2010 Year End -- Theater
2010 won't go down as one for the theatrical record books, as my end-of-the-year essay recounts. New plays of note were few and far between. But there were still plenty of moments worth savoring.
My highlight list concentrates on productions that were distinguished largely by the boldness of their directors' vision. Yet there were several performances deserving of another round of applause.
On Broadway, I was bowled over by the intelligence of Liev Schreiber in "A View from the Bridge," the aching vulnerability of Viola Davis in "Fences," the tousled dignity of Douglas Hodge in "La Cage aux Folles," and the tipsy comedy of Katie Finneran in "Promises, Promises."
Here in Southern California, I found enthrallment in top-flight performances by Ed Harris in "Wrecks," Judith Ivey in "The Glass Menagerie," Emily Bergl in "Forgiveness," Laurence Fishburne in "Thurgood," Alice Ripley in "Next to Normal," Condola Rashad in "Ruined," Raúl Esparza in "Leap of Faith," Andrew Borba in "In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play," Leo Marks in "The Language Archive," and both Heidi Schreck and Deirdre O'Connell in "The Wake."
That's quite a few glowing memories. Hey, maybe 2010 wasn't so bad after all. Still, here's hoping for a resurgent 2011.
-- Charles McNulty
Photo: Judith Ivey in "The Glass Menagerie." Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times