Happy Christmas! It's been such a wonderful year, and such a wonderful holiday season in New York. The tree in the picture is one of the many that stand in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis Hotel. When I went to the Marquis Theater a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist taking a photo. Christmas is a very special time of year, especially as many people come to the city from all over, some of whom will be taking in theater during their trip. As such, I thought it would be a good chance to share some of my favorite theater experiences of the year.
Favorite Musical: Girl from the North Country absolutely blew me away. It stayed with me for weeks after seeing it, and though it ended its run at The Public a few days ago, I sincerely hope this show continues to have a life in New York.
Favorite Play: The Ferryman blew me away completely. It is a story that stays with you for a very long time, and it is the best play to be seen on Broadway in a long time. It will leave its mark as the best play of the year, and perhaps even of the century.
Favorite Female Musical Performances: Seeing A Chorus Line at New York City Center was life changing in and of itself. But watching Robyn Hurder as Cassie and Sara Esty as Maggie, was another level of breathtaking. Esty was born to play Maggie, and was incredibly heartfelt in her performance. Hurder, though having played Cassie before, seemed right where she should be on the line in that red leotard. She, too, was born for the role.
Favorite Male Musical Performances: Colton Ryan's portrayal of an alcohol addicted son in Girl from the North Country and his performance was equally moving and heartbreaking. And Tommy Bracco steals the show in Pretty Woman, the show is worth seeing for his comedic timing alone!
Favorite Female Play Performances: Laura Donnelly in The Ferryman. This role won her an Olivier Award, and I wouldn't be surprised if it won her a Tony. She is incredible to behold on the stage of the Jacobs.
Favorite Male Play Performances: Tom Glynn-Carney and Fra Fee are fantastic in The Ferryman, as Shane Corcoran and Michael Carney, respectively. A scene at the beginning of Act Three finds the Carney and Corcoran boys drinking and swapping stories, that eventually turns into intense stories of the IRA is masterfully performed by all in the scene, but especially by Glynn-Carney and Fee.
Musical(s) that Surprised Me the Most: Head Over Heels and Escape to Margaritaville were both shows I had not expected to love as much as I did. The fun and infectious music, mixed with the storylines gave both of these shows a place in my heart.
Play that Surprised Me the Most: As a massive "potterhead," I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the night it came out. I did not love it upon first reading it, but seeing the show won me over completely. The magic, and seeing how the story played onstage completely changed my initial feelings, and reminded me of how much I love Harry Potter and his story.
Favorite Special Event/Concert: This will come as no shock to anyone, but the Fifth Annual Newsboys Reunion this summer was my favorite special event. The heart and love that radiates from everyone who was involved with Newsies is any way was clear to see on that stage, and it absolutely made my heart sing.
I would usually add in what I'm looking forward to the most, but you'll have to wait until the New Year for that. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!