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Best and Worst of 2008

exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/20/05
Best and Worst of 2008#1
Posted: 12/28/08 at 3:43pm
Well, the year's coming to an end and for most of us we've put in our final visits to the theatre for 2008. My rather long-winded year in review is up on my blog (see signature link) but what's on your list? Am I completely off the mark? And can anything overtake the RSC on Weez's list?

Tune in next time for the further adventures of Superman...er...the Great Gildersleeve...er..the Archers...errrr....

The Broadwayworld.com West End Board!
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Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#2
Posted: 12/28/08 at 4:39pm
Nice, and I completely agree about August: Osage County. First professional play I have seen and it was amazing. Then I went to another play 2 days later - The 39 Steps, and hated it.

Sooo my year in theatre:
Fave Play: August Osage County (obv)

Fave Musical on Tour: Our House
Fave Musical in London: Billy Elliot
Fave Musical on Broadway: Rent

Cheapest Ticket: 5 - Sunset Boulevard, Half a Sixpence
Most Expensive Ticket - $70 (39) - Xanadu, Legally Blonde

Best Student Offers:
$27/$37 RUSH on Broadway - [title of show], Spring Awakening, Young Frankenstein, Gypsy, Tale of two cities. WHY can't West End do similar for more shows?

10 Best Avaliable for August

Worst Play: 39 Steps
Worst Musical: Imagine This

Next Years Highlights:
Elaine Paige in Concert
Little Shop (tour)
Evita (tour)

Moving to London for music college so hopefully seeing alot of stuff from September re: Best and Worst of 2008

Updated On: 12/28/08 at 04:39 PM
exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/20/05
re: Best and Worst of 2008#2
Posted: 12/28/08 at 4:45pm
I rather liked both 39 Steps and Imagine This. Xanadu was, of course, AMAZING.

And you'll see a lot more in London if you sign up for one of the papering services. =)
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turquoisefish
Broadway Star
joined:1/28/06
Broadway Star
joined:
1/28/06
re: Best and Worst of 2008#3
Posted: 12/28/08 at 5:25pm
I think I'll copy Mark_E's layout (but I haven't seen any plays this year, only musicals)

Fave Musical on Tour: The Wedding Singer (Our House a VERY close second)
Fave Musical in London: Sunset Boulevard
Fave Musical outside London and not a tour: The Music Man

Cheapest Ticket: 1 - Spamalot (on The Spinalot promotion)
Most Expensive Ticket - 65 Chess at the Royal Albert Hall

Best Student Offers:
25 for best available on the day at Wicked

Worst Musical: Oh What a night!

Next Years Highlights:
Oliver (I know it is open but I'm not seeing it until next year
West Side Story (on tour at The Maylfower)
Mary Poppins (on Tour in Cardiff)
Priscilla Queen if the desert
Legally Blonde (fingers crossed for that one)

Should be a busy 2009

EDIT: (as we have actors and actresses now)
Best Actor: Josh Groban (Chess)
Best Actress: Katherine Evans (Sunset Boulevard)
Updated On: 12/28/08 at 05:25 PM
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
re: Best and Worst of 2008#4
Posted: 12/28/08 at 5:45pm
Cool to use Mark's post as a template.

Sooo my year in theatre:
Fave Play: N/A Not a lover of plays, but hope to catch Onsage next year.

Fave Musical on Tour: Aspects of Love
Fave Musical in London: Hairspray/Margurite/Billy Elliot
Fave Musical on Broadway: Hope to get out in 2009.

Cheapest Ticket: 20 - Jersey Boys
Most Expensive Ticket - 60 Hairspray

Best Student Offers:
N/A


Worst Play: N/A
Worst Musical: We Will Rock You/Avenue Q/Jersey Boys.

Best Actor: Michael Ball (Hairspray), Derek Hodges (La Cage Aux Folles), Ben Goddard (Sunset Boulevard)
Best Actress: Ruthie Henshall(Marguerite), Katherine Evans (Sunset Boulevard), Sofia Escobar (West Side Story).

Next Years Highlights:

Hope to get out to New York in early 2009 and plan to see: Shrek, Billy Elliot, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls.

Going to see in January, with the Get into London Theatre promotion: Wicked, Hairspray, Lion King.

Also hope to catch in early 2009: Carousel, La Cage Aux Folles, Sunset Boulevard, Stomp and Onsage.

Looking forward to the opening of Priscilla, Sister Act, Oliver.
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CONAries
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joined:10/7/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#5
Posted: 12/28/08 at 5:55pm
Favourite Musical: I know it opened 2007, but closed early in 2008, Rent Remixed, I think I am the only one who thinks it, but BEST show I have seen this year (I Actually saw it 13 times in its 4 month run! Whoops!)
exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/20/05
re: Best and Worst of 2008#6
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:00pm
"I think I am the only one who thinks it, but BEST show I have seen this year"

I think you must have been incredibly high for a few months.
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CONAries
Broadway Legend
joined:10/7/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/7/08
re: Best and Worst of 2008#7
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:08pm
I chose not to focus on it's faults, and just sit back and enjoy it for what it was! And I found it to be a real feel good show!
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legallysam
Broadway Legend
joined:5/8/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#8
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:13pm
Con, you're not alone...i loved it too...im a 2time offender :P
"Rock Of Ages is about as original as gay men at a clap clinic" - SANDM2
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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/03
re: Best and Worst of 2008#9
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:27pm
I've seen lots of great things this year but I think my absolute favourites would be:
Musicals in US: THE VISIT at the Signature theatre, Arlington VA
THE HAPPY TIME at the Signature, Arlington VA
13 in New York
ROADSHOW in New York
Musicals in UK: SUNSET BOULEVARD at the Watermill and then at
the Comedy
Plays: AUGUST, OSAGE COUNTY at the National
365 by the Scottish National Theatre at the Lyric,
Hammersmith (this was an incredible piece of theatre)

Worst theatrical experience by a mile: ONLY THE BRAVE at the Edinburgh Fringe - it's impossible to fully describe how awful this was.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
Updated On: 12/28/08 at 06:27 PM
dreaming92
Swing
joined:12/21/08
Swing
joined:
12/21/08
re: Best and Worst of 2008#10
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:38pm
it has to be...

Fave Play: War Horse at the National
Fave Musical: Spamalot. It would be Wicked or Hairspray but this year was the 4th and 2nd/3rd times respectively...


Cheapest Ticket: free - Dirty Dancing
Most Expensive Ticket: 40 - The Nutcracker at the Coliseum

Best Student Offers:
Anything with Mousetrap (sign up for this, it's amazing)

Worst Play: Rain Man! Awful acting...
Worst Musical: Dirty Dancing...the acting was horrible...but it was actually not a bad show...

Best Actor: Ian McKellen - King Lear
Best Actress: Alexia Khadime - Wicked

Next Years Highlights:

Hamlet on Jan 2nd (unfortunately without David Tennant, but oh well); hopefully Carmen in February; Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart!
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legallysam
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joined:5/8/08
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#11
Posted: 12/28/08 at 6:54pm
Fave Play: Oedipus at the National
Fave Musical: Hairspray, even though it was my 2nd time, it was still as good as the first!

Cheapest Ticket: Oedipus 12.50
Most Expensive: Never Forget 30

Worst Play: -
Worst Musical: haven't seen any duds this year...

Best Actor: Ralph Fiennes - Oedipus
Best Actress: Elinor Collett - Hairspray

Next Year Highlights: Edward Scissorhands, Phantom, Girls Aloud and Britney Spears (non theatre i know..but come on!)
"Rock Of Ages is about as original as gay men at a clap clinic" - SANDM2
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Weez
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/16/05
re: Best and Worst of 2008#12
Posted: 12/29/08 at 5:38am
Favourite Play in London: It's not fair to ask for just one! It's not! D: The entire Histories Cycle, thankyousoverymuch. A close second (ninth?) would be War Horse. :3
Favourite Play on Broadway: Oh good, I can say August: Osage County and rest safe in the knowledge that despite not having been to NY, I still totally saw this play with most of the OBC intact. re: Best and Worst of 2008
Favourite Play not in London: Six Characters in Search of an Author and Hamlet. I know they both went to London, and I certainly seemed to enjoy them both more in London than in Chichester/Stratford-upon-Avon, but they just don't register on the "what did you see in London that was better than everything else?" scale. XD

Favourite Musical in London: Hmmm. New musical, Zorro. Revival, La Cage aux Folles.
Favourite Musical on Broadway: Understanding I've not actually been to NY this year so am working off cast recordings, Tony performances, and assorted other "nowhere NEAR as good as going to see the show" source, it's gotta be In the Heights. It better not close before I get to NY again...
Favourite Musical not in London: Sunset Boulevard. Again, I know it's in London *now*, but that's not the point. :P

Cheapest Ticket: Free - Merry Wives of Windsor, Imagine This. Cheapest I actually paid - 2.50 for Marguerite (I used theatre tokens for the rest).
Most Expensive Ticket: Well, if you're going to be the kind souls I know you are and let me have the entire Histories Cycle as one favourite play, then I guess the 200 I spent for that weekend must count as most expensive ticket. XD
Best Student Offers: Not being on the ball enough to book in advance for the Donmar's Othello, I had resigned myself to missing it. Then I heard tales of people paying hundreds and thousands pounds for eBay tickets, so I just HAD to see it. So I queued up on the day and got a standing ticket for 7.50. AHAHAHAHAHAHA! :3

Worst Play: Absurd Person Singular. Absolutely TERRIBLE.
Worst Musical: Gone with the Wind. I still get into a towering fury when I remember how terrible the book was.

Best Actor: Hands down Jonathan Slinger all the way, for his Richard II, Fluellen, Richard III, and array of other roles besides, each and every character being a distinct, fully-realised, and totally convincing person in their own right. :3
Best Actress: Penny Downie! When I saw Hamlet AGAIN the other day (I can't tell you how pleased I am tickets started becoming available :3), I just couldn't look away. Her Gertrude just about broke my heart. ;_; Also Katy Stephens and Kathryn Evans, both plain awesome; looking forward very much to seeing the former's Rosalind!

Next Year's Highlights: I imagine it comes as no surprise to anyone that I shall be heading to Stratford-upon-Avon as much as possible this summer for whatever the RSC will give me. There's also some nifty-looking stuff coming up at the National (The Pitmen Painters, Time and the Conways, Dido: Queen of Carthage, Phaedre, All's Well That Ends Well) and despite the critical reception, I'm still enthused about King Lear at the Young Vic. I'm also devastatingly pleased that War Horse is getting its richly deserved West End transfer, even if I do decide that three trips to the Olivier is enough for me and that amazing piece and never make it to the New London. XD And it's nice to know that the part of my brain that simply can't get enough of Hamlet has another chance to Dane it up next summer. Grandage just better cast someone awesome as Horatio, or I'm going to be VERY cross.

So in answer to Exy's question: no, nowt can topple the RSC. In my OH-SO HUMBLE opinion, they're either going through a really good patch, or I'm going to have my mind BLOWN when they rise out of this slump and start producing *good* stuff. ;D
Updated On: 12/29/08 at 05:38 AM
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songanddanceman2
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joined:8/31/06
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joined:
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#13
Posted: 12/29/08 at 6:00am
Fave Play In London - The 39 Steps
Fave Play Broadway - August
Fave Musical London - La Cage Aux Folles, Bad Girls
Fave Musical Broadway - Rent, Legally Blonde, In The Heights,
Fave Performance - Douglas Hodge- La Cage
Fave Ensemble - In The Heights and Legally Blonde
Fave Touring Production - Our House, Flashdance, Mary Poppins
Fave Regional Production - Duh Dog Sees God of course in Manchester

Worst Play In London - not seen owt awful really
Worst Play on Broadway - same as above
Worst Musical London - Rent Remixed, Grease, Joseph
Worst Musical Broadway - Grease
Worst Performance - Denise Van Outen in Anything, Craig Chalmers (Joseph)
Worst Ensemble - Joseph touring company
Worst Touring Production - Joseph, Scrooge
Worst Regional Production - Not Seen any bad ones

Looking forward to
9 to 5, Legally Blonde, Hair Revival
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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Scripps2
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joined:1/19/08
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#14
Posted: 12/29/08 at 12:36pm
One of the outstanding things about 2008 as far as I'm concerned has been the quality of the national tours, and I'm thinking particularly of The Wedding Singer, Our House and The Witches of Eastwick. I think these have raised the standards I now expect from a national tour.

Biggest disappointment and most wasted opportunity was the stage version of Calendar Girls (and not any of the new musicals in the West End since they were largely what I expected them to be).

I always decide on what my best experience in a theatre was at the end of each year and this year it was The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare's Globe: for the first time in my life I actually understood and enjoyed a Shakespeare play, and it's not for the lack of trying either, so that is quite an achievement for both them and me!

The runners-up were Black Watch and Enjoy.
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Mark_E
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joined:1/26/06
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#15
Posted: 12/29/08 at 2:38pm
Also add Flashdance to the high quality touring list. What a show!
AnythingGoes2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/30/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#16
Posted: 12/30/08 at 7:08am
Fave Play: August Osage County

Fave Musical on Tour: Eurobeat... I'm ashamed of myself, but I couldn't help it!
Fave Musical in London: Hairspray
Fave Musical Revival: Sunset & Carousel
Fave Musical on Broadway: Gypsy

Worst Play: Rain Man
Worst Musical: Jersey Boys... Gone with the Wind, Imagaine this. Awful year for musicals really in London...

Next Years Highlights:
Sunset Boulevard
Sister Act
Priscilla
King and I @ Albert Hall

Acaila
Featured Actor
joined:8/28/08
Featured Actor
joined:
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re: Best and Worst of 2008#17
Posted: 12/30/08 at 7:36am
Some vague thoughts on the year as most stuff I've seen has been outside London:
Stuff I liked: Lord of the Rings, Drew Sarich, having a dedicated musical theatre venue at the Fringe
Stuff I didn't like: Only the Brave, Joseph tour with half the Any Dream Will Do boys, I'd Do Anything, not getting to go to the Chess concert

Looking forward to: Possibly moving to London, DVD of the Chess concert