Waves of Faves

Thirty-Three New York Theater Types Offer Up Their Favorite Productions From the 1999–2000 Season

 John Guare A Streetcar Named Desire
"Ivo van Hove took a play I thought could only be done in pale imitations of Brando and Vivian Leigh—in each production the Xerox getting lighter and lighter—and suddenly made it brand-new. A fantastic reading of a great play that restored it to its eternal freshness."

Ellen McLaughlin Another Telepathic Thing
"What I loved about it was its refusal to settle into a single interpretive framework. Annie-B Parson's work is always frankly idiosyncratic and yet never coy. She also uses some of the most interesting and intelligent performers in New York."

Bob McGrath North Atlantic
"The Wooster Group and Elizabeth LeCompte, the work is so unique and so singular and so thorough. All the aspects—from the performances to the sound to the look of it to the lights—you just can't touch it."

Charlayne Woodard in Suzan-Lori Parks's In The Blood
Charlayne Woodard in Suzan-Lori Parks's In The Blood

Loretta Greco Mythos
"Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret wove the wake of this young Brazilian revolutionary with all of these famous protagonists—Daedalus, Medea, Oedipus. Viscerally, it was one of the most engaging, mind-boggling, thrilling productions. The company used at least eight different languages and had this incredibly muscular physical and gestural vocabulary."

Richard Foreman Pageant
"The most original work I've seen over the past 12 months was a delirious work in progress by Ken Nintzel entitled Pageant. Against ecstatic music, a horde of cockeyed saints with cardboard wings went through a variety of ecstatic and ludicrous changes. It pushed the envelope."

David Lindsay-Abaire The Waverly Gallery
"Beautifully written, painfully funny, harrowing and genuine. Eileen Heckart kicked me where it counts. I could spend a week watching that lady fold napkins, she's so committed."

Elyse Singer A Streetcar Named Desire
"It was such a passionate and provocative production, each element of character stripped down to its essence. And it revealed things I'd never before seen in the play. The experience of watching Blanche slide, fully dressed, headfirst into the bathtub has stayed with me."

Dylan Baker Fuddy Meers
"Watching J. Smith-Cameron puzzle her way through made me laugh and cry. Mary Louise-Burke's, Patrick Breen's, and Mark McKinney's performances are some I'll never forget."

David Herskovits Bad Boy Nietzsche!
"Each of Foreman's plays is such a distinct experience, and this one was uniquely poignant and personal. Mixing memory and desire like this wrecks my ship, and I love that desperate grasping for the toys of the past. Plus lots of people took off their clothes."

Ruth Maleczech Jennifer Miller and Circus Amok
"I like the public nature of the work, that it's free, that it takes place in the open air. A very inclusive kind of performing. Jennifer Miller is marvelous."

Jerry Tallmer Extreme Girl
"Beauty counts for something in this world, after all, and when you combine extreme beauty with sharp wit and high talent you get—well, you get Barbara Blackburn, whose Extreme Girl denotations . . . went brilliantly to prove that a woman is a terrible thing to waste."

Basil Twist Shockheaded Peter
"There was a tone and a quality about the show, particularly in the performances, that was just so much fun. I don't know what other word to put on it. It could have been ridiculous—or awful, even—but it was just fun."

Nilo Cruz Enter the Night
"I love the structure of the play. And the silent scene where the characters mime the silent film, I'd never seen anything like it."

Joanne Akalaitis Waste
"It was fun to see a play I'd never read, and to see a play with powerful actors talking about ideas and politics. A delight."

Josh Hamilton A Streetcar Named Desire
"I get blown away by things that are so different from what I do. I think, 'How did they do that?' That's how I felt with Streetcar. Ivo van Hove took away the behavioralism and the naturalism and the onus to make things realistic. Deconstruction, when it's done well, can be really exciting."

J. Smith-Cameron The Waverly Gallery
"I'm talking about my fiancé [Kenneth Lonergan], I know, but that was my favorite play on or off Broadway. It's about aging and mortality, and people put their defenses up about those topics. So it really takes artistry to draw people in and make them listen. It sneaks up on you because it's funny. And suddenly you're devastated."

Richard Maxwell Rhymes With Adventure
"Assembled by Ford Wright, it combines the best elements of Dungeons & Dragons medieval adventure role-playing with high school speech competitions. And it's done in song. With ridiculous and fantastic medieval costumes. And faux chain mail."

Daniel Aukin The Bomb-itty of Errors
"One of the most juicily entertaining and surprising nights I've had at the theater in a long time. Deeply witty. I just sat at the show from beginning to end and was totally entertained."

Mark Russell Charlie Victor Romeo
"It was such a lean, economical, and powerful performance. One of those ideas that is very simple, but they did it so well—with great taste, consideration, and focus."

Jessica Hagedorn In the Blood
"Because it was so smart and so fierce and so clear, and I thought what Suzan-Lori Parks did with The Scarlet Letter and the letter A was really marvelous, just the simplicity of it all. Very moving, very funny, very sharp."

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