Thursday, May 22, 2008

SOB's Best & Worst Of 2007-08 Theatre Season

SOB's Best & Worst Of 2007-08 Theatre Season

Once Manhattan Theatre Club's new revival of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls opened two weeks ago, Broadway's 2007-08 Theatrical Season officially came to close. That is, with the exception of the plethora of awards that have and will continue to be handed out.

Since last year's season concluded, 37 different plays and musicals opened on the Great White Way. However, that number includes a "return engagement" of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! from the previous year, along with the short-lived, special theatrical presentation of Duran Duran: Red Carpet Massacre, which dashed off Broadway right in the midst of the stagehands' strike. Neither show was eligible for this year's Tony Awards.

For the first time in my life, I actually saw every single one of the year's eligible shows, totalling 34 in all (even though I also took in Glory Days, it was disqualified due to closing on opening night). Of those, 26 shows scored Tony nominations. On June 15, I'll be in the audience for the 2008 Tony Awards and report on everything from the winners to what you missed by watching it on television.

In the meantime, after having reviewed each of the eligible shows, and then some, it's time to officially assess the past year in theatre, SOB style. If you count my continuing wanderlust -- which has had me in theatrical audiences in Atlanta, Beijing, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, London, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York City, Saint Paul, Seattle, Stuttgart, Tokyo and Winnipeg -- I've managed to tally 84 different performances of a whopping 81 productions.

Starting tomorrow, I'll begin providing my annual "SOB's Best & Worst of" rundown of the shows and performances I enjoyed the most, along with those I enjoyed the least.

I go into every show with an open mind hoping for the best. But good or bad, there's simply no such thing as a bad night at the theatre. I'm glad I took them all in. And as I stated about this time last year, "Even if there were some that I notoriously panned, I always tried to find at least something positive to say about them." Well, almost.

In the run-up to the 2008 Tony Awards, I’ll be writing about my choices for the best and worst of the season from wherever my travels took me. Whether or not you agree, you are cordially invited to offer your feedback on each selection and tell me why you wholeheartedly agree or think I'm all wet.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Top Ten Of The Year (June 4, 2007)
SOB's Best of 2006-07: Best Special Theatrical Events (May 23, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best New Musicals (May 22, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best New Plays (May 21, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best Revivals Of Musicals (May 18, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best Revivals Of Plays (May 16, 2007)
The SOB Five "Worst" Of 2006-07 (May 14, 2007)
SOB's Best & Worst Of 2006-07 Theatre Season (May 14, 2007)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #1 - Theater Of The New Ear (May 30, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #2 – Guys And Dolls (May 26, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #3 – Hedda Gabler (May 25, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #4 – A Blameless Life (May 24, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #5 – Reeling (May 23, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #6 – “MASTER HAROLD”…And The Boys (May 21, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #7 – Love Song (May 19, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #8 - Billy Elliot The Musical (May 18, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #9 - The Well-Appointed Room (May 17, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #10 - Sweeney Todd (May 15, 2006)
SOB's Best and Worst of 2005-06 Theatre Season (May 12, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2004-05 (May 26, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2003-04 (May 25, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2002-03 (May 25, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2001-02 (May 24, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2000-01 (May 23, 2006)

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At 23 May, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Congratulations on completing a truly historic year of theatergoing. It's a pretty amazing range. I hope someday you'll add Providence to that list!

And I'm so thrilled I was able to enjoy some of those Broadway shows with you. Thanks so much for inviting me along. I definitely agree that there's no bad evening at the theatre, especially if it's in the company of good friends.

At 23 May, 2008, Blogger Vance said...

Winterpeg? What were you doing there? And Beijing? Wow. I thought I was the gypsy...

At 23 May, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, I'm hoping to add Providence to my list someday. I would love to attend the Trinity while there. And thanks for being such a great friend in seeing so many of the 84 shows along with me.

At 23 May, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Vance, While you were writing about television, you must have tuned in late to SOB! ;-)

To catch you up...

I was in Winnipeg one year ago this weekend during the American Memorial Day Holiday attending part of the Carol Shields Festival of New Works taking in a reading of the musical Lucrezia Borgia, along with an exquisite local production of Dry Cold's Nine.

Just a week or so later, I was in Beijing en route to the hinterlands of China to surprise my parents on their 50th wedding anniversary. While in Beijing, I took in one of those quintessential Chinese acrobatics shows called Acrobatics Macrocosm that was strangely obscene and grotesque as much as it awed.

At 23 May, 2008, Blogger Dale said...

Looking forward to your Tony coverage. Go Steve!


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