Top 10 Notable Theatrics of 2011

Recalling how scoundrels, amphibians, and grace brightened Austin stages in 2011

<i>The Book of Grace</i>
The Book of Grace (Photo courtesy of KIRK R. TUCK)

1) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (Rubber Repertory) Admittedly, I wasn't able to catch the 2011 remount of this wild, boundary-breaking circus of sensations. But if it was anything like the original production of 2010, I'm sure I wouldn't have stopped talking about it (again) for months.

2) 'THE BOOK OF GRACE' (Zach Theatre) Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' searing glimpse of a family's descent into destruction on the Texas border was heart-wrenchingly moving.

3) 'MEN OF TORTUGA' (Street Corner Arts) Rare indeed is the company whose debut is as deft and precise as was Street Corner Arts' political thriller.

4) 'DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS' (George­town Palace Theatre) If the Palace's productions continue to show the exponential growth in quality that Scoundrels did, I'll be finding myself in Georgetown quite a bit more in 2012.

5) 'THE MAGIC FLUTE' (Austin Lyric Opera) Beleaguered though it's been of late, ALO managed to give Austin a true gem of a production.

6) 'THE JUNGLE' (Trouble Puppet Theater Company) Connor Hopkins' adaptation of Up­ton Sinclair's famous turn-of-the-20th-century novel made for a riveting evening of puppetry.

7) 'HILLCOUNTRY UNDERBELLY' (Paper Chairs) Lisa Larrata's whimsical outdoor set melded creative vision with dusty resonance to create a unique perspective of the Texas Hill Country.

8) 'THE PHYSICISTS' (Vortex Summer Youth Theatre) A fine cast of burgeoning young actors conquered Friedrich Dürrenmatt's highly technical script with impressive rigor.

9) 'A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD' (Summer Stock Austin) The talented Summer Stock youth achieved a remarkable connection with children who watched eagerly from their seats.

10) BERNADETTE PETERS (Paramount Theatre) Peters performing Sondheim: What more need be said?

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Top 10s 2011, Rubber Repertory, Zach Theatre, Suzan-Lori Parks, Street Corner Arts, Georgetown Palace Theatre, Austin Lyric Opera, Connor Hopkins, Trouble Puppet Theater Company, Paper Chairs, Lisa Larrata, Vortex Summer Youth Theatre, Summer Stock Austin, Bernadette Peters, Paramount Theatre

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