Could the theater artist of 2012 really be …
Well, the 1969
Quarrel as you might with these Chekhov interpretations, I wouldn't have missed them for the world. They were life-infusing. And it wasn't just the consoling nature of Chekhov's gently unconsoling vision. It was aesthetic joy. DeLorenzo's staging, among its many pleasures, spectacularly showcased the depth and versatility of L.A.'s pool of auteur-friendly stage actors.
But the two most memorable productions of 2012 for me were the Center Theatre Group's Beckett offerings: "Waiting for Godot" at the Mark Taper Forum and "Krapp's Last Tape" at the
"Godot" mined the theatrical wisdom of its two expert interpreters, Alan Mandell and Barry McGovern. You'll have to wait a long time before encountering an Estragon and Vladimir as capable of balancing the clowning and philosophizing as these two. "Krapp's Last Tape," a touring production from Dublin's Gate Theatre, provided what seemed to me a definitive production of this solo work, thanks to the exquisite tragicomic sensitivity of
Revivals held sway in 2012, but the best of these weren't nostalgically looking back — they were rooted in a theatrical present that felt utterly fresh. David Cromer's austere staging of "Our Town" at the Broad Stage with
Mike Nichols' Broadway production of
Broadway's best revival this year, however, is the current
Of course there was new writing to celebrate. Tarell Alvin McCraney's "In the Red and Brown Water" at the Fountain Theatre gets my vote for production of the year.
Yet it was the dramatic poets of yesterday that made the deepest impression. Their plays earned their glorious posterity by telling truths that never grow old in language that still has the power to startle.