Monday, December 19, 2011

2011: A year in review - London Theatre

As I was putting up the last few programs from theatre productions we had seen in London, I was amazed at the treasure trove a great shows we have seen this year. A true embarassment of riches! For those who know me, I have seen 4 times the number of live theatre shows than cinema films this year, but "when in Rome, do as the Romans do!"

That said, here is the listing (P = play, M = musical, O = Opera):

* When We Are Married (P by J.B. Priestley)
* Onassis (P)
* The Wizard of Oz (M)
* Flare Path (P by Terence Rattigan)
* Betty Blue Eyes (M)
* End of the Rainbow (M)
* The Children's Hour (P by Lillian Hellman)
* The Pittman Painters (P)
* Pygmalion (P by George Bernard Shaw)
* Crazy for You (M)
* Cause Celebre (P by Terence Rattigan)
* South Pacific (M)
* Madame Butterfly (O)
* Le Nozze di Figaro (O)
* Being Shakespeare (P)
* Driving Miss Daisy (P)
* You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (M)
* A Christmas Carol (P)
* The Lion in Winter (P)
* Pippin (M)
* Dick Whittington (M, but technically a panto)

Actors were well known; other were not. Highlights included performances by Robert Lindsay (two different shows), Michael Crawford, James Purefoy, Sheridan Smith, Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss, Ellen Burstyn, Carol Kane, Rupert Everett, Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, Simon Callow (two different shows), James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, and Dame Edna...just to name a few.

And the good thing is...there are already six shows in the 2012 queue, with Carousel, Ragtime, Singin' in the Rain, Top Hat, The Madness of King George and Master Class leading the pack!

Favorite show???? Ooooh, tough one. They were all so different that is is hard to compare. My top three certainly go to End of the Rainbow, The Pittman Painters, and Driving Miss Daisy (I mean, Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones - how can it not be in the top three?)

Favorite musical???? Guilty as charged. I am sucker for R&H, so give me South Pacific any day. A guilty pleasure.

Least favorite???? Well, if I have to choose, Pippin.