Central Texas Theatre's Best of (Half of) 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, it's a given that BroadwayWorld will reflect on all the fantastic theatrical productions and events that have entertained audiences all across America. Here in Central Texas, theater-goers had plenty to see in 2012. As a new resident of Austin, I sadly only got to enjoy the Central Texas theater scene for the last half of the year, but still all 49 productions I saw and reviewed in that short amount of time were delightful.

Here is a list of my favorite productions produced in Austin, San Antonio, San Marcos, and the surrounding areas during the last half of 2012. As all of the productions listed were spectacular, it proved impossible for me to rank them, so here they are presented in alphabetical order.

Congratulations to all of Central Texas's theatres, performers, and creative professionals on an astounding and successful year.

-Jeff Davis

Contributing Editor

1. Always...Patsy Cline

Georgetown, TX

Produced by Georgetown Palace Theatre

With its simple staging and excellent performances from skilled comedienne and storyteller Linda Brandshaw and Patsy doppelganger Yesenia McNett, Always...Patsy Cline turned this city slicker into a country music fan and solidified my fandom of the Georgetown Palace.

2. Baby

Austin, TX

Produced by Austin Theatre Project

Austin Theatre Project closed out its inaugural season with the forgotten musical, Baby. Filled with warmth and heart and backed by six fantastic leads, the show was phenomenal. We can all expect great things from Austin Theater Project in 2013. They already are a force to be reckoned with in Austin's theatre scene, and they've only just begun.

3. Chess

Austin, TX

Produced by SummerStock Austin and The Austin Playhouse

All three of SummerStock Austin's offerings this year were stellar, but Chess was the stand-out of the trio. While certainly more challenging that SummerStock Austin's other two shows, A Year with Frog and Toad and Legally Blonde, the young ensemble handled the material with a level of polish and professionalism that often goes, pardon the pun, unchecked.

4. A Chorus Line

Georgetown, TX

Produced by Georgetown Palace Theatre

With its direction and choreography by Broadway veterans Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique and its hard-working cast, Georgetown Palace's production of A Chorus Line holds a spot in my book as the best production of the show that I've ever seen, and I am certain my esteem of this intimate, visceral production will remain the same for years to come.

5. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Austin, TX

Produced by The City Theatre

While the dramedy by Ed Graczyk sometimes bites off more than it can chew regarding themes and subject matter, director Andy Berkovsky managed to keep The City Theatre's production on track, and his ensemble cast of women were nothing short of sensational.

6. Heaven-Earth-One

Austin, TX

Produced by Blue Lapis Light

Heaven-Earth-One was by far the best dance show I saw in Austin this year and quite frankly the best and most inventive dance show I've ever seen in my lifetime. The piece seamlessly blended movement, music, and the iconic architecture of The Long Center for the Performing Arts into a unique and unforgettable theatrical experience.

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