Top 10 Dramatic Turns of 2013

A look back at some of the year's most gripping performances

Jill Blackwood in <i>Les Miserables</i>
Jill Blackwood in Les Miserables (Photo courtesy of Kirk Tuck)

In reverse chronological order:

1) THE COMPANY OF 'LET IT BE CHRISTMAS' (World Vision & Gateway Church) The performers heralded Christ's birth with rafter-shaking vocals that soared on high.

2) THE COMPANY OF 'BLOOD WEDDING' (Mary Moody Northen Theatre) The air of rural Spain poured forth from the ensemble in a riveting production of Lorca's drama.

3) JILL BLACKWOOD IN 'LES MISERABLES' (Zach Theatre) As Fantine, Blackwood dreamed her dream center stage in arresting fashion.

4/5) RACHEL MCGINNIS MEISSNER AND LAURA ARTESI IN 'A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE' (City Theatre Company) Meissner's striking turn as Blanche provided both realism and magic, and Artesi delivered a stellar Stella.

6/7) MICHAEL STUART AND BENJAMIN SUMMERS IN 'A WALK IN THE WOODS' (Street Corner Arts) Summers' Honeyman was visceral and searing, and Stuart's Botvinnik drew one in to such a degree that it was difficult to glance away.

8) THE COMPANY OF 'TWELVE ANGRY MEN' (City Theatre Company) From 1 to 12, each juror contributed his own heft to this wonderfully weighty production.

9) THE COMPANY OF 'BEAUTY IS THE BEST PRIEST: SHORT PLAYS OF THE HAR­LEM RENAISSANCE' (Austin Commun­ity College Department of Drama) Like a living museum inside a more traditional one, the company granted new insight into a world of literature with which I'd had little acquaintance.

10) JACOB TRUSSELL IN 'OTHER DESERT CITIES' (Austin Playhouse) Trussell's turn as Trip was as captivating and multilayered as it was realistic and honest.

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Top 10s 2013, Austin theatre, Let It Be Christmas, Mary Moody Northen Theatre, Jill Blackwood, Rachel McGinnis Meissner, Laura Artesi, Benjamin Summers, Michael Stuart, City Theatre Company, Jacob Trussell, Austin Community College Department of Drama, Zach Theatre, Street Corner Arts, Austin Playhouse

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