Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009's 5 Worst

I wasn't planning on publishing my worst list, but since Wendy posted hers, I see no harm in following suit. Again, a lot of easy decisions here.

1. Our Town
This year, the emperor's new clothes were an ill-fitting flannel, beat-up jeans and a cell phone. And while bacon was frying mere feet away from me, all I could smell was corn.

2. The Starry Messenger
Star Matthew Broderick didn't know his lines, first-time director Kenneth Lonergan had no idea how to present his own text, and the result was a three-plus hour trainwreck with no plot and no guidance.

3. Desire Under the Elms
What happens when you combine a Tony Award winning director (Robert Falls), arguably the best Eugene O'Neill interpreter alive (Brian Dennehy) and one of the strongest actresses of her generation (Carla Gugino)? Not much, as evidenced by this streamlined, anachronistic production that opened and closed quickly in May.

4. West Side Story
How do you say "misfire" in Spanish?

5. The Bacchae
Jonathan Groff is usually wonderful, but as the vicious and sexually voracious demi-god Dionysus? I think not.

photo: The cast of Our Town at The Barrow Street Theatre. Credit: Joan Marcus.


JB said...

You're both completely wrong on Our Town.

I can see feeling it fell short of the hype, but one of the five worst of the year? Hardly.

Patrick Lee said...

I'm all for different perspectives and opinions, especially on a team blog like this one, but OUR TOWN was one of the greatest theatre experiences I've ever had. I've seen it 6 times by now, and hope to get back to it again soon.

Cameron Kelsall said...

Patrick and I agree to disagree about OUR TOWN. I cannot deny that a lot of people feel a strong personal connection to this production, but for me it was painful to watch a beautiful play massacred by a director's twee, psychoanalytical supposition. I place it on par with Simon McBurney's ALL MY SONS, Howard Davies' and Kevin Spacey's A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN and George C. Wolfe's MACBETH (to name just three) as one of the most execrable revisals I've ever seen.

Aaron Riccio said...

Now I feel like I need to see this production of Our Town, so that I can tie-break or something....

Wendy Caster said...

I didn't hate it. Hating it would have been a more interesting experience than I had.