2022 Year in Review: Kat Mokrynski's Best of 2022

Our American in London reflects on her year on both sides of the pond

By: Dec. 22, 2022
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2022 Year in Review: Kat Mokrynski's Best of 2022
Newsies 10th Anniversary Concert
Photo Credit: Stephen Mosher

"And you may ask yourself, 'Well, how did I get here?'" - David Byrne, "Once In A Lifetime"

Well, we may not know how we got here, but here we are - December 2022. Somehow, we are nearly at the end of the insane year that has been 2022. In this article, I take a look back at some of the highlights of my time in the theatrical worlds of New York and London these past twelve months.

One of my New York theatre highlights was seeing the Newsies 10th Anniversary Concert at 54Below in March. While not a full stage show, it was an absolute delight to see Original Broadway Cast members like Aaron Albano, Ben Fankhauser, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as well as touring Newsies including Joey Barreiro, Joshua Burrage, and Andrew Wilson. I also can't complain about the student ticket price of $20 and a minimum food/drink spend of $25 instead of the regular ticket price of $129!

Assassins was one of the best shows that I have ever seen, not just in 2022! The cast was absolutely perfect, including Ethan Slater as the Balladeer, Steven Pasquale as John Wilkes Booth, and Will Swenson as Charles Guiteau. It was out of sheer luck that I was able to see my favourite Sondheim show - I had lost the ticket lottery for that day but, only an hour before the performance, received a second email saying that I had won a ticket! Definitely worth rushing from Harlem to Downtown NYC.

2022 Year in Review: Kat Mokrynski's Best of 2022
David Byrne's American Utopia
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Of course, articles like these typically force the author to pick a favourite, and this one is no exception. I have to go with David Byrne's American Utopia, a show that I saw eight times in 2022 (and twice in 2021!). Each time was just as wonderful and powerful as the last. It's strange to think that I had barely known who David Byrne was and somehow managed to fall in love with his music so quickly. Out of all the performances that I saw, I would have to say that my top two performances would be the final performance on April 3rd and the time that I managed to get a rush ticket which ended up being in the front row!

2022 Year in Review: Kat Mokrynski's Best of 2022
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Photo Credit: Craig Sugden

While I have only been in London for three months, I have still been able to see quite a few shows. I even got to see and review my first pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, at Richmond Theatre! Some other highlights included Secret Cinema Presents Guardians of the Galaxy, & Juliet, Life of Pi, Cabaret, and Charlie Russell Aims to Please.

Punchdrunk's The Burnt City is a show that I have fallen in love with and will probably see multiple times in 2023. Its immersiveness is simply stunning and its attention to detail never fails to leave me in awe. Even though I know the stories of Agamemnon and Hecuba that the show is based on, I cannot help but be drawn into the lives of the characters as they rush around the two giant warehouses that make up the set.

In a shocking twist, the London production Hamilton has become my favourite. After years of entering the Broadway lottery, I somehow managed to win the TodayTix lottery for the West End production, which gave me second-row seats for only £10!

Outside of London, I was fortunate enough to see one of Mischief's newest shows, Good Luck, Studio, the first solo writing work of Henry Shields. The play is just as brilliant as the other Mischief shows and left me in tears of laughter while also having some strong emotional moments between the slapstick comedy and witty banter.

Now, there was one show that managed to transcend the Atlantic Ocean and become my favourite both in New York City and London - The Play That Goes Wrong. I saw it a few times off-Broadway in New York City and fell in love with the writing of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, as well as the brilliant acting!

2022 Year in Review: Kat Mokrynski's Best of 2022
The Play That Goes Wrong
Photo Credit: Robert Day

Over the time I spent in New York in 2022 I wrote several articles about my experiences seeing the show. Imagine my delight when I found out the Duchess Theatre, where The Play That Goes Wrong is currently playing on the West End, was only a five-minute walk from my university's campus! I have seen it several times and even wrote an article comparing the Broadway and West End shows, including an interview with two of the actors playing Chris Bean across the pond from each other eight times a week.

Ultimately, 2022 was a fantastic year for me in theatre and I was incredibly privileged to see so many shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom. I cannot wait to see what 2023 brings to the world of theatre!


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