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A Look at Theater in 2007

I found this article at and thought it might interest you to see what critics think of the theatre produced this year.



The Year in Theater 2007

Top critics weigh in on the year’s best, worst and most innovative plays and performances

By Lenna King
December 18, 2007

Best actor

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, “Jack Goes Boating,” the Public Theater

Any opportunity to ogle the obscenely talented Mr. Hoffman must be seized, so when I heard he was starring in “Jack Goes Boating,” at the Public, I ran. His ability to captivate on stage—even in his portrayal of a mumbling man of few words—was nothing short of remarkable and certainly worth the full ticket price.

Best actress

Lauren Ambrose, “Romeo and Juliet,” Delacorte Theatre

This past season of Shakespeare in The Park had much talent to boast, but Lauren Ambrose was the most delicious offering. Her Juliet was both nubile and savvy, conveying the text with such intelligence and tenderness—a new world of understanding was introduced.

Best musical

“Gypsy,” New York City Center

The stars seemed to have aligned for this past summer’s all-too-limited engagement of “Gypsy,” the first offering in the Center’s Encores! Summer Stars series. Starring Patti LuPone as Mama Rose, Laura Benanti as Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee and Boyd Gaines as Herbie, this musical also scores a nod for best ensemble, as they collectively managed to breath new life into this often-revived classic. Thankfully, we’ll all have a chance to see it next season when it moves to Broadway in March 2008.

Best play

“The Homecoming,” Cort Theatre

Yes, it’s a revival, but it’s back for a new generation to see. Directed by Daniel Sullivan and written by Harold Pinter, this virtuosic ensemble including Eve Best, Ian McShane, Michael McKean, Raul Esparza, James Frain and Gareth Saxe lends a new meaning to family drama and makes for chilling theater.

Best Off-Broadway production

The Wooster Group’s “Hamlet,” the Public Theater

This amalgam of live performance and video footage of Richard Burton’s 1964 production gave a new meaning to performance art. Seamlessly choreographed, this reimagining of “Hamlet” ranks among the year’s most innovative theater.

Best theatrical event

“Hair,” Delacorte Theatre

Offered for three nights in September, the Public Theater’s concert version of “Hair,” written by Galt MacDermot, Jim Rado and Gerome Ragni, concluded the “Summer of Love” at Central Park’s Delacorte The enthusiastic audience sang, danced and cheered for this incredibly energetic and imaginative anti-war opus that was perfectly at home in the open-air theater.

Biggest disaster

The Broadway stagehand strike

It almost felt as though Christmas came early—Nov. 28, 2007 to be exact—when Broadway’s lights beamed again after 18 days of darkness. Theatergoers and industry folk alike were disappointed and disoriented as tickets were refunded and sales rapidly slowed, marking the longest strike to afflict Broadway since a 25-day musician strike in 1975.

Looking ahead: 2008

Loads to look forward to in the new year, but particular excitement surrounds Laura Linney’s return to the New York Stage in “Les Liasions Dangereuses,” as part of Roundabout’s 2008 season, as well as the move to Broadway for last years off-Broadway sleeper hit “In The Heights.”