NEW YORK THEATRE WIRE WRITERS CHOOSE
10 BEST SHOWS OF 2004-2005 SEASON
by Philippa Wehle
The New York Theatre Wire has once more asked its reviewers to choose their top ten shows seen between May 1, 2004 and May 1, 2005, on, Off and Off-off Broadway and to list them in order of importance. Their choices are based on artistic merit alone. Until recently we had required our writers to disqualify themselves if they hadn't seen a fair cross-section of the season's offerings. (The publisher always disqualifies himself ex officio). NYTW now has a system of "limited voting." If a reviewer votes for four candidates, for example, the top one receives a score of four, the second three, and so forth. This year, seven NYTW writers participated in the ballot and two of them chose the limited voting category. This year's"Top Ten" represents such a fascinating spread of shows (from new plays to revivals, from musicals to serious drama) that it was impossible to detect a trend. Of interest, however, is the fact that two of the shows in the top ten are "downtown" shows, one of which is by an important, emerging theater group, the International WOW Company, which is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It would seem that our reviewers are no longer limited to Manhattan theaters. Of course the exception has always been Brooklyn's BAM.
"Top Ten" Shows of the 2004-2005 Season
John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" (originally at the Manhattan Theatre Club; moved to the Walter Kerr Theatre)
"Shockheaded Peter" (The Little Shubert Theatre)
Austin Pendleton's "Orson's Shadow" (Barrow Street Theatre)
Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman" (The Booth Theatre)
Michael Frayn's "Democracy" (The Brooks Atkinson Theatre)
August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" (The Walter Kerr Theatre)
Terry Gilliam's and Hugh Vanstone's "Spamalot" (The Shubert Theatre)
Richard Foreman's "The Gods Are Pounding My Head" (aka Lumberjack Messiah) (The Ontological Theatre)
Tony Kushner's "Homebody/Kabul" (BAM Harvey Theater)
"In The Comfort and Safety Of Your Own Home," conceived and directed by Josh Fox, International WOW Theater Company, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
© copyright 2005 Metro New Media, Inc.
Further information please contact: Philippa Wehle, author of this article, at: (212) 864-6642.
EDITORIAL STAFF OF THE NEW YORK THEATRE WIRESenior Columnist: Glenn Loney. Feature Writer: Jerry Tallmer. Columnists: Marilyn Abalos (Asian Theatre), Randy Gener (Theatre), Susan Haskins (Broadway), Larry Litt (Comedy). Critics: Perry Bialor, Dorothy Chansky, Margaret Croyden, Randy Gener, Melinda Guttmann, Lucy Komisar, Robert Hicks, Brandon Judell, Larry Litt, Ed Rubin, Paulanne Simmons, Ben Spatz, Philippa Wehle.
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