A red-hot rocking musical as well as a heart-felt one. Two ensemble dramas that looked at the way we live with humor and rue. A pair of outstanding shows from the state's smaller theaters. A Shakespearean horror story and an over-the-top political farce. (No, not the one in Washington.) A show that reminded us what it was like to hear a Broadway score in all its glory, and an unexpected event that sadly shouldn't have had to happen at all.
These 2013 shows make up my annual Top 10 list of outstanding shows on Connecticut stages.
1. My favorite theater experience of the year — though that phrase is odd to use in the traditional context of “best-of-year” lists — is “From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook” that took place in late January at
2. “The Most Happy Fella,” at
3. “The Dining Room” at
4. “American Idiot” at the
5. Donald Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” at Hartford’s
6. The musical “Kiss Me Kate” at University Theater in
7. “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” by Dario Fo at the
8. “Cabaret” at Playhouse on Park in
9. “Freewheelers” by Broken Umbrella Theatre Company at the
Other shows I liked during the year included John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” at “TheaterWorks; “Clybourne Park” at New Haven’s
The premiere of the holiday trifle “Christmas on the Rocks’’ at TheaterWorks also offered some alternative holiday cheer. It was good, too, to see the former American Shakespeare Theatre in
And there were a few extraordinary shows a Connecticut theater-lover had to travel a bit to see — but was well worth the trip. The new musical “The Bridges of Madison County” at Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Massachusetts Berkshires was surprisingly splendid, smart and romantic with a wondrous score by Jason Robert Brown; and “All the Way” at
Then there were shows that premiered or were further developed here and then moved on in 2013, some more successfully than others. They included Hartford Stage’s “Breath and Imagination” at other regional theaters. Off Broadway saw TheaterWorks’ “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” Yale Rep’s “Marie Antoinette” by David Adjmi and Amy Herzog’s “Belleville,” Long Wharf Theatre’s “My Name Is Asher Lev” and Quiara Alegria Hudes’