PLAYS AND MUSICALS I SAW IN 2015, RANKED BY MY ENJOYMENT OF THEM
Enjoyment is, of course, a complex thing - and it comes not just from whether a play is well written and the acting is good but also the surroundings, the company, and sometimes also whether drinks are allowed in the theatre.
- •The Lion KingI saw this in March on Broadway with my big sister on the second night of her trip to visit me in the US, and our one night in NYC. It was a special evening in a special week, I'd sprung for good seats, and there's no denying it's a phenomenal show.
- •HeisenbergI couldn't wait to see this, and I'm so glad I finally got hold of tickets in June. Mary-Louise Parker played Georgie (whose name was originally Clare), who falls for a much older man after one meeting - a subject dear to my heart. And the kind of play I've realised is my favourite - hardly any characters, hardly any scenery, everything reliant on the words and the acting. This would be top of my list if it hadn't been for the man loudly chewing his nails next to me.
- •A View from the BridgeI studied this at high school, and I remember finding it powerful, so when I saw it was on Broadway and I could snag tickets with the great app TodayTix the weekend I was in town for Book Riot Live, I went for it. It was phenomenal. Just breath taking - especially the end, and especially the one line everyone gasped at. Sadly, I did spend a fair chunk of it wondering about the etiquette of asking the woman in front of me to stop wriggling and sit back in her chair.
- •OnceI loved everything about this, including the fact that I saw it with a really good friend just before my birthday at the Kennedy Center, and that before the show started we could drink wine on the stage.
- •An American in ParisLoved seeing this with my British friend who lives in Belgium but was just passing through NYC. I didn't know there was going to be a ballet theme and I'd just got really into ballet, so that was a special treat - as was getting to sip Baileys in the auditorium during the second half.
- •Clinton The MusicalSo good. I wished I could share it with someone. I was singing one of the songs for weeks after it. The Clinton story has such wonderful villains - it makes for great theatre.
- •Something RottenThis was super funny, with catchy tunes, and a fitting part of my Summer of Shakespeare. I also saw it the night before I met in agent in NYC, so it has a special place in my heart.
- •Kiss Me KateEnjoyed the first half a lot more than the second, but this was overall a great show, and funnier than I'd anticipated. I went with two of my good DC friends so that was fun, too - as were our super cheap tickets. Thanks, Shakespeare Theater Company!
- •TartuffeThis is a good play, another one I probably studied at school - or definitely would have if I'd stayed in Belgium. But it was a bit of weird adaptation, to be honest. Still - good seats, and cheap ones, too -and a good dinner beforehand with my friend.
- •Mary StuartI could tell this was good, but I wasn't really with it, and I wasn't really following for some reason - maybe it was a bit ambitious to come straight off a train from NYC. Also one of the actresses was going that annoying this actresses sometimes do but no one (to my knowledge) does in real life - shaking her head violently and repeatedly to emphasise a point.
- •AntigoneThis one was baffling, but it was at the Kennedy Center and it did star Juliette Binoche. Plus it inspired me to write a list: QUESTIONS WE HAVE AFTER SEEING ANTIGONE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER.
- •Man of La ManchaI know - I'm a Philistine. But I mostly had no idea what was happening, and owing to a last minute loo dash I ended up spending the first half a few rows behind my friend.
- •Romance LanguageThis one, on a small off off Broadway theatre, was kind of unremarkable - though the critics disagree, so maybe I'm missing something? But I have to admit it was cool to buy a last minute, half price ticket an hour earlier and then just turn up in the breaks between sessions at Book Riot Live.
- •The FixI had high hopes for this one - I do love a good fictional DC scandal. But the story was told a bit weirdly and it was basically a bit rubbish. And not improves at all by the man next to me who loudly crunched every ice cube in his glass - and there were a lot of them.