Looking back on the theatrical year—an almost compulsive habit at this point in May—often reveals a hidden theme, an unspoken convergence of ideas, moods, or approaches that one production seems to have picked up from another, as if notions of how to put on a play could be caught unconsciously, like colds, and passed from one creative team to another. This year seems to have offered a theme that might be summed up as "not quite." Not only have we seen a great many plays, new and old, in which people almost succeed at something, but the plays themselves, and particularly the musicals, have often just missed achieving what they aimed at. It's as if some virus of diffidence were going around, making artists overly cautious on the grounds that going all the way with things, or getting them exactly right, were inappropriate to our worrisome time. Uncertainty is in the air, somehow, making simple truths feel less simple and less... More >>>