BWW Reviews: Chris Gibson's Best of 2012 in St. Louis

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I'm lucky enough to see over a hundred shows every year, and I'm happy to report that 2012 was an excellent year for theatre in St. Louis. So, here I am again offering up my lists for the best productions of 2012. While I'm not going to include the touring companies that came through town this year in my listings, I'd like to give them a shout out just the same.

A couple of stellar shows played at The Peabody Opera House, with American Idiot and Mary Poppins being particularly well mounted. The Fabulous Fox Theatre also hosted a bevy of nicely staged productions including: Wicked, Memphis, Bring It On, Blue Man Group, West Side Story, and The Lion King. I should also mention the fine works that graced the stage at the Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University. A hilarious performance by The Reduced Shakespeare Company (their Ultimate Christmas show), and a mind-boggling one in a show simply called Leo were highlights.

I took in less concerts this year, but those I did attend were very special. Nick Lowe and The Carolina Chocolate Drops each put on terrific concerts that were quite memorable in their own unique ways. It was also additional proof to me that the best venue to see an intimate performance is the Sheldon Concert Hall. The acoustics are simply flawless.

Here are my picks for 2012, and I've added a few categories (and allowed for ties).

Top Ten Musicals

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson - New Line Theatre

Spring Awakening - Stray Dog Theatre

Ain't Misbehavin' - Stages St. Louis

High Fidelity - New Line Theatre

Cry Baby - New Line Theatre

My One and Only - Stages St. Louis

Sunday in the Park with George - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Chicago - The Muny

Dreamgirls - The Muny

Daddy Long Legs - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Top Ten Comedies or Dramas

Killer Joe - St. Louis Actors' Studio

The Hairy Ape - Upstream Theater

Clybourne Park - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Bug - Muddy Waters Theatre

Race - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

A Steady Rain - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Jacob and Jack - New Jewish Theatre

Going to See the Elephant - Mustard Seed Theatre

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - The Black Rep

Fully Committed - Stray Dog Theatre

Best Actor(s) in a Musical

John Sparger - Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Ryan Foizey - Cry Baby, Spring Awakening

David Elder - My One and Only

Best Actress(es) in a Musical

Melissa Southmayd - Spring Awakening

Tari Kelly - My One and Only

Best Actor (s) in a Comedy or Drama

Bobby Miller - Jacob and Jack, The Value of Names

Jason Cannon - Killer Joe, Way to Heaven

Mark Anderson Phillips - A Steady Rain, Clybourne Park

Greg Fenner - Fully Committed

Best Actress(es) in a Comedy or Drama

Rachel Fenton - Oleanna, Killer Joe, Good

Kirsten Wylder - Bug

Meghan Maguire - Talley's Folly

Patrese McClain - No Child

Best Direction of a Musical

Scott Miller - Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Direction of a Comedy or Drama

Philip Boehm - The Hairy Ape, The Maids, Conversations with an Executioner

Best New Play

Goodybye Ruby Tuesday by EM Lewis (produced by HotCity Theatre)

Happy holidays to all! As always, I look forward to the delights that 2013 will bring.

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Chris Gibson Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.


 
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