Friday, September 29, 2006

Your Five Best

R.L Rowsey picks his 5 favorite theatre productions from a recent visit to New York

1. "The History Boys." A brilliant play, and a perfect evening of exceptional actors, of passionate directors and sensitive designers sharing a very moving, very thought-provoking story.

2. "Sweeney Todd." I must confess that this is perhaps my favorite musical of all time. This unbelievable cast of 10 not only deliver smartly crafted, well-sung, sensitive performances of this great material, but they also serve as the only musical accompaniment for the piece, collectively playing everything from violin, cello, trumpet and piano to the aforementioned tuba.

3. "{title of show}" This fascinating little off-Broadway musical was one of the participants in last year's New York Musical Theatre Festival. Four actors, four chairs and a piano. It's simple at its best. A musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical in three weeks for a festival. Very witty. Very "insider." Smart.

4. "Mother Courage." We got up at 5 a.m. to spend our day in Central Park in line for tickets to see Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in Brecht's "Mother Courage." While the play was not flawless, it was the perfect example of very talented theatre artists working without a net. The production was bold, filled with interesting theatrical risks and a delight to watch.

5. "The Drowsy Chaperone." Talk about the perfect new traditional musical guaranteed to make you smile. Anyone who enjoys the grandeur of musical theatre and the delight of a host of the evening who is a musical theatre fanatic will find a smile on their face as they watch this sugary delight. (This is the only one still running.)

R.L. Rowsey is a core company artist with the Hailey-based Company of Fools theatre company.

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