Favourite shows of 2012

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#1
Posted: 12/13/12 at 9:09am
It's that time of year when we start being bombarded with "best of" lists for the year so I thought I'd do one of my own. I tried to limit it to my Top 5 shows but I could only narrow it down to 8. Here they are in order of preference.

1. A Doll's House - Hattie Morahan as Nora in the Young Vic's incredible production delivered one of the best acting performances I have ever seen. She captured every aspect of the complex Nora to perfection. Whatever you do in 2013, don’t miss this production when it gets a short revival in the spring.

2. This House - James Graham's superb ensemble piece about turbulent 70’s politics in Britain with a great cast and a stunning set. If you didn’t get to see it in the Cottesloe, be sure to book a ticket for its run next year in the Olivier.

3. In Basildon - David Eldridge's brilliant portrayal of dysfunctional, complex family life. So good I saw it twice.

4. Constellations – Nick Payne’s beautiful, funny and moving play, performed by the outstanding Sally Hawkins & Rafe Spall. Again, once wasn’t enough for me, I saw this one twice too and loved it just as much second time around.

5. Merrily We Roll Along – Mark Umbers, Jenna Russell & Damian Humbley lead an exceptional cast is this wonderful revival of one of Sondheim’s less well known shows. Its score features two of my favourite Sondheim numbers ever – Not a Day Goes By and Our Time. A joy from start to finish.

6. Hedda Gabler – everything about this production at the Old Vic was top notch- the sets, the costumes and the fantastic performances, led by the sensational Sheridan Smith.

7. Sweeney Todd – Another Sondheim and one of his finest works with Michael Ball in the role of his career and Imelda Staunton yet again proving why she is one of our greatest actresses.

8. The Judas Kiss – Rupert Everett totally inhabited the role of Oscar Wilde in the Hampstead Theatre’s revival of David Hare’s excellent play.

So those are my favourites, which are yours and why?
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Favourite shows of 2012#2
Posted: 12/13/12 at 9:50am
This year my favourites have been the one off events(the matcham room season, after show, west end fest and various other cabarets), have seen far too much rubbish which has left me too grumpy.

Taboo, Brixton playhouse, the site certainly raises the level of the material, Paul Baker reviving his role to great effect and Sam Buttery turning in a debut that was way way beyond my expectations has made this my favourite of the year.

Hedda Gabler, The old vic, it was fascinating to watch Sheridan in a far less sympathetic role than she usually takes and Adrian Scarborough was fabulous, along with a stunningly beautiful set.

The River, Royal Court upstairs, partly the glee at being able to obtain a ticket straightforwardly and partly whilst I enjoyed it but didnt love it its been the one Ive thought back on the most, lovely performances for the cast and feeling like Dominic West is cooking supper for you in his kitchen is rather lovely.

Posh, Duke of Yorks, fabulous performances, the ability to change the mood and the bizarre musical interludes made it a fascinating afternoon.

13, Apollo, A lively talented young cast from NYMT turning out engaging performances in a terrificly fun show.

Honourable mention to the set and choreography of Loserville.
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#2
Posted: 12/13/12 at 3:57pm
I've seen a huge number of fantastic shows in 2012 - mainly musicals at Fringe venues. (Also saw some fantastic shows in New York but will limit my choices here to London.) My absolute favourites were (in no particular order):

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (Menier) - stunningly staged production of a Sondheim masterpiece with great performances from the entire cast, especially Mark Umbers, Damian Humbley, Jenna Russell & Josefina Gabrielle. About as perfect as a show could ever be.

STEEL PIER (Union) - another stunning production of a classic musical, making brilliant use of the intimate Union space (at times bursting with high octane energy, at times beautifully restrained & quietly emotional). Knock-out performances from Sarah Galbraith & Lisa-Anne Wood in particular.

DADDY LONG LEGS (St James) - a truly wonderful new piece of musical theatre with a charming, witty libretto and full of absolutely glorious music. (Paul Gordon is SO underrated as a songwriter.) And Megan McGinnis was simply brilliant.

SOHO CINDERS (Soho Theatre) - incredibly funny, at times quite moving and highly entertaining for every single second - full of quite brilliant songs. Great ensemble cast, with stand-out performances from Tom Milner, Michael Xavier and show-stopping perfomances from Beverly Rudd & Suzy Chard.

HONK! (Tabard) - another brilliantly witty and fabulously tuneful Stiles & Drewe show, superbly staged in an intimate space. Not a single weak link in the cast and Joe Sterling was brilliant as "Ugly". Just loved every second.

MACK AND MABEL (Southwark Playhouse) - yet another awesome revival at a Fringe venue. Full of energy, superb choreography & dancing, a brilliant Herman score and two central performances (Norman Bowman & Laura Pitt-Pulford) from the Top Drawer.

CHILDREN OF EDEN (Prince Of Wales) - saw this concert production way back in January and it still stands firmly in my memory as a seriously awesome night. Hearing those fantastic Schwartz songs sung by such a stunning cast was just breathtaking. The most memorable performances were by the incredible Louise Dearman and Lauren Samuels.

SWEENEY TODD (Adelphi): Not my favourite production of this Sondheim classic - it paled in comparison to John Doyle's revival and Hal Prince's original and some of the performances were mediocre - but it still ranks as one of oy favourites of 2012 simply because of Imelda Staunton & Michael Ball.

Updated On: 12/14/12 at 03:57 PM
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Favourite shows of 2012#3
Posted: 12/14/12 at 4:22am
Totally forgot that Soho Cinders was this year. Loved it.
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#4
Posted: 12/16/12 at 12:09pm
Now that I have completed my theatre going for 2012.

2012 will be remembered as a disappointing year theatre wise, I have only seen one new musical and one new play that were outstanding in every way and that was Soho Cinders and The Ladykillers. I saw nothing new that knocked it out of the park on Broadway

The revivals fared a lot better with a terrific production done by Opera North at The Barbican of Carousel and My Fair Lady at the Sheffield Crucible (still playing, I urge you to get your ticket). I saw two terrific revivals on Broadway which were Porgy and Bess and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Shows I have seen again this year, which stands the test of time and are still superb are: Matilda, Mamma Mia, The Lion King which I saw yesterday afternoon in Manchester. Also the last performance of Legally Blonde was very memorable for the right reasons.

You never know I might fit one or two shows in before year end, with Honk The Musical, Goodnight Mister Tom and Privates on Parade need to be seen. I hope to see the Shakespeare double bill at the Apollo with Mark Rylance, but that has to wait until the new year, I'm afraid!

To a great 2013.

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#5
Posted: 12/16/12 at 6:10pm
American Idiot, Taboo, Bette and Joan - The Final Curtain
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#6
Posted: 12/17/12 at 10:49pm
My highlights of the year were One Man Two Guvnors and Singin' in the Rain, my theatre going year has been pretty good but 2013 is shaping up to be a strong year, already have The Book of Mormon, Once and the rest of the Michael Grandage season as well as shows I've yet to book like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
Broadway Star
Broadway Star
Favourite shows of 2012#7
Posted: 12/21/12 at 6:15am
While admittedly, I haven't seen a lot this year compared to some people on here, I'd say my highlight was the "Sweeney Todd" revival. It was a stunning production of one of my favourite shows, and with knockout performances from Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.

2013 is shaping up to be a very good year of theatre-going for me, with the Menier production of "Merrily We Roll Along" to look forward to in February, finally getting around to seeing "Matilda" in March and I'm currently in the planning stages of a trip to London for over the Summer, which will hopefully include "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and if it materialises, the Menier production of "The Color Purple". I'm also looking forward to seeing Michael Ball on tour in April.
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Featured Actor
Favourite shows of 2012#8
Posted: 1/1/13 at 9:15am
I bit the bullet and actually did my own awards (the Fredas), announced this morning as follows:

Best New Musical – Soho Cinders by George Stiles, Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis, directed by Jonathan Butterell at Soho Theatre

Best Revival of a Musical – Mack & Mabel by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart, directed by Thom Sutherland at Southwark Playhouse

Best New Play – In Basildon by David Eldridge, directed by Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court Theatre

Best Revival of a Play – Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams, directed by Robert Chevera at the Kings Head Theatre

Best Regional Production – Gypsy by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents directed by Paul Kerryson at Leicester Curve

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Paul Baker for Taboo at Brixton Club House

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical – Imelda Staunton for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – Mark Rylance for Twelfth Night at Apollo Theatre

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play – Sophie Thompson for She Stoops To Conquer at the National Theatre

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Steven Webb for The Thing About Men at the Landor Theatre

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Suzie Chard for Soho Cinders at Soho Theatre

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play – Johhny Flynn for The Ruffian On The Stair at the Criterion Theatre

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play – Johnnie Fiori for The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre

Best Newcomer – Louis Maskell for The Fix at the Union Theatre

Best Direction – Mitch Sebastian for Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Best Choreography – Robbie O’Reilly for Curtains at the Landor Theatre

Best Set Design – Anthony Ward for Carousel Opera North at the Barbican Theatre

Best Costume Design – Laura Hopkins for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best Lighting Design – Jon Winn for Call Me Madam at the Union Theatre

Theatrical Event of the Year – Taboo at Brixton Club House

A bit of background info on the blog.

Happy New Year
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Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Favourite shows of 2012#9
Posted: 1/1/13 at 4:53pm
favourite 5 :-
Daddy Long Legs (St James),
The Fix (Union),
Sweeny Todd,
Jeckyll and Hyde (Union,)
The Last Session(Tristan Bates),
Pippin (Menier),
Taboo (Brixton),

Edwin Drood (Arts),
A Tale of Two Cities (Charing Cross),


Most Missed:-
Daddy long Legs,

Eagerly Anticipated:-
Book of Mormon,
From Here to Eternity

Please bring here:-
Next to Normal,
Jane Eyre

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Favourite shows of 2012#10
Posted: 1/2/13 at 2:21am
A bit late, but I split mine into categories a bit. I did not see a new musical that I enjoyed in 2012, so I've got a joint top 2 musical revival.

Best Play: Detroit

Best Play Revival: Master Class

Best Musical Revival: Singin' In The Rain

Best Musical Revival: Merrily We Roll Along

Best Opera: La Bohéme (Welsh National Opera)

Best Dance: Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker

Best Regional: Carousel (Opera North)

Best Tour: American Idiot

Actress in a musical: Imelda Staunton - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Actor in a musical: Michael Ball - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Actress in a play: Tyne Daly - Master Class

Actor in a play: Danny DeVito - The Sunshine Boys

Honorary Mention - Heather Headley - The Bodyguard

Biggest Disappointments: Porgy & Bess (Cape Town Opera) & Kiss Me Kate (Old Vic)