Saturday, December 19, 2009

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #11 - Theater Of The New Ear

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #11 - Theater Of The New Ear (2005, Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA)

Introduction: Hard as it is to comprehend that we're already 119 months into this "new" millennium, we are fast approaching the end of its first decade. While we have yet to agree on what exactly we should call the '00s, I'll take a cue from the fine folks at The Times of London and the BBC and henceforth refer to them at the Noughties.

With that small introduction, I'm pleased to present my list of plays and musicals that wowed me the most during that time. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of shows I've seen over the last ten years, I give you my countdown of my 25 personal favorite shows of the Noughties.

Any filmgoer who has watched in awe (or for the less fortunate, in exasperation) as one of gifted screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s twisted movies unfolds -- usually inside-out, upside-down and liberally sprinkled with the surreal -- knows that his captivating storytelling is never dull. Theater Of The New Ear was all that and more.

With a radio-like production quality, its cast members sat on an unadorned stage reading scripts of two “sound” plays as a Foley artist magically transported the audience beyond the limits of their imaginations. But with a stellar cast that included Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Thewlis (together in "Anomalisa"), as well as Peter Dinklage, Hope Davis and Meryl Streep (together in "Hope Leaves The Theater"), it was foolhardy to even attempt diverting one’s eyes from the stage.

Part of the fun is seeing these immensely gifted actors also playing members of the audience, including Davis’ hilarious and self-obsessed Louise, whose ringing cell phone serves as the catalyst for Streep -- as Streep -- to go ballistic in a fashion that would make any regular theatregoer proud. This dizzying, frenetic play left me downright giddy and more than sufficiently underscores why Streep remains the preeminent actress of our times.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post. I paid my own way for this performance.






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