Top 10 Gifts From 2010 (In Random Order)

Savoring 2010's immaculate acting, arresting beauty, and over-the-top comedy

<i>Hunter Gatherers</i>
Hunter Gatherers

1) 'HUNTER GATHERERS' (CAPITAL T THEATRE) Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's comedy went well past irreverence and included attempted sodomy, the slaughter of a goat, and a fight with a bag of semen – and was the hardest I've heard a whole audience laugh during my entire spell in Austin.

2) ANNIE BAKER AT HYDE PARK THEATRE Ken Webster, HPT's artistic director, consistently finds great playwrights, and I loved the tone and production of Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation and Body Awareness.

3) 'MACHINAL' (PAPER CHAIRS) A company with a knack for using space like no one else. This arresting production will always be filed in my mind as the one with doors in the floor.

4) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (RUBBER REPERTORY) With each show, Rubber Rep makes me conceive of theatre in a new way, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

5) 'MELANCHOLY PLAY' (PALINDROME THEATRE) This crisp production was my first chance to see playwright Sarah Ruhl's work in performance, and I loved every minute of it.

6) 'JOHN AND JEN' (PENFOLD THEATRE COMPANY) This kind of musical isn't necessarily in my wheelhouse, but Penfold's production was immaculately performed.

7) 'CONFIDENCE MEN: IMPROVISED MAMET' (CONFIDENCE MEN) Not only are the Mamet-based Men one of the tightest professional improv troupes you'll see, they've played all over the country and city, too, taking improv to Hyde Park and the HighBall. Cheers.

8) THE DESIGN FOR 'BAAL' (PAPER CHAIRS) Watching this show, I had the distinct impression that any theatre in the world would be proud to have such beauty on its stage.

9) JOEY HOOD AS 'THE ATHEIST' (HYDE PARK THEATRE) A great actor crafting an engrossing story – can't ask for more than that.

10) 'THE IMAGINARY INVALID' (MARY MOODY NORTHEN THEATRE) MMNT Artistic Director David Long let this show go as blue and absurd as it needed to be a wonderful production.

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Top 10, Capital T Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre, Paper Chairs, Rubber Repertory, Palindrome Theatre, Penfold Theatre Company, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, Ken Webster, Joey Hood, David Long

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