F. J. Hartland
It’s the last day of the year and time to reveal my picks for the best theatrical work of 2009.
It was my pleasure to see nearly fifty shows this year. I listed my nominees in a previous post–check the archive if you missed them.
The envelope please…
BEST FEATURED ACTOR: With the most nominees of any category, this was a particularly tough decision. It came down to Doug Mertz’s amazing portrayal of “Roy Cohn” in the University of Pittsburgh’s production of Angels in Americaand the touching performance of Alex Etling as “Alex,” the NYC hustler who falls in love with a movie star in The Little Dog Laughedat Off The Wall. Mertz was great–but Etling reduced me to tears. So BEST FEATURED ACTOR goes to Alex Etling.
BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Jamie Slavinsky was amazing as “Slyphe,” the armless side show freak, in Phase 3′s Swamp Thing. The things she did without use of her arms was phenomenal. But after thinking long and hard, the BEST FEATURED CTRESS goes to Joanna Lowe as “Mad Hattie” in Rage of the Stages’s Alice’s Adventure’s in “Wonderland.” Lowe totally transformed herself in a side-splitting performance.
BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY: For my money, Erica Cuenca gave the female performance of the year as “Agnes” in Agnes of God at Off The Wall. Her schizophrenic performance made me believe she was too innocent to have killed her baby and at the same time had an edge that made me believe she did.
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY: This one came down to Joel Ripka’s spellbinding performance in PICT’s Crime and Punishment and David Droxler’s terrifying “Baby” in The Rep’s Mojo. Both played insanity, but in a photo finish I’m going with Droxler’s sexy sociopath for BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY.
BEST SCENIC DESIGN: All the nominees created sets that propelled me into the world’s of their respective plays, but Stephanie Mayer-Staley’s design for Bricolage’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom that also embodied the theme of the script.
BEST DIRECTOR: Kim Martin did exceptional work with The Rep’s Mojo, but Matt M. Morrow really knocked me out with Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom at Bricolage, so the nod goes to him.
BEST PRODUCTION: I went into the theatre sure I was going to hate it–but Bricolage proved me wrong. I LOVED Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom. And I hate video games–but this show WOWED me!
There you have it. I am looking forward to another great year of theatre in 2010.
Happy New Year!