BEST ANGLE ON THE IMPACT OF ROCK
As truly revolutionary. The perspective was Tom Stoppard's in his ROCK 'N' ROLL at the Gamm. Directed with crystal clarity by Judith Swift, the fresh context was the playwright's Czech Republic, from the Prague Spring in 1968 through the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Tony Estrella played a student émigré who returns to Soviet tanks and whom we follow to well-earned freedom.
BEST BLEND OF SWEET AND SOUR
Among inveterate theatergoers, word spread like gossip that 2nd Story's THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES was not to be missed. It was directed by Ed Shea and co-founder Pat Hegnauer, and Molière himself would have been slapping his knees in laughter. Gabby Sherba was especially sweet as the convent-bred innocent and Shea was deliciously exasperated as her husband, terrified of the prospect of being cuckolded and dizzily yo-yoing between rage and rapture.
BEST PLAY THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE MARVELOUSLY OR NOT AT ALL
At Perishable again, directed by Jimmy Calitri and independently produced, a seering WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? likely made necessary repainting blistered walls. Jim O'Brien was the suppressed volcano George, and Rae Mancini was an ingeniously chipper Martha (even monsters can like themselves). Their victim/guests were Josh Short and Bonnie Griffin as Nick and Honey, he shark-like, she oblivious.
BEST CATERING TO THE PEEPING TOM IN US
Finally, we can't overlook ingenuity when talking about theatrical successes around here. Tracy Letts's WHILE KILLER JOE may not have been the most compelling drama of the year, but the production by Amber Kelly's Theater of Thought may well have been. She directed the seriocomic play, which is set in trailer park, in a mobile home, one side cut away for our voyeuristic delectation. More than a gimmick, it thoroughly immersed us in the drama.