10 Best Shows of 1998-99 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, 1998 and May 1, 1999, on, Off and Off-off Broadway. The choices were based on artistic merit alone. This year five NYTW theater writers participated in the ballot. The publisher disqualified himself ex officio.
Interestingly, Ping Chong's "Kwaidan," which had received such glowing reviews from NYTW writers last fall fulfilled its promise. It was the standout show, with "Wit" as a close second. "Swan Lake" was high on the list of three of our reviewers as was the reprise of "The Mystery of Irma Vep," starring Everett Quinton. Another favored choice was Andrei Serban's staging of "Cymbeline" in Central Park last summer. Beyond these favorites, a number of shows received individual high marks: Declan Donnelan's "Le Cid" at BAM, for example, or Serban's "Fragments of a Greek Trilogy," another revival, at La MaMa.
As always, our reviewers proved to be individualists with diverse tastes and a variety of views. Judging from the choices, however, one might venture to say that the majority favors a "return to the classics."
KWAIDAN (La MaMa E.T.C./The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta/International Festival of Puppet Theater presented by the Jim Henson Foundation)
Congratulations to the winners!
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