Top 10 Performances of 2004 That I Ruminate Over After the Dust Has Settled

Heather Barfield lists her favorite stage performances of 2004

 Mark Banks (bottom) and Maurice Moore,<i> Topdog/
Mark Banks (bottom) and Maurice Moore, Topdog/ Underdog

Instead of shuffling through all the wonderful talent in Austin theatre and curmudgeonly nitpicking technique and degrees of thespian perfection, I have compiled a list of some of what I consider the most unforgettable performances I viewed over the past year, in no particular order.

1) Mark Stewart in The Comedy of Errors (Tongue and Groove Theatre) Superbly sly and physically agile, Stewart deserves a flattering spotlight.

2) Catherine Berry in Spin (Refraction Arts Project) Berry was engaging, exciting, and fantastically silly in her one-woman show.

3) Jeffery Mills in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Mary Moody Northen Theatre, St. Edward's University) Mills gave a fine portrayal of the naive, distraught, stuttering Billy Bibbit.

4) Maurice Moore and Mark Banks in Topdog/Underdog (Pro Arts Collective) I have to include both gentlemen here; Moore and Banks have a keen knack for timing and dialogue.

5) Cyndi Williams in Orange (Refraction Arts Project) From housewife to the divine feminine, Williams' nonchalance mixed nicely with a quirky grace.

6) David Stahl in Nightswim (State Theater Company) Stahl's precision and strength of heart were profoundly honest and tear-jerking.

7) Lee Eddy in Ladee Leroy (Mary Moody Northen Theatre) It's easy to steal the stage with only one person up there, but Eddy did it by being bold, funny, and surprisingly sweet.

8) Joni Jones/Iya Omi Osun Olomo in sista docta Jones was scathingly candid, elegant and imposing, and hauntingly accurate.

9) Jill Blackwood in Cabaret (Zachary Scott Theatre Center) Blackwood's posturing and vibrant voice impeccably captured Fraulein Kost, delivering one of the best performances I've seen of an easily misinterpreted character.

10) Josh Meyer in Not Clown (Physical Plant Theater) Acrobatic and frightening, Meyer is capable of all sorts of stunts and sentiments.

Honorable (perhaps nepotistic) mention:

Scott Daigle in Wake for the Dark Poet: The Antonin Artaud Project (Vortex Repertory Company) Yes, this was my show, but I have to tell you, Daigle was passionate, daring, and shockingly creepy.

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Mark Stewart, The Comedy of Error, Tongue and Groove Theatre, Catherine Berry, Spin, Refraction Arts Project, Jeffery Mills, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, St. Edward's University, Maurice Moore, Mark Banks in Topdog/Underdog, Pro Arts Collective, Cyndi Williams, Orange, David Stahl, Nightswim, State Theater Company, Lee Eddy, Ladee Leroy

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