Best in Show: Doubt, Bug and A Number Top 2004 "Best Of" Lists

News   Best in Show: Doubt, Bug and A Number Top 2004 "Best Of" Lists
 
As the year 2004 takes its final bows, publications are training their nostalgic, yet discerning, gaze back over the calendar year as they compose their annual roundups.

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The popular "Top Ten" or "Best of" lists continue, as well as the fairly recent practice of also compiling "Worst of" lists. Some stagings usually end up being acknowledged on both ends of the spectrum.

John Patrick Shanley's four-person drama Doubt is the crowd favorite as New York dailies tabulate their best of the class this year. Tracy Letts' Bug and Caryl Churchill's A Number, are among the new plays at the top while the revivals of Twelve Angry Men and Assassins fill out the various lists.

Other works edging out honorable mentions include Michael Frayn's Democracy, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Henry VI trilogy titled Rose Rage, Sarah Jones' Broadway-bound solo bridge & tunnel and August Wilson's chronological decade cycle starter Gem of the Ocean.

The musicals Brooklyn and Dracula were repeated entries on the "Worst of" lists.

Here's a running list of this year's top theatrical contenders: Associated Press' drama writer Michael Kuchawara:

 

 

  • Doubt
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  • Bug
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  • Well
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  • Frozen
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  • The Normal Heart
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  • The Frogs
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  • Twelve Angry Men
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  • Gem of the Ocean
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  • A Number
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  • Barbara Cook's Broadway Time's Richard Zoglin:

    1. Doubt
    2. Fiddler on the Roof
    3. Sea of Tranquility (Atlantic Theatre Company)
    4. Sight Unseen
    5. Gem of the Ocean
    6. Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance
    7. Frozen
    8. Assassins
    9. Finishing The Picture (Chicago's Goodman Theater)
    10. Charlie Victor Romeo (P.S. 122)

    TimeOut New York's theater editor David Cote:

    The Best
    1. Assassins
    2. Doubt
    3. Bug
    4. Rose Rage
    5. Frozen
    6. Fabulation
    7. In a Strange Room (The Brick Theater)
    8. Engaged
    9. bridge & tunnel
    10. Hedda Gabler

    The Worst
    1. Brooklyn
    2. Alice in Wonderland

    TimeOut New York's theater writer Adam Feldman:

    The Best
    1. Doubt
    2. Pullman Car Hiawatha and Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden (Keen Company)
    3. Rose Rage
    4. Bug
    5. Homebody/Kabul
    6. Nine Parts of Desire
    7. Intimate Apparel
    8. Gem of the Ocean
    9. The Normal Heart
    10. Twelve Angry Men

    The Worst
    1. Brooklyn
    2. Embedded
    3. Medea in Jerusalem/Miss Julie

    New York Times' theatre critic Ben Brantley

    1. Assassins
    2. Bug
    3. Democracy
    4. Doubt
    5. 4.48 Psychosis (Royal Court Theater production/St. Ann's Warehouse)
    6. Jumpers
    7. Mrs. Farnsworth
    8. A Number
    9. 12 Angry Men
    10. Well

    Newsday's theater critic Linda Winer:

    1. Doubt
    2. National Theatre of Great Britain (Jumpers, Democracy)
    3. Gem of the Ocean
    4. Twelve Angry Men
    5. Sondheim at Studio 54 (Assassins, Pacific Overtures)
    6. Shakespeare deluxe (Public Theater's Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Rose Rage)
    7. A Number
    8. 700 Sundays

    Newsday's staff writer Gordon Cox:

    1. Hedda Gabler
    2. The Tricky Part

    USA Today's Elysa Gardner:

    The Best
    1. Tonya Pinkins in Caroline, or Change
    2. Barbara Cook's Broadway
    3. Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance
    4. Carla Gugino in After the Fall
    5. Laura Linney in Sight Unseen
    6. Phylicia Rashad in Raisin in the Sun and Gem of the Ocean
    7. Jumpers' Simon Russell Beale and Essie Davis
    8. La Cage aux Folles
    9. Democracy
    10. Pacific Overtures

    The Worst
    1. Bombay Dreams
    2. Eve Ensler's The Good Body
    3. Dracula
    4. Prymate
    5. Paradice in Brooklyn

    Entertainment Weekly:

    The Best
    1. Doubt
    2. Bug
    3. Sight Unseen
    4. Rose Rage
    5. Assassins
    6. The Glass Menagerie (Washington, D.C.)
    7. A Number
    8. bridge & tunnel
    9. Intimate Apparel
    10. The Normal Heart

    The Worst
    1. Dracula
    2. The Ten Commandments
    3. Embedded

    The Star-Ledger staff writer Michael Sommers:

     

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  • Assassins
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  • bridge & tunnel
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  • Bug
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  • The Day Emily Married
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  • Doubt
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  • A Number
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  • A Raisin in the Sun
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  • 700 Sundays
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  • String of Pearls
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  • Well Daily News chief drama critic Howard Kissel:

    The Best

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  • Doubt
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  • Intimate Apparel
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  • Democracy
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  • Pardon My English (City Center Encores!)
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  • bridge & tunnel
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  • 700 Sundays
    Also Mentioned:
    A.R. Gurney's Big Bill, Stephen Temperly's Souvenir, Joanna Glass' Trying, revivals of Assassins, Twelve Angry Men, A Raisin in the Sun, Elmer Rice's Counsellor at Law (Peccadillo Theater Company) and Finian's Rainbow (Irish Repertory Theater) The Worst

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  • Dracula
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  • Prymate
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  • Chef's Theatre Also, visit Playbill On-Line's year-end roundup of top theatre stories:
    Playbill On-Line Picks the Top Theatre Stories of 2004
    Playbill On-Line Looks Back at Theatre 2004: A Year in Images In Memoriam 2004: Playbill On-Line Recalls Theatre Folk Who Passed On

     

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