My Favorite (Theatrical) Things – 2012 In Review
For me, 2012 has been a fantastic year. In February, I found out I had won Broadway Across America – Houston's reviewing contest for the second half of their 2011-12 season. Having always wanted to be a theater reviewer, I was thrilled beyond imagination. Sitting in Sarofim Hall waiting for Carrie Fisher to take the stage in her one-woman show Wishful Drinking, I knew I didn't want this journey to end. On May 16, 2012, I contacted BroadwayWorld, and they gave me the opportunity to cover the impressive and large Houston Theatre Scene. My tenure in Houston has not been terribly long, but as 2012 draws to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to review some of my favorite experiences that writing for BroadwayWorld has afforded me.
My Favorite Interview of 2012 – This is hard one to pin down. My first interview holds a special place in my heart for being my first. It was fun, thrilling, and I was so nervous. It was a trial by fire experience that was a fantastic success. But there are two more interviews that stand out in my mind as being equally as strong, interesting, and successful. Therefore, I feel that I personally had three best interviews for 2012, and they would be my interviews with Michelle DeJean, Buyi Zama, and Amy Fote.
My Favorite Local Musical in 2012 – I had to go with my gut on this one. One readily sprung to mind. Standing Room Only Productions swept me away with their [TITLE OF SHOW]. Everything about the production worked together perfectly. The young cast was amazingly professional while maintaining a high level of energy. Because of this show, my wife and I text each other funny and pun-riddled drag queen names. As I typed though, I thought of another performance that was just as enjoyable and solidly produced. Bayou City Concert Musical's ONE TOUCH OF VENUS brought new life to a forgotten treasure of an old score with brilliant performances.
My Favorite Local Drama in 2012 – This is a tough category to pin down, but I forced myself to do it anyway. After some thought and a lot of interior dialogue and debate, I had two and couldn't narrow it down any further-Stark Naked Theatre's BODY AWRENESS and Classical Theatre Company's MISS JULIE. Both of these productions was so raw and emotionally sound. Both constantly, consistently, and consummately moved me.
My Favorite Local Comedy in 2012 – Perhaps it is the darker works that tickle my funny bone. Without any hesitation, I thought of Country Playhouse's MR. MARMALADE and Black Lab Theatre's BOOM. MR. MARMALADE forever changed the way I say "hari-kiri." I also reference it and quote it frequently. BOOM was apocalyptic fun at its finest.
My Favorite Original Music in 2012 – Two productions with original music from local talent really impressed me, and I would be remiss not to mention them. Wiley DeWeese wrote a fantastic and atmospheric underscore for Jean-Paul Sartre's NO EXIT. On a lighter note, there was the fun, memorable, and funny original score written by Tamarie Cooper, Miriam Daly, John Duboise, Joe Folladori and PatRick Reynolds for DOOMSDAY REVUE.
My Favorite Opera in 2012 – This was perhaps my easiest selection. I find myself still thinking about Houston Grand Opera's THE ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS. The show was filled with mirth and amusement, making it the most fun I had ever had at the opera.
My Favorite Ballet in 2012 – Two spring to mind and they are Houston Ballet's productions of Nicolo Fonte's See(k) from the MADE IN AMERICA program and Aszure Barton's Angular Momentum from the WOMEN@ART program. These ballets were monumental for me as an audience member, showcasing sides of ballet that I didn't know existed and breathing new and fresh life into the art form. Each of these opened my eyes to a world of dance that productions like THE NUTCRACKER do not explore.
My Favorite Solo Act in 2012 – This honor goes to Steven Fales' CONFESSONS OF A MORMON BOY and MISSIONARY POSITION. Seeing him discuss his life so candidly at Theater LaB Houston was simply amazing. I hope that we will soon see him bring PRODIGAL DAD to Houston.
My Favorite Tour in 2012 – NETwork's tour of the 25th Anniversary Production of LES MISERABLES is astounding. The talent and production values are truly bringing Broadway quality to regional venues in a way that a lot of the current tours are not. Likewise, the production is utilizing cutting edge technology to showcase some of the best projection work many audiences, including myself, have ever seen done on stage. Every aspect works together to create an evocative, emotional, and splendid evening of live theatre.
My Favorite New Theatre Group in 2012 – Hands down, this award goes to Bayou City Theatrics. Their ROCKY HORROR SHOW was a strong and lively entry and made their presence known. Many in Houston are eagerly anticipating their New Year's Eve concert version of RENT at Stag's Head Pub and their upcoming production of INTO THE WOODS. For more information and tickets please visit http://www.bayoucitytheatrics.com/.
As you take the time to reflect on 2012, I hope that you find it has been a great year for you as well. Looking forward, I'm excited to continue pursuing my journalistic dreams of becoming a full-time theatre reviewer and/or writer about the arts. Houston and BroadwayWorld have afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for the Houston Theatre Scene and me.