Long Day's Journey, Wonderful Town, Henry IV, Wicked, Avenue Q Top 2003 Best Lists

News   Long Day's Journey, Wonderful Town, Henry IV, Wicked, Avenue Q Top 2003 Best Lists As the new year draws nearer, publications — including Playbill On-Line — look back at the past 12 months and issue their annual best-of-the-year roundups.

A popular recap technique is the top ten "Best of" list — and becoming more common is the complementary "Worst of" lists. Most New York dailies are offering theatregoers a look back at the year on the stage, both good and bad. Some stagings — such as Taboo — are being considered on both ends of the spectrum.

The starry cast of talent in Long Day's Journey Into Night, star turns in Wonderful Town, Henry IV and Wicked as well as the lovable puppets of Avenue Q are top among most of the lists. I Am My Own Wife, The Beard of Avon, Nine and Hugh Jackman's performance in The Boy From Oz are also garnering honorable mentions.

Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change is among the top theatre shows named — as is his screen adaptation of Angels in America, in the television category. The ill-fated Six Dance Lesson in Six Weeks seems to be the popular persona non grata as the show is a repeated entry on "Worst of" tallies.

Here's a running list of some of the year's top theatrical contenders:

New York Times critic Ben Brantley's "The Plays and Players of the Year" 1. Vanessa Redgrave in Long Day's Journey Into Night
2. Donna Murphy in Wonderful Town
3. Kevin Kline in Henry IV
4. Bernadette Peters in Gypsy
5. Tonya Pinkins in Caroline, or Change
6. Eddie Izzard in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
7. Ned Beatty in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
8. Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked
9. Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz
10. Denis O'Hare in Take Me Out
11. Aidan Gillen in The Caretaker
12. Melanie Griffith in Chicago

New York Times critic Bruce Weber's "The Plays and Players of the Year"

1. The Classical Theater Of Harlem
2. Jefferson Mays (star of I Am My Own Wife)
3. The Beard Of Avon
4. The Moonlight Room
5. Flow
6. The Daughter-In-Law
7. Humble Boy
8. Julie White (star of Barbra's Wedding and Bad Dates)
9. Resident Theaters ("A collective nod to the nonprofit theaters around the country that make quality theater virtually impossible to escape." Mentioned: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? - Houston's Alley Theater; Julius Caesar - San Diego's Old Globe; Continental Divide - Berkeley Rep and Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and South Pacific - Washington D.C's Arena Stage)

TimeOut New York theatre editor David Cote's "The Best and Worst in Theatre 2003"

Best:
1. Long Day's Journey Into Night
2. Avenue Q
3. Gone Missing
4. Henry IV
5. Wicked
6. Hank Williams: Lost Highway
7. Aunt Dan and Lemon
8. I Am My Own Wife
9. Dublin Carol
10. Apparition

Worst:
1. Laughing Room Only
2. The Look of Love
3. Dream A Little Dream

TimeOut New York theatre writer Adam Feldman's "The Best and Worst in Theatre 2003"

Best:
1. Caroline, or Change
2. Avenue Q
3. Henry IV
4. Living Out
5. Omnium Gatherum
6. Long Day's Journey Into Night
7. I Am My Own Wife
8. Gone Missing
9. Fifth of July
10. Kiki & Herb: Coup de Théatre

Worst:
1. Henry IV, Part I (BAM)
2. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
3. Fame on 42nd Street

Daily News critic Howard Kissel

Best:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Henry IV
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  • Long Day's Journey Into Night
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  • Wonderful Town
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  • The Boy From Oz
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  • Nine
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  • Living Out
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  • The Retreat From Moscow
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  • Avenue Q
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  • The Beard Of Avon
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  • The Angel Project Worst:

     

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  • Right You Are
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  • Jackie Mason: Laughing Room Only
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  • Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All
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  • The Thing About Men
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  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom New York Post critic Clive Barnes' "Top 10 of the Broadway Season" (in alphabetical order)

    Avenue Q
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    Gypsy
    Henry IV
    I Am My Own Wife
    Little Shop Of Horrors
    Long Day's Journey Into Night
    Nine
    The Boy From Oz
    Wonderful Town

    New York Post critic Donald Lyons' "On-Target Theater Off-Bway" (not in list form)

    I Am My Own Wife
    The Beard of Avon
    Beckett/Albee
    Avenue Q
    The Long Christmas Ride Home
    Moonlight Room
    Living Out
    Nothing but the Truth
    Iron
    Nobody Don't Like Yogi

    Newsday's critic Linda Winer

    1. Long Day's Journey Into Night
    2. Henry IV
    3. I Am My Own Wife
    4. Wonderful Town
    5. Beckett/Albee
    6. Two by Richard Greenberg: Take Me Out and Violet Hour
    7. Ghosts (Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden at Brooklyn Academy of Music)
    8. Nine
    9. Avenue Q
    10. Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night (Sam Mendes' Donmar Warehouse productions at BAM)

    The Star Ledger critic Michael Sommers (in alphabetical order)

    A Bad Friend
    Avenue Q
    Henry IV
    I Am My Own Wife
    Kimberly Akimbo
    Long Day's Journey Into Night
    Nine
    She Stoops to Comedy
    Wicked
    Wonderful Town

    USA Today's "On Broadway: Bright Lights, Dim Flops"

    Best:
    1. Henry IV
    2. Long Day's Journey Into Night
    3. Wicked
    4. Avenue Q
    5. The Violet Hour

    Worst:
    1. Urban Cowboy
    2. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
    3. Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All
    4. Enchanted April
    5. Salome

    Time's "Best and Worst" of Theatre 2003

    1. Continental Divide (Oregon Shakespeare Festival/ Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
    2. Wicked
    3. Fuckin' A
    4. Wonderful Town
    5. Matt and Ben
    6. The Man From Nebraska (Steppenwolf Theatre Company)
    7. Taboo
    8. Caroline, or Change
    9. Anna in the Tropics
    10. The Beard of Avon

    The Worst: Six Dance Lesson in Six Weeks

    Entertainment Weekly's "Best and Worst" of Theatre 2003

    The Best:
    1. Avenue Q
    2. Long Day's Journey Into Night
    3. Hugh Jackman in 'The Boy From Oz
    4. Henry IV
    5. Eddie Izzard (A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Sexie)
    6. Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theater)
    7. Donna Murphy in Wonderful Town
    8. Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in Wicked
    8 1/2. Antonio Banderas and Mary Stuart Masterson in Nine
    9. Comedians (The New Group)
    10. Caroline, or Change

    The Worst:
    1. Urban Cowboy
    2. Laughing Room Only
    3. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
    4. Taboo
    5. The Look of Love

    Also, visit Playbill On-Line's year-end roundups:
    Playbill On-Line Selects the Top Theatre Stories of 2003
    Playbill On-Line Looks Back at Theatre 2003: A Year in Images
    In Memoriam 2003: Playbill On-Line Recalls Theatre Folk Who Passed On