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Maxamoo Theater and Performance Podcast's Best & Worst of 2019, Part I

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Maxamoo Theater and Performance Podcast's Best & Worst of 2019, Part I

All 9 of our regular contributors have gathered: Aurin, Ben, David, Jack, Jose, Liz, Nicole, Patty, and PennyMaria! We're back together for our year-end spectacular, our annual episode in which we discuss the best and worst theater of the year.

If you have trouble telling any voices apart, we're seated in a circle and the order we answer questions in is, roughly: Liz, Nicole, Jose, Jack, PennyMaria, Aurin, Ben, David, Patty. Each question we rotate who answers first; so Liz is the first person to answer the first question, Nicole is the first to answer the second question, and so on.

See below for timecodes of the questions we answer (and lists of shows we highlight):

(0:00:00) Introductions

(0:01:48) If you had relatives (smart ones who enjoy good theater) coming to town for the holidays, what show currently playing in New York City would you recommend? (0:01:48)

• American Utopia on Broadway

• The Sound Inside on Broadway

• Macbeth at BAM

• Is This a Room at the Vineyard Theatre (2 recommendations!)

• One In Two produced by The New Group at Signature Theatre

• A Soldier's Play on Broadway

• The Exponential Festival

• Pip's Island

• Beetlejuice on Broadway

(0:11:11) What was your favorite moment at the theater this year?

Our moments took place at/during/around:

• Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical at Town Hall

• Into the Woods at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

• Blue Ridge at Atlantic Theater Company


Signature Theatre's lobby

Playwrights Horizons's season, in particular: I Was Most Alive With You, The Thin Place, and A Strange Loop

• The Trade Federation: Or, Let's Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels at IRT Theater

• The Exponential Festival

• God Said This at Primary Stages

• Six at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

• Fefu and her Friends at Theatre for a New Audience

(0:25:23) What was your worst moment at the theater this year?

(0:42:15) What was your favorite non-traditional (immersive, experimental, outdoors, on a boat) piece of theater you saw this year?

• The Jazz Singer at Abrons Arts Center

• Much Ado about Nothing at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park

• The Bushwick Starr

• The Brick Theater

• Block Association Project produced by The Playwrights Realm

• Pip's Island

• Midsummer: A Banquet produced by Food of Love and Third Rail Productions

• The Shubert Archive

• Caveat

• Wild Bore at the NYU Skirball Center

• The B Side: "Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons" by the Wooster Group at St. Ann's Warehouse

(0:55:59) What was your favorite non-theater performance (cabaret, comedy, music, etc)?

• globalFEST

• Tank and the Bangas at the Apollo Theater

• Bad Faith at the Daryl Roth Theater

• Douglas at the Daryl Roth Theater

• Ten Days Next to a Cheesecake Factory at the People's Improv Theater

• PB at Sundays on Broadway and Judson Church

Molly Pope, a Gay Man, and a Piano at The Duplex

• Project Broadway: Lady Lyricists at Symphony Space

• Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater

• Twohander at 54 Below

• Madonna

The Bengsons at Ars Nova

(1:11:00) What was the best musical you saw this year?

• In a rare if unsurprising move, we unanimously agreed upon A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson's tour de force at Playwrights Horizons

Some other ones we also liked:

• Dog Man: The Musical at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

• Hadestown on Broadway

(1:12:52) What was the best play you saw this year?

• A Play Titled After the Collective Noun for Female-Identifying 20-Somethings Living in NYC in the 2010s by Haleh Roshan at the Corkscrew Festival

• Is This a Room by Tina Satter and Half Straddle at the Kitchen and the Vineyard Theatre (picked by 2 of us!)

• Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery at Playwrights Horizons (picked by 3 of us!)

• Much Ado about Nothing at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park

• Fefu and her Friends by María Irene Fornés at Theatre for a New Audience

• What if they went to Moscow? by Christiane Jatahy at BAM

• One In Two by Donja R. Love produced by The New Group at Signature Theatre

• Ain't No Mo by Jordan E. Cooper at The Public Theater

• You Never Touched the Dirt by Zhu Yi produced by Clubbed Thumb at the Wild Project

(1:14:19) What was your personal ambition for theater in 2019? Did you achieve it?

(1:19:14) What is your personal ambition for theater in 2020?

(1:27:35) What is your hope for the theater community in 2020?

bout Maxamoo

Maxamoo Theater and Performance Podcast's Best & Worst of 2019, Part I

On Maxamoo's New York City Theater Podcast we cut through that chaos and just tell you: what's good, what's bad, and what we recommend.

We base our recommendations on the quality and characteristics of the production, not theater size. So the terms Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off Off Broadway (which are all technical terms describing the location and number of seats in a theater) are not important to us.

We strive to include diverse, interesting, and innovative productions, shows you're probably missing if you rely on mainstream publications like the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time Out New York, which cover only a tiny fraction of the arts, culture, and theater world.

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