I remember this time last year when it came time to review the theater season in Connecticut. I felt pretty discouraged. Sure there was plenty of fine work but few shows really knocked my critical socks off with the kind of productions that you immediately want to tweet your friends about, the shows that you would actually see again — and pay. The works that stay in your memory for years.
This season those kinds of productions easily filled up the Top 10 — and then some. The only difficult part was what order to place the shows I most loved and which ones couldn't make the list — but would have easily made it in another less-terrific season. So, in order of affection and regard:
1. Quiara Alegría Hudes' "Water By the Spoonful" at
2. “February House,” music by Gabriel Kahane, book by Seth Bockley at
3. Will Eno's "The Realistic Joneses" at
4. “Fräulein Maria” at Hartford Stage. Simply put, one of the most joyous experiences I’ve ever had. seated. Taking the film soundtrack to “
5. William Somerset Maughm’s “The Circle” at
6. “Show Boat,” music by
7. "Into the Woods," music by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine at Westport Country Playhouse.Director Mark Lamos centered on the story-telling aspect of this rich mash-up of fairy tales in which resulted in presenting in their lessons and the result was not only in the lessons of the tales but the pure theatricality. of the telling. Dana Steingold was just terrific as Little Red Riding Hood.
8. Mike Reiss’ “I’m Connecticut” at
10. William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at Hartford Stage. The theater’s new artistic director Darko Tresnjak showed his affinity for the Bard in this with a gorgeously designed production starring