Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Theatre Superlatives

"What good thing have you seen lately?"

That's the question I'm usually asked when I tell people that I write about theater (for a living, wow). It's as if because I report on it, I am suddenly the guru of good theatrical tastes. And since year-end lists and summations are "a la mode" during this time in the season, I want to offer something in the stream-of-consciousness vein. I'm realizing that the more theater I see, the more they start to blend together. And what makes a play stand out in your memory, even months later, were small moments that just burrowed deep into your brain and refused to let go.

So here is the 2012 Deep (Diep) Theater Superlatives!, a list of shows that were memorable in many different ways to me. It's not a complete list of the best things I saw this year, it's even more subjective than that. These plays, at different price points, in different locales in New York City, did what the arts does best, grab a piece of your soul and leave their mark on it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"The Hobbit" aka Dammit Peter Jackson!

Gandalf: worst party promoter ever.

I saw "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" film at midnight on opening night. I sat my butt down at the theater at Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side at 10:30 PM, excited and just a little bit sleepy. I exited the theater 4.5 hours later at 3 a.m. incredibly sleepy, drained and disappointed, like I'd been cramming for a college exam that I probably won't get an A on. And my thoughts after went something like: "Oh god I know I'm going to sit through two more of these and it's going to be so fucking long!"

Compare this to my thoughts after seeing "Fellowship of the Ring" 12 (WTF?!) years ago, which was, "Oh my god, I have no idea what I just saw but I love it and what happens next?!" Which was quickly followed by an explanation of the ending of "Return of the King," which was followed by a "WTF, Frodo fails?!" I was a very easily excitable 13 year old (like almost all 13 year olds).

I tried to figure out why it was that I, as a self-professed Ringer who dressed up as a hobbit and then Eowyn for Halloween, who has the Evenstar necklace, was unsatisfied. Then my roommate gave me the answer: "Every moment was like a parody of itself."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tweeting in the Theater (No, Just No)

Like most people in their 20's (aka Millennials), I have a very intimate relationship with my cellphone. It's underneath my pillow when I sleep at night (not for any emotional reason, it's because the outlet for my phone charger is next to my bed and I don't own a nightstand). My phone is on my desk at work. It's in my pocket when I'm on the subway. And it has a name when I plug it into my MacBook: it's Pippin. In short, I probably spend more time with my phone than with any other piece of technology, jewelry or memento that I own. Who needs a teddy bear when you have an iPhone to hug at night?

Which is why when a cellphone goes off while I'm at the theater, I get irrationally angry. Why? It goes without saying but a cellphone ring is distracting and when you're at the theater, it takes you out of a connective moment that you were having with the actors on the stage.