up the glorious full stage of the Beaumont in a set that utilizes the great backspace and wings to give a full breadth of Siam. A beautiful ensemble manages to make this historical story feel both current and insightful, with a modern wink at the ridiculous notions of race and stereotypes in a musical staging that manages to hit that very fine balance of tone and tradition.



4. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Plays
An Octoroon - Soho Rep at Theatre for a New Audience - Brooklyn, NY
Gloria - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, An Octoroon directed by Sarah Benson, Gloria directed by Evan Cabnet



I missed An Octoroon during its original run but luckily caught its remount at TFANA. So between being introduced to Jacobs-Jenkins in his already audacious play about race, racism, storytelling and in a play that literally blows you away, to see his very different new play Gloria, a sort of office comedy turns drama (and boy does it turn fast), makes Jacobs-Jenkins one of the most exciting new playwrights to pay attention to. Funny, horrifying, always unexpected, are probably three ways to describe both plays despite their complete differences. With strong performances from two different ensembles in stagings that always surprise.



5. Guards at the Taj  - Atlantic Theatre Company at the Linda Gross Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Rajiv Joseph, Directed by Amy Morton


A beautiful, zen-ish (uh, despite all the you know what but I won't spoil it here) play about the friendship and bond between two guards at the Taj Mahal as it was being built. I can still hear the voices of Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed as they contemplate life while standing guard, and when a giant entity looms behind them.



6. Assassins - Menier Chocolate Factory - London, UK
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman, Directed by Jamie Lloyd


The low ceiling and claustrophobic nature of the Menier have never been better utilized alongside Lloyd's tendency to darken shows as they work perfectly in tandem for a revival of Assassins. Jamie Parker, Aaron Tveit and Catherine Tate lead a perfectly snide cast of assassins that utilizes everyone's strengths in the right ways.



7. Small Mouth Sounds - Ars Nova - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Bess Wohl, Directed by Rachel Chavkin


Sometimes silence speaks louder than words. In this new play by Wohl about a group of folks bound together on a soul-searching retreat meant to be done in silence, the beauty and sadness of our attempts at human connection, and the hilarity from the jumbled attempts, make for a gem of a show. The closeness (and the unspoken distance) between each person's thoughts, and with each other, as WELL as the audience, in a Chavkin's tight staging that forces us all in a small room, adds another layer to Wohl's refreshing and entertaining play.



8. Brantwood: 1920-2020 - Theatre Sheridan's Canadian Music Theatre Project at Brantwood High - Oakville, ON
Created, Written and Directed by Mitchell Cushman and Julie Tepperman, Music and Lyrics by Bram Gielen, Anika Johnson, and Britta Johnson


The SECOND Canadian Music Theatre Project on the list, and the second to be born out of Michael Rubinoff's mind. Disclosure: I'm a friend of Michael's, and I still remember him telling me about ideas for a 9/11 musical, and an immersive musical, and I was sort of skeptical and boy am I glad he proved my doubts wrong. Brantwood: 1920-2020 is full of stereotypical stories but it's about high school, which is all about stereotypes and defying them (or getting caught up in them) and it's the perfect setting for an immersive show. You automatically recognize the characters (the jocks, the nerds, the drama kids, the cheerleaders) and if you get bored with one story, you just move on to another. And did I mention it's a musical? With one of the best openers of any musical, Gielen and the Johnson sisters set the tone as us the audience, dressed in graduation gowns returning for one last reunion before Brantwood High is closed so that it can be turned into condos, From there, the ghosts of students from every decade descend for one last high school reunion in a fun fun fun reunion that you will actually will not want to miss. (Here's hoping for a remount)



9. Butcher - Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON
Written by Nicolas Billon, Directed by Weyni Mengesha


I probably should not have found this play about torture and revenge as thrilling and entertaining as I did. Despite its made up premise and made up eastern European country, Billon's play about a war criminal now living in North America, has a very serious message, but it manages to be both thought provoking and entertaining in a deliciously psychotic way, but always with just enough realism to not feel completely outlandish, despite the over-the-top plot. Plus with help from Michelle Monteith and Tony Nappo to keep things believable despite the unbelievable things happening on stage.



10. Songbird (Musical) - Theatre A at 59E59 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Music and Lyrics by Lauren Pritchard, Written by Michael Kimmel, Directed by JV Mercanti


Who would have thought it would take country music and turning Chekhov's The Seagull into a Nashville inspired musical that would make me love those sad and woeful folks. How perfect to Americanize The Seagull by moving it to a country music setting when a star returns to her small hometown bar and finds her sad son she left behind and the mess she left behind. Kate Baldwin finally finds a role that befits her talents and aura with gorgeous songs by Lauren Pritchard for the entire splendid cast.



11. The Lion - Lynn Redgrave Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Music, Lyrics and Book by Benjamin Scheuer, Directed by Sean Daniels


Benjamin Scheuer has been making the tour rounds with his autobiographical concert musical and I finally caught up with it this year and can definitely hear what all the roaring about this show has been about. To be honest, on paper, the show just sounds groanworthy. Handsome White guy sings sad songs about not connecting with his father but Scheuer and his bouncy hair are captivating and his winning and endearing personality draws you into his very personal story all while singing his very personal and beautiful songs.



12. An Enemy of the People - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON
Written by Henrik Ibsen, Adapted by Florian Borchmeyer for the Schaubühne (Berlin), Translated by Maria Milisavljevic, Staged in Toronto by Richard Rose


Another remount that I finally caught up with after missing the original run, and from what I heard, even better this second time around with Sarah Condlln taking over the usually-male lead, giving An Enemy of the People, Ibsen's scarily-current environmental play, an added layer of how the powers that be keep the powers they have.




13. On the Town - Lyric Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY
Music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics and Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Directed by John Rando, Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse


Also only managed to see this latest revival (a continuation of the Encores! concert version staged in 2008 that also landed on my Best of Stage list) this year but how can you not love those love-lorn sailors (especially when lead by Tony Yazbeck, giving the leading man performance we should all be watching) as they run about in New York City on their 24 hour leave from the ship? A triumph in dance and choreography that hits both the fun musical staging side and the emotional wallop of ballet dance.



14. The Sound of Music - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Festival Theatre - Stratford, ON
Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, Directed by Donna Feore


Stephanie Rothenberg. In a delightful surprise, Rothenberg makes for an earthy and luminous Maria and makes our favorite intrepid singing nun-turned-nanny into her own (and making you temporarily forget the iconic Julie). Along with Feore's intimate and quiet staging (despite being on the large Festival stage) that plays down the epic nature of the piece, the Stratford The Sound of Music becomes a warm and moving delight that is proud to be its own show (and not trying to mimic the movie that has been instilled in our minds).



15. Joshua Harmon Plays
Significant Other - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Bad Jews - Studio Theatre - Washington D.C.
Written by Joshua Harmon, Significant Other directed by Trip Cullman, Bad Jews directed by Serge Seiden



Finally saw Bad Jews, in a terrific staging at Studio Theatre in D.C., and then saw Joshua Harmon's newest play Significant Other, which pretty much felt like a personal autobiography of my own life set up on stage for me to watch and analyze. While Jews was hilarious in its depiction of the horrible nature we can become to our own family, Other was a heartfelt cry in how a gay man wants to connect in our current society. The dialogues in both are insightful and feel real, yet two very different tones offer up different perspectives of the human condition through Harmon's mind.



16. Anna Ziegler Plays
A Delicate Ship (Play) - The Playwright's Realm at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Photograph 51 (Play) - Noel Coward Theatre - West End - London, UK
Written by Anna Ziegler, Photograph 51 directed by Michael Grandage, A Delicate Ship directed by Margot Bordelon



And a third playwright on the list with two very different plays that I discovered this year! Ziegler's A Delicate Ship made it's New York City premiere late in the summer in a delicately rendered production helmed by Bordelon, along with a terrific cast of Matt Dellapina, Miriam Silverman and Nick Westrate. A stirring modern play about three thirty-somethings as they navigate the past and an impromptu meetup where the reveals of each character are slowly peeled away in this often funny, somewhat tragic, always fascinating and moving play. Then a month later, Ziegler's play Photograph 51 made it's London debut in the West End about Rosalind Franklin and her scientific discoveries that lead to what we now understand as the DNA. Franklin was a woman in a time science had very few female scientists and while her she strived for scientific excellence, she would not compromise accuracy and facts for the sake of fame or playing the political game and Ziegler's play keeps the scientific show both intriguing, understandable, and gripping with drama. Grandage's production keeps things slyly moving with a terrific Nicole Kidman leading the charge.



17. Futurity (Musical) - Ars Nova and Soho Rep at The Connely Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY

Music by César Alvarez with The Lisps, Lyrics and Book by César Alvarez, Directed by Sarah Benson


A messy but wonderful new musical about... well... a soldier in the Civil War connecting with a math genius miles away as they dream up of a technology that can bring them peace. Alvarez and the Lisps' enchanting folksy music that evokes both the historical times and current indie playlists are just the beginning of this special new musical that while doesn't always work (particularly with one commander character), feels magical and inspiring in all the times that it does (which is most). The future of musicals is in good hands knowing something like Futurity has been invented.



18. Girlfriend - Kirk Douglas Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Music and Lyrics by Matthew Sweet, Book by Todd Almond, Directed by Les Waters


Taking the songs of Matthew Sweet's album Girlfriend and layering it on top of a sweet love story between a high school movie nerd and the jock should not work as well as it does. Almond takes this charming, if stereotypical boy meets boy love story, and using Sweet's music, gives us an intimate and touching look at this budding relationship, all while back with an all-female band, in a simple but effective staging by Waters. Curt Hanson also finds a role that suits all his strengths and sounds better than ever.



19. Farinelli and the King - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre at Duke of York Theatre - West End - London, UK
Written by Claire van Kampen, Directed by John Dove


Mark Rylance as a foolish and absurd king is possible the most Mark Rylance, Rylance can be and it's wonderful. Add in Sam Crane as Farinelli to counterbalance Rylance's King in van Kampen's delightful new play about the true story of the opera singer that left the height of his career to become a savior to a royal household that was about to unravel with madness.



20. Between Riverside and Crazy - Second Stage at Tony Kisser Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Directed by Austin Pendleton


Stephen McKinley Henderson gets the leading role he deserves in a heartbreaking performance about the lives of a retired policeman, his newly released-from-jail son, and the lives surrounding a rent-controlled apartment. It's the messy lives of the other side of New York and Guirgis gives voice to the struggles of the working poor without condescension but keeps it always enthralling.



Breakthrough Performances (in alphabetical order):

The cast of An Octoroon: Maechi Aharanwa, Pascale Armand, Danielle Davenport, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Austin Smith, Haynes Thigpen, Mary Wiseman

The cast of Gloria: Kyle Beltran, Cahterine Combs, Michael Crane, Jennifer Kim, Jeanine Serralles, Ryan Spahn

The cast of Hand to God: Steven Boyer, Geneva Carr, Marc Kudisch, Michael Oberholtzer, Sarah Stiles

The cast of Small Mouth Sounds: Jessica Almasy, Marcia Debonis, Jojo Gonzalez, Brad Heberlee, Sakina Jaffrey, Erik Lochtefeld, Babak Tafti

The cast of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, formerly known as Southwest Africa, from the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915: Michael Ayres, Brett Donahue, Darcy Gerhart, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, Marcel Stewart, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah

Jelani Alladin in Choir Boy
César Alvarez in Futurity
Jamal Andréas in Bend it Like Beckham
Noah Brody in Into the Woods
Danielle Brooks in The Color Purple
Christy Bruce in Blind Date
John Cariani in Something Rotten
Geno Carr in Come From Away
Sarah Condlln in An Enemy of the People
Sam Crane in Farinelli and the King
Natalie Dew in Bend it Like Beckham
Daveed Diggs in Hamilton
Jonny Donahoe in Every Brilliant Thing
Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple
Bridget Everett in Rock Bottom and Bridge Everett and the Tender Moments
Sophia Fabiilli in The Philanderess
Graham Scott Fleming in Kinky Boots
Josh Grisetti in It Should've Been You
Andy Grotelueschen in Into the Woods
Lisa Howard in It Should've Been You
Jennifer Hudson in The Color Purple
Preeya Kalidas in Bend it Like Beckham
Joaquina Kalukango in The Wild Party and The Color Purple
Joseph Keckler in Preludes
Irene Sofia Lucio in Bad Jews

Alex Mandell in Bad Jews
Alan Mingo Jr. in Kinky Boots
Okieriette Onaodowan in Hamilton
Ashley Park in The King and I
Will Payne in Teddy
Tom Phelan in Hir
Stephanie Rothenberg in The Sound of Music
Caesar Samayoa in Come From Away
Benjamin Scheuer in The Lion
Jon Norman Schneider in Awake and Sing!
Cameron Scoggins in Hir
Vanessa Sears in Brantwood: 1920-2020
Amanda Seyfried in The Way We Get By
Ben Steinfeld in Into the Woods
Joe Tippett in Airline Highway
Sammy Tunis in Futurity
Megan West in A Month in the Country
Sharon Wheatley in Come From Away
Luke Ward-Wilkinson in Lord of the Flies
Jaysen Wright in Choir Boy



Great Performances (in alphabetical order):

The cast of A Delicate Ship: Matt Dellapina, Miriam Silverman, Nick Westrate

The cast of Guards at the Taj: Omar Metwally, Arian Moayed

The cast of John: Christopher Abbott, Hong Chau, Georgia Engel, Lois Smith

The cast of The Legend of Georgia McBride: Dave Thomas Brown, Wayne Duvall, Matt McGrath, Keith Nobbs, Afton Williamson

The cast of Songbird: Ephie Aardema, Kate Baldwin, Adam Cochran, Erin Dilly, Don Guillory, Drew McVety, Eric William Morris, Kacie Sheik, Bob Stillman, Andy Taylor

The cast of Whorl Inside a Loop: Derrick Baskin, Nicholas Christopher, Chris Myers, Ryan Quinn, Sherie Rene Scott, Daniel J. Watts, Donald Webber Jr.

Annaleigh Ashford in You Can't Take It With You
Simon Russell Beale in Temple
Christian Borle in Something Rotten
Ronnie Burkett in The Daisy Theatre
Kristin Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century
Patricia Clarkson in The Elephant Man
Jen Colella in Come From Away
Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man
Cynthia Dale in Passion
Lizzy DeClement in Lost Girls
Jakob Ehman in The Philanderess
Renée Elise Goldsberry in Hamilton
Carson Elrod in Important Hats of the Twentieth Century
Ralph Fiennes in Man and Superman
Kate Fleetwood in High Society
Sutton Foster in The Wild Party
K. Todd Freeman in Airline Highway
Alison Fraser in First Daughter Suite
Ana Gasteyer in A New Brain
Gideon Glick in Significant Other
Alexis Gordon in Passion
Josh Green in Lost Girls
Jonathan Groff in A New Brain
Jake Gyllenhaal in Constellations
Curt Hansen in Girlfriend
Joel Hatch in Come From Away
Stephen McKinley Henderson in Between Riverside and Crazy
Jayne Houdyshell in The Humans
Chad Kimball in Come From Away
Daren A. Herbert in The Wild Party
Rodney Hicks in Come From Away
Brian D'Arcy James in Hamilton
Jay Armstrong Johnson in On the Town
Rachel Bay Jones in Dear Evan Hansen
Rebecca Naomi Jones in Big Love
Andy Karl in On the Twentieth Century
Kendra Kassebaum in Come From Away
Mia Katigbag in Awake and Sing!
Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51
Josh Lamon in A New Brain
Nathan Lane in The Iceman Cometh
Caissie Levy in First Daughter Suite
Jeff Lillico in Tom at the Farm
Hardee T. Lineham in Creditors
Stephen Mangan in Rules for Living
Lesley Manville in Ghosts
James McAvoy in The Ruling Class
Janet McTeer in Les Liasons Dangereuse
Lindsay Mendez in Significant Other
Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton
Ruthie Ann Miles in The King and I
Michelle Monteith in Butcher
Ebon Moss-Bachrach in Lost Girls
Betsy Morgan in First Daughter Suite
Tony Nappo in Butcher
Alessandro Nivola in The Elephant Man
Paul Nolan in Doctor Zhivago
Leslie Odom Jr. in Hamilton
Kelli O'Hara in The King and I
Jill Paice in An American in Paris
Jamie Parker in Assassins and High Society
Steven Pasquale in The Wild Party
Stephen Patterson in Passion
Tonya Pinkins in Rasheeda Speaking
Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen
Conrad Ricamore in The King and I
Noah Reid in Creditors
Lissa Repo-Martell in Creditors
Rick Roberts in An Enemy of the People
Mark Rylance in Farinelli and the King
Taylor Schilling in A Month in the Country
Miriam Shor in The Wild Party
Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl
Eelco Smits in Song from Far Away
Phillipa Soo in Hamilton
Imelda Staunton in Gypsy
Bobby Steggert in Big Love
Geoffrey Streatfeild in The Beaux' Stratagem
Emma Thompson in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Russell Tovey in A View from the Bridge
Alysha Umphress in On the Town
Ken Watanabe in The King and I
Julie White in Airline Highway
Astrid van Wieren in Come From Away
Ruth Wilson in Constellations
Jonathan Winsby in Carousel
Tony Yazbeck in On the Town
Michael Zegen in A View from the Bridge


____________________________________________________

Here is every Stage Show I saw in 20145 in alphabetical order. All reviews are based on a 5 stars system (Workshop Labs, Readings, Concerts and Cabarets are not graded):


Abyss (Play) - Tarragon Theatre  Extraspace - Toronto, ON - **

A Delicate Balance (Play Revival) - Golden Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

A Delicate Ship (Play) - The Playwright's Realm at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Airline Highway (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Amazing Grace (Musical) - Nederlander Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Play Revival) - Classic Stage Company's The Young Company - New York City, NY - ***

A Month in the Country (Play Revival) - Classic Stage Company - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

An Act of God (Play) - Studio 54 - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

An American in Paris (Musical) - Palace Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

An Enemy of the People (Play Revival Remount) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****1/2

A New Brain (Musical Revival) - Encores! at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ****

An Octoroon (Play Remount) - Soho Rep at Theatre for a New Audience - Brooklyn, NY - ****1/2

Antigone (Play Revival) - Barbican Theatre at Barbican Centre - London, UK - ****

A Number (Play Revival) - Nuffield at Young Vic Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

Appropriate (Play) - Mark Taper Forum - Los Angeles, CA - ***

Assassins (Musical Revival) - Menier Chocolate Factory - London, UK - ****1/2

The Audience (Play) - Schoenfeld Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Awake and Sing! (Play Revival Remount) - NAATCO in the LuEsther Theater at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

A View from the Bridge (Play Revival) - Young Vic in the Lyceum Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - *****

Bad Jews (Play) - Studio Theatre - Washington D.C. - ****

Bakkhai (Play Revival) - Almeida Theatre - London, UK - **1/2

Barbecue (Play) - Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Play) - Arena Stage in the Kreeger Theater at the Mead Center for American Theater - Washington D.C. - **

The Beaux' Stratagem (Play Revival) - National Theatre's Olivier Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

Bedroom Farce (Play Revival) - Soulpepper in the Michael Young Theatre Stage at Young Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - ***

Bend it Like Beckham (Musical) - Phoenix Theatre - West End - London, UK - ***1/2

Between Riverside and Crazy (Play) - Second Stage at Tony Kisser Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

The BFG (Play) - National Children's Theatre at National Theatre - Washington, D.C. - **

Big Love (Play Revival) - Signature Theatre in The Diamond at The Pershing Square Signature Centre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Blind Date (Play Remount) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - **** (Review)

Blithe Spirit (Play Revival) - Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Blood Wedding (Play Revival) - Buddies in Bad Times Theatre - Toronto, ON - *1/2

Bombay Black (Play Revival) - Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

Brantwood: 1920-2020 (Musical) x4 - Theatre Sheridan's Canadian Music Theatre Project at Brantwood High - Oakville, ON - ****1/2


Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments (Cabaret) - Joe's Pub at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids: Easter Bonnet (Musical Review) - Minskoff Theatre - New York City, NY

Brooklynite (Musical) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

Butcher (Play) - Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - ****1/2

Cake and Dirt (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ** (Review)

Canadian Music Theatre Project (Musical Workshop) - Sheridan Theatre at Sheridan College - Oakville, ON
33 1/3 (Musical) 
Atlantis (Musical) 
Leading Lady (Musical)
Senza Luce (Musical)

Cannibal the Musical (Musical) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Carmen Disruption (Play) - Almeida Theatre - London, UK - **1/2

Carousel (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Avon Theatre - Stratford, ON - ***1/2

Choir Boy (Play) - Studio Theatre - Washington D.C. - ****

The Christians (Play) - Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - *

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Musical) - Ed Mirvish Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

The Color Purple (Musical Revival) - Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Come From Away (Musical) x3 - La Jolla Playhouse's Potiker Theatre - La Jolla, CA x2 and Seattle Repertory Theatre's Bagley Theatre - Seattle, WA - *****

Constellations (Play) - Manhattan Theater Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Creditors (Play Revival) - Coal Mine Theatre - Toronto, ON - **** (Review)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Play) - Barrymore Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Cymbeline (Play Revival) - The Public Theater at Delacorte Theater in Central Park - New York City, NY - ***

The Daisy Theatre (Play) - Factory Theatre Studio Theatre - Toronto, ON - **** (Review)

Dear Evan Hansen (Musical) - Arena Stage's Kreeger Theater at the Mead Center for American Theater - Washington, D.C. - ***1/2

Dee Snider's Rock And Roll Christmas Tale (Musical) - Winter Garden Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Diner (Musical) - Signature Theatre in The Max - Arlington, Virginia (Greater Washington D.C.) - **

Dink (Play) - Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - **

Disgraced (Play) - Lyceum Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Doctor Zhivago (Musical) - Broadway Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

Domesticated (Play) - Company Theatre and Canadian Stage Company at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Don Giovanni (Opera) - Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre - Toronto, ON - ***

The Elephant Man (Play Revival) - Booth Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Empire (Circus) - Spiegelworld at The Spiegeltent at Harbourfront - Toronto, ON - **** (Review)

The Enlightenment of Percival von Schmootz (Musical - Workshop) - Canadian Music Theatre Project at Theatre Sheridan - Oakville, ON

Every Brilliant Thing (Play) - Barrow Street Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Everyman (Play Revival) - National Theatre's Olivier Theatre - London, UK - **

Farinelli and the King (Play) - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre at Duke of York Theatre - West End - London, UK - ****

Finding Neverland (Musical) - Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **

First Daughter Suite (Musical) - Anspacher Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Fish in the Dark (Play) - Cort Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - *1/2

For A Good Time, Call Kathy Blanchard (Play) - Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

Fool for Love (Play Revival) - Manhattan Theater Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

Full House The Musical (Musical) - Randolph Theatre - Toronto, ON - *

Fun Home (Musical) - Circle in the Square Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Funny Girl (Musical Revival) - Menier Chocolate Factory - London, UK - ***1/2

Futurity (Musical) - Ars Nova and Soho Rep at The Connely Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Ghosts (Play Revival) - Almeida Theatre in Harvey Theatre at BAM - Brooklyn, NY - ****

Girlfriend (Musical) - Kirk Douglas Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - ****

Gloria (Play) - Vineyard Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

God's Beard (Play) - Falcon Powder at Toronto Fringe Festival at Al Green Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Grand Hotel (Musical Revival) - Southwark Playhouse - London, UK - ***1/2

Grounded (Play) - Anspacher Theater at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Grounded for Life (Musical - Developmental Lab) - York Theatre - New York City, NY

Guards at the Taj (Play) - Atlantic Theatre Company at the Linda Gross Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Gypsy (Musical Revival) - Savoy Theatre - West End - London, UK - ****

The Hairy Ape (Play Revival) - Old Vic Theatre - London, UK - **

Hamilton (Musical) - Newman Theatre at The Public Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - *****

Hana's Suitcase (Play Revival) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Hand to God (Play) - Booth Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Harlequinade and All On Her Own (Play Revivals) - Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at the Garrick Theatre - West End - London, UK 

Harelequinade - ***1/2
All On Her Own - **

The Heart of Robin Hood (Play) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - *** (Review)

The Heidi Chronicles (Play Revival) - Music Box Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Heisenberg (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center Studio in Stage 2 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

High Society (Musical Revival) - Old Vic Theatre - London, UK - ***

Hir (Play) - Playwrights Horizons in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

The Humans (Play) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

The Iceman Cometh (Play Revival) - Goodman Theatre in Harvey Theatre at BAM - Brooklyn, NY - ***1/2

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center Stage 1 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Infinity (Play) - Tarragon Theatre Extraspace - Toronto, ON - *** (Review)

Into the Woods (Musical Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Invisible Thread (Musical) - 2second Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

It Should've Been You (Musical) - Brooks Atkinson Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (Musical) - Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

John (Play) - Signature Theatre in The Diamond at The Pershing Square Signature Centre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

John and Jen (Musical Revival) - Keen Company in The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row - Off-Broadway - ***

Judith and Vinegar Tom (Play Revivals) - PTP/NYC at Atlantic Stage 2 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - *1/2

The King and I (Musical Revival) x2 - Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***** 

Kinky Boots (Musical) - Royal Alexandra Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Lady, Be Good! (Musical Revival) - Encores! at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ***

The Last Ship (Musical) - Neil Simon Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

The Legend of Georgia McBride (Play) - MCC at Lucille Lortel Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Les Liasons Dangereuse (Play Revival) - Donmar Warehouse - West End - London, UK - ****

The Lion (Musical) - Lynn Redgrave Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Lives of the Saints (Play) - Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **

Living on Love (Play) - Longacre Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Long Story Short (Musical) - Prospect Theater Company in Theatre B at 59E59 - Off-Broadway- New York City, NY - **** (Review)

Lord of the Flies (Play Remount) - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre - London, UK - ****

Lord Tom (Musical - Developmental Lab) - York Theatre - New York City, NY

Lost Girls (Play) - MCC at Lucille Lortel Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Lungs (Play Remount) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Made in Dagenham (Musical) - Adelphi Theatre - West End - London, UK - **1/2

Man and Superman (Play Revival) - National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

Mine (Play) - Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

Morro and Jasp: 9 to 5 (Play) - Factory Theatre Mainstage - Toronto, ON - ****

Motown (Musical) - Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Much Ado About Nothing (Play Revival) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2 (Review)

Myth of the Ostrich (Play Remount) - Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

New York Spring Spectacular (Musical) - Radio City Music Hall - New York City, NY - **1/2

Of Good Stock (Play) - Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center Stage 1 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Old Time (Play Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at American Airlines Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **

Once (Musical) - Ed Mirvish Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

On the Air (Musical - Developmental Lab) - York Theatre - New York City, NY

On the Town (Musical Revival) x2 - Lyric Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

On the Twentieth Century (Musical Revival) - Roundabout Theatre Company at American Airlines Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Passion (Musical Revival Concert) - Studio Theatre at Stratford Shakespeare Festival - Stratford, ON - ****

Peter Pan (Musical Pantomime) - Ross Petty at the Elgin Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) - Majestic Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - **

The Philanderess (Play) - Toronto Fringe Festival at Annex Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Photograph 51 (Play) - Noel Coward Theatre - West End - London, UK - ****

Pinocchio (Play) - Tout A Trac at Young People's Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2 (Review)

Placebo (Play) - Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

The Play's The Thing (Play Revival) - Soulpepper Theatre in the Baillie Theatre Stage at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - ***

Pomona (Play) - Orange Tree Theatre at National Theatre's Temporary Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

Preludes (Musical) - Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **

The Qualms (Play) - Playwrights Horizons - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Rasheeda Speaking (Play) - New Group in the Linney Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Rock Bottom (Musical Remount) - Joe's Pub at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway - ****

Rules for Living (Play) - National Theatre's Dorfman Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

The Ruling Class (Play Revival) - Trafalgar Transformed - West End - London, UK - ****

Seminar (Play) - Panasonic Theatre, Toronto, ON - **1/2

The Seven-Year Itch (Musical - Developmental Lab) - York Theatre - New York City, NY

Significant Other (Play) - Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Mirium Steinberg Center for Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

Something Rotten (Musical) - St. James Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Songbird (Musical) - Theatre A at 59E59 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Song from Far Away (Play) - Young Vic Theatre - London, UK - ***

The Sound and the Fury (Play) -  Elevator Repair Service in Martinson Hall at The Public Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****

The Sound of Music (Musical Revival) - Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Festival Theatre - Stratford, ON - ****1/2

Small Mouth Sounds (Play) - Ars Nova - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ****1/2

Splendour (Play Revival) - Donmar Warehouse - West End - London, UK - ***

The Spoils (Play) - New Group in the Alice Griffin Jewel Box at the Pershing Square Signature Center - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Spring Awakening (Musical Revival) - Brooks Atkinson Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Summerland (Musical) - Toronto Fringe Festival at Harbord Collegiate Institute - Toronto, ON - **1/2

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Musical Revival Concert) - English National Opera at The Coliseum - West End - London, UK - ****

Teddy (Musical) - Southwark Playhouse - London, UK - ***

Temple (Play) - Donmar Warehouse - West End - London, UK - ****

Thérèse Raquin (Play) - Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54 - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

Those Paper Bullets (Musical) - Geffen Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA - **1/2

Three Days in the Country (Play) - National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre - London, UK - ***

'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Play Revival) - Red Bull Theater at The Duke - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **** (Review)

Titanic (Musical Revival) - Southwark Playhouse at Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Tom at the Farm (Play Revival) - Buddies in Bad Times Theatre - Toronto, ON - ****

Treasure Island (Play) - National Theatre's Olivier Theatre - London, UK - ** (Review)

The Trial (Play Revival) - Young Vic Theatre - London, UK - ***1/2

Trout Stanley (Play Revival) - Storefront Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

The Twits (Play) - Royal Court Theatre Downstairs - London, UK - *

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Play) - Panasonic Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***

Verité (Play) - Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center Theater - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2 (Review)

The Way We Get By (Play) - 2econd Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **1/2

We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, formerly known as Southwest Africa, from the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 (Play) - Theatre Centre - Toronto, ON - ****

What I Did Last Summer (Play Revival) - Signature Theatre in The Diamond at The Pershing Square Signature Centre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - **

Whorl Inside a Loop (Play) - 2econd Stage Theatre - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2

The Wild Party (Musical Revival - LaChiusa) - Acting Upstage at Berkeley Street Theatre - Toronto, ON - ***1/2

The Wild Party (Musical Revival - Lippa) - Encores! at New York City Center - New York City, NY - ***

The Winter's Tale (Ballet) - National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON - ****

Wolf Hall: Parts One and Two (Play) - Royal Shakespeare Company at Winter Garden Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

The World of Extreme Happiness (Play) - Manhattan Theater Club at City Center Stage 1 - Off-Broadway - New York City, NY - ***

Wormwood (Play) - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - **1/2

You Can't Take It With You (Play Revival) - Longacre Theatre - Broadway - New York City, NY - ***1/2


__________________________________________________________________
Previous Best-of Lists:

Best of 2014 List:
Best of Stage 2014

Best of 2013 List:
Best of Stage 2013

Best of 2012 Lists:
Best of Music 2012
Best of Stage 2012

Best of 2011 Lists:
Best of Music 2011
Best of Television 2011
Best of Stage 2011


Best of 2010 Lists:
Best of Music 2010
Best of Television 2010
Best of Stage 2010
Best of Movies 2010


Best of 2009 Lists:
Best of Music 2009
Best of Television 2009
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Movies 2009


Decadeworthy - The Best of 2000-2009 Lists:
SYTYCDworthy (w/ Videos) - List Format
Theatre of the Decade
Best Films of the Decade
Favorite Films of the Decade
Television of the Decade
Television of the Decade - 1 Season Wonders


Best of 2008 Lists:
Best of Music 2008
Best of Television 2008
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Movies 2008
Best of Television Fall '07 - Winter '08 List


Best of 2007 Lists:
Best of Music 2007
Best of Television 2007
Best of Movies 2007
Best of Stage 2007
Best of 2007 (The Final Wrap Up)
Best of Television Fall '06 - Winter '07 List


Best of 2006 Lists:
Best of Music 2006
Best of Television 2006
Best of Movies 2006
Best of 2006
Best of Television Fall '05 - Winter '06 List


Best of 2005 Lists:
Best of Television 2005
Best of Movies 2005

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Friday, December 04, 2015

Flying High - Peter Pan in Wonderland - Panto Review

Peter Pan in Wonderland - Ross Petty Productions at The Elgin Theatre - Toronto, ON - **** (out of 5 stars)
Written by Chris Earle, Directed by Tracey Flye
Runs until Jan. 3rd 2016

               

Ross Petty is back for his 20th annual Christmas Panto-monium (as it's dubbed this year) and he goes out with a bang in what is supposed to be his last outing as he retires after playing the evil boo worthy Captain Hook. These silly and charming pantos, part of the British Christmas tradition nicely imported to Toronto, but sometimes they are a little too silly or weird for me. Alas, this year, Chris Earle, Tracey Flye and choreographer Marc Kimmelman has put together a spot-on cast to deliver the most joyous and enjoyable panto for Petty's final year.

Peter Pan in Wonderland is also the most coherent pantomime I've seen, with a fun twist to the Peter Pan legend that brings him to Alice's Wonderland after he tries to save Wendy who has been tricked into Wonderland by the nefarious Captain Hook, who managed to escape the Tic Tock Croc and is out for Storybook land domination. There's Smee helping Hook out, a ragtag bunch of pirates (who sing beautifully), and Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, and Alice (who all dance amazingly) all as Hook tries to seduce the Red Queen so that he can steal a magical tickle trunk (a nod to Mr. Dressup).

It's all zany and loopy and exactly a loose enough plot to hang current pop hits musical numbers performed by a great cast including Steffi DiDomenicatonio as Alice (and finally a hilarious acknowledgement to her uncanny appearance as a young Liza with a Z), a perfectly boyish charming Anthony MacPherson as Peter Pan, the amazing dance team of The Next Step's Taveeta Szymanowicz, Lamar Johnson, and Jordan Clark (also SYTYCDCanada S4 winner), and comedienne Jessica Holmes bringing out her awesome Celine Dion singing chops.

Then there's Dan Chameroy, the handsome musical theatre star from Stratford and Toronto who dons a sparkly tutu getup, giant wig and every make-up product on one face to become Tinkerbum, Tinkerbell's temporary replacement. If Chameroy in fairy drag singing "Bad Blood" isn't what Christmas pantomimes are all about, then I don't know what is.



Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Stage Acrobatics - Blind Date and Empire - Stage Reviews

Blind Date - Tarragon Theatre - Toronto, ON - **** (out of 5 stars)
Created by Rebecca Northan
Runs until Oct 4th 2015

Empire by Spiegelworld - The Spiegeltent at Harbourfront - Toronto, ON - **** (out of 5 stars)
Runs until Oct. 18th 2015

               

There's quite the theatrical balancing acts going on in Toronto right now and both are jaw dropping in their own ways. In Blind Date, Mimi the clown is stood up on a blind date, so grabs an audience member for what becomes a 90 minute improvised blind date as we nervously watch unfold to hilarious and charming delight. Originally conceived with the help of Harbourfront Centre at the Spiegeltent, Rebecca Northan has created a set up that allows the Mimi (played by Rebecca Northan or Christy Bruce) to carefully listen to their new dates and steer the date on a bit of a journey that is ultimately delightful and sweet while also mining the awkward hilarity that comes on a first date (and in front of a live audience no less!). Spiegelworld's latest show Empire plops it's Spiegelworld tent at Harbourfront to present its latest circus and acrobatic tricks within the small tent in a mix of cheeky cabaret, slightly vaudeville mix of groaner jokes and sexy New York attitude. At times awkward with it's off-coloured humour, but always amazing in the technical physicality seen from close range,

               

Blind Date is pretty simple in concept but the intricacies to pull off an entertaining improvised "blind date" with an unsuspecting audience member is pretty brilliant and requires an actress that knows how to navigate both theatrics and human condition. At my performance, Christy Bruce played Mimi the clown and she picked the most gentlemanly Polish man from the audience for their live date. With Rebecca Northan on hand as the waitress, and Kristian Reimer as the waiter (and later cop), Christy and her new beau set off on an adventurous date that moves from the cafe to the car where they're stopped by the police, and eventually back to an apartment where the audience chose to fast forward the relationship five years into the future. All this while Bruce's Mimi delicately maneuvers a slightly shy but game date that is both nerve wracking and hilarious. The beauty of the piece is Mimi isn't the entire performance, allowing space and time to coax our shy date to become a stage presence all on his own as we get to know both on their first date. Comedy comes from the awkward first date situations (and live on stage situations) without ever laying judgement on our surprised participant and it's the awe of this human emotional juggling that makes this improvisational comedy such a brilliant set up.

Empire is definitely not like Cirque du Soleil (the current circus giant we now measure circus acts with) and relishes in it's naughty, for adults-only up-close-and-in-your-face nature. With it's intentionally bad off-colour jokes to the oddball characters like Yasu Yoshikawa's Half Naked Asian Dude Wearing Pigtails or our "clowns" of the night, Oscar and Fanny (Don Colliver and Jamie Franta), who provide a litany of groaners and a strangely mesmerizing (if slightly disgusting) banana spitting trick. But then you let Half Naked Asian Dude Wearing Pigtails do his tricks on Cyr and German Wheel amongst a bevy of awe inspiring acts on the tiny Spiegeltent stage, just meters away from us and Empire turns to inspiring and the mix of sexy acrobatics and cheeky humour seems to work in balance for a fun-filled night.

               

Vlad Ivashkin and Aiusha Khadzh Khamed (above) do a beautiful Hand to Hand routine, Henok Belachew Yazachew and Temegen Adole Zada make their Risley foot juggling look fun and easy, Andreis Jacobs (Rigolo) (below) does the always awe-inspiring act of leaf balancing that look like a set of bones carefully balanced with only one point behind held by Jacobs. All this while Tessa Alves beautifully sings throughout the night.

               



Photo of Blind Date by Michael Meehan
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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