Top 10 Pratfalls of 2006, Plus Some Shining Examples of Physical Comedy

<i>Vaudeville Vanya</i>
Vaudeville Vanya

1) Gabriel McIver's crash in Vaudeville Vanya (St. Idiot Collective) The entire company danced with teacups on their heads in Chekhov's masterwork. For pratfalls, though, McIver wins top honors for bursting airborne onto the stage as the tubercular playwright.

2) The duel in The Assumption (Refraction Arts Project) Is it still a duel if all the spectators die, too? The hilarious and crude death scene en masse was a great ending to this adaptation of Hamlet.

3) Have You Ever Been Assassinated? (Rude Mechanicals) Usually it's hyperbole when we talk about acrobatics on stage. Not this time. Huppah!

4) Ramona the dog in Red Cans (Rubber Repertory) There may have been a dozen people lurching, bumping, rolling, and writhing in little red nylon laundry hampers. Maybe they did steal our footwear. Who could hold a candle to the sweet-tempered Ramona, who calmly took it all in from her onstage kennel?

5) The play about trash bags (Refraction Arts Project) They said it was womblike, which raises questions. The cast curled up into trash bags and moseyed around for 45 minutes in a curiously touching portrayal of something.

6) Robert Faires in In On It (dirigo group) The Chronicle Arts editor's beautifully awkward dance routine to Lesley Gore's "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" got some of the biggest laughs in the play.

7) Urinetown: The Musical (Zachary Scott Theatre Center) People dancing with toilet plungers on their heads: Thank you, Dave Steakley. Thank you.

8) Elizabeth Doss and Amie Elyn's antics in Ring Rip Rent (Vortex Repertory Company) It's sex! Sex everywhere! The repression is almost worth it in the premiere of Martha Lynn Coon's play about female sexuality.

9) Twelfth Night (State Theatre Company) The late State's production of Shakespeare's comedy provided some lovely clowns, especially Blake DeLong's Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Corey Jones' Malvolio.

10) We Are Normal, Cha Cha Chaaa (Yellow Tape Construction Co.) Did any play show actors having more fun running up and bouncing off the walls?

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