Back to Metroland's Home Page!
 Classifieds
   View Classified Ads
   Place a Classified Ad
 Personals
   Online Personals
   Place A Print Ad
 Columns & Opinions
   The Simple Life
   Comment
   Looking Up
   Reckonings
   Opinion
   Myth America
   Letters
   Rapp On This
 News & Features
   Newsfront
   Features
   What a Week
   Loose Ends
 Dining
   This Week's Review
   The Dining Guide
   Leftovers
 Cinema & Video
   Weekly Reviews
   The Movie Schedule
 Music
   Listen Here
   Live
   Recordings
   Noteworthy
 Arts
   Theater
   Dance
   Art
   Classical
   Books
   Art Murmur
 Calendar
   Night & Day
   Event Listings
 AccuWeather
 About Metroland
   Where We Are
   Who We Are
   What We Do
   Work For Us
   Place An Ad

The year in review 2006

 

Best Productions of 2006

Critic: Ralph Hammann

1. The Heidi Chronicles

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Wendy Wasserstein’s early work spoke truly through a formidable cast that featured an eloquent Kate Jennings Grant in the best performance by an actress this season.

2. Wonder of the World

Barrington Stage Company

David Lindsay-Abaire is one funny guy, and this go-for-broke production featured Keira Naughton leading a cast who went to the necessary limits providing nonstop laughter.

3. Coastal Disturbances

Berkshire Theatre Festival

A smartly directed production of Tina Howe’s beachside meditation brought Annie Parrise a role made for her irrepressible talent.

4. Urinetown

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company

A savvy production of this sardonic look at the future imperfect through musical impasto was a genuine thrill.

5. The Burnt Part Boys

Barrington Stage Company

An exciting new musical that even in this workshop production offered hope beyond the unmelodic stuff that passes for musicals in these days of Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LeChuisa.

6. The Night of the Iguana

Berkshire Theatre Festival

The difficult play by Tennessee Williams was searingly directed by Anders Cato, suggesting that Williams has a new home in the Berkshires.

7. Via Dolorosa

Berkshire Theatre Festival

What to do when you want to produce David Hare’s autobiographical one-man play and you don’t have Hare to perform? You give Jonathan Epstein the most challenging material in his distinguished career. And you have Anders Cato direct.

8. Ring Round the Moon

Barrington Stage Company

Who does Jean Anouilh these days except colleges? Barrington Stage, with stunning production values in its smart new home in Pittsfield.

9. Amadeus

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Jonathan Epstein was good enough as Salieri, but it was Randy Harrison’s Mozart that made Eric Hill’s production fresh and significant.

10. A Nervous Smile

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Not a very believable script, but great performances by Amy Brenneman and Gloria Ruben went a long way to keep our minds off the unlikeliness of the plotting.

Worst Productions of 2006

1. Anything Goes

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Director Roger Rees’ reeking, inept direction of his ship of fools in a production that never left port—and with production values that were strictly steerage class. Embarrassing, risible and insulting.

One of the best and worst: WTF’s Sweet Bird of Youth.

2. Sweet Bird of Youth

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Miscast, misread, and miserable, this attempt to do Tennessee Williams by the theater company that was once known for its association with the Southern gentleman was an insufferable, charmless hustle.

3. Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Answer: not far enough away.

4. The Pilgrim Papers

Berkshire Theatre Festival

This deflowering of the Mayflower crowd was labored and desperately unfunny.

5. Dracula

Oldcastle Theatre Company

Ludicrous effects, ham-handed acting and inattentive direction made this seem hopelessly dated, clichéd and naïve.

Best Productions of 2006

Critic: James Yeara

1. Tiny Ninja Theater’s Hamlet

Woodstock Fringe Festival

So good, that the production’s next performance was at the Royal Shakespeare Company. “To be,” indeed.

2. Play by Play—Choices!?

StageWorks/Hudson

Annual one-act play festival is the best new theater in the region: bold, brave, and ballsy, always.

3. The Bomb-itty of Errors

Adirondack Theatre Festival

Off-off-Broadway smash hit the summer’s funniest Shakespeare riff.

4. The Night of the Iguana

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Surprisingly full of laughter and heart, in addition to the usual heat of a Tennessee Williams play.

5. The Lark

New York State Theatre Institute

Occasionally NYSTI does a play suitable for adults, and this French masterpiece about Joan of Arc was sublime.

6. Enchanted April

Shakespeare and Company

Redemptive, restorative, and sexy, this Normi Noel-directed production shows other area theaters how to find some substance in light fare.

7. Wonder of the World

Barrington Stage Company

A play about a peripatetic pair of women receives the perfect production in BSC’s penultimate show of the summer season.

8. Sweet Bird of Youth

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Who’d believe a 1959 play highlighting the hypocrisy of a ruling conservative politician campaigning on TV about the “Northern radical press”misrepresenting his moral “crusade” while his mistress waits for him in a bar; or that the politician would attack dissent “because the Voice of God called me to execute this mission?”

9. I Am My Own Wife

StageWorks/Hudson

Pulitzer Prize-winning polemic is another trenchant offering by the region’s boldest theater troupe.

10. Intimate Apparel

Capital Repertory Company

“Intimate and moving” sums up this excellent production, capping a stellar year by Albany’s finest theater company.

 Best Acting of 2006

1. Jacqueline Raposo as Bird in “Thin Air,” part of Play by Play-Choices!?

StageWorks/Hudson

2. Rochelle Hogue as Esther Mills in Intimate Apparel

Capital Repertory Theatre

3. Jason Babinsky as Luciana in The Bomb-itty of Errors

Adirondack Theatre Festival

4. Linda Hamilton as Maxine in The Night of the Iguana

Berkshire Theatre Festival

5. Mary Jane Hansen as Joan in The Lark

New York State Theatre Institute

Fine acting: Shakespeare and Company’s Diane Prusha.

6. Diane Prusha as Lotty Wilton in Enchanted April

Shakespeare and Company

7. Susan Louise O’Connor as several characters in Wonder of the WorldBarrington Stage Company

8. Dov Weinstein as all the characters in Tiny Ninja Theatre presents Hamlet

Woodstock Fringe Festival

9. Jeffrey Kurn as 37 different characters in I Am My Own Wife

StageWorks/Hudson

10. Erica Kreutz as various characters in Metamorphoses

Capital Repertory Theatre

 


Send A Letter to Our Editor
Back Home
   
 
 
Copyright © 2002 Lou Communications, Inc., 419 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12210. All rights reserved.