Top 10 Most Memorable Locally Produced Live Performance Offerings That I Chanced To See in 2010

A theatre year of staged fantasies, musical fun, and crazy families

1) 'THE RED BALLOON' (TONGUE AND GROOVE THEATRE) A boy. A red balloon. A moving cartoon background into and out of which characters come and go. The most charming live cartoon fantasy imaginable. Directed by David Yeakle.

2) 'I WITNESS' (TUTTO THEATRE COMPANY) The waking dream of life in words and dance, and one of the most intensely emotional experiences I've had in a theatre. Choreographed by Amanda Oakley, Shawn Nasralla, and Jennifer Micallef.

3) 'THE DROWSY CHAPERONE' (ZACH THEATRE) Martin Burke, Meredith McCall, Jamie Goodwin, Jill Blackwood, and a cast of thousands – not really, but sometimes it seemed like it. Tremendous musical fun. Directed by Nick Demos.

Girls Girls Girls
Girls Girls Girls (Courtesy of Roy Moore)

4) 'BOYS OF SUMMER' (GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS) Five women and a guest. Improvised musical comedy. Really. Music, lyrics, plot – everything improvised on the spot, and laugh 'til you cry funny.

5) 'MILKMILKLEMONADE' (SHREWD PRODUCTIONS) A daring theatrical oddity: an elementary-school gay love story starring a talking chicken – told with charm and grace. Directed by Jason Hays.

6) 'RENT' (ZACH THEATRE) A visually stunning street celebration of a landmark piece of theatrical history, with Joshua Denning and Ginger Leigh stealing the show. Directed by Dave Steakley.

7) 'MARY STUART' (AUSTIN SHAKESPEARE) Friedrich Schiller's masterpiece, exquisitely translated by Peter Oswald, with Helen Merino luminous in the title role. Directed by Ann Ciccolella.

8) 'MELANCHOLY PLAY' (PALINDROME THEATRE) A simple, funny little play about melancholy that really isn't melancholy at all. Directed by Kate Eminger.

9) 'POST-OEDIPUS' (GETALONG GANG PERFORMANCE GROUP/BLUE THEATRE) Oedipus' family after the fall, with Jennifer Gravenstein's Jocasta reveling in the tragedy. Directed by Spencer Driggers.

10) 'MORNING'S AT SEVEN' (DIFFERENT STAGES) A quirky 1930s family comedy about inter-marital affairs, depression, and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Directed by Karen Jambon.

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Top 10, Tongue and Groove Theatre, Tutto Theatre Company, Zach Theatre, Shrewd Productions, Girls Girls Girls, Austin Shakespeare, Palindrome Theatre, Getalong Gang Performance Group, Blue Theatre, Different Stages

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