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2014 Theatre in Review

I’m two days late with this entry–forgiveness requested! The film portion of this blog has become the overwhelming leader in published stories, and it’s difficult to imagine that changing–ever. The days of me attending 11 to 13 plays or musicals are long gone–career and family have overtaken that section of my cultural life. An abundance of FYC screeners saves me from falling behind in the film world, however–and I’m ever grateful. That being said, despite missing an end-of-month deadline for the first time in three years, I did manage to catch some pretty damn good theatre pieces in 2014. They were of varying degrees of excellence, and the quartet came in all “shapes” and “sizes”. But all four were quite memorable in their own way.

Machinal on Broadway featured an incredible set, and thanks to my friend and cast member, Edward James Hyland, I got to witness it up close backstage, and learn of its intricate design and capabilities. The play also contains a wonderful performance by film star Rebecca Hall, and was the first Broadway revival of this show in decades.

All the Way on Broadway won the Best Play Tony Award, and while I had some issues with its structure, there is little doubt that star Bryan Cranston deservedly garnered his Best Actor Tony for his portrayal of LBJ. It’s an interesting beast (three hours long), and a powerful history lesson. Reaches for greatness–almost gets there.

Violet on Broadway was my lone musical experience, and it was a smashing one. Most likely my favorite show from 2014, it featured a remarkable performance from the renowned Sutton Foster–in a way we’ve never quite witnessed her before. The cast recording from this triumph can often be heard in my car during my daily commute.

And, Port Authority off-Broadway, was just the kind of play I was looking for to close out the year. Tiny set, miniscule budget, and three actors of disparate ages speaking in monologues for 90 minutes. After three “Big” shows, it proved how much emotion and class you could stuff into a small package for about 100 people tops. I loved it.

2015 has arrived, hopefully bringing an increased number of productions I’ll be able to attend this season. Until then, thanks for reading…now let’s get back to the movies!

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