Best in Show: Billy Elliot, Seagull, South Pacific, Gypsy and Blasted Top Year-End Lists

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29 Dec 2008

David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish all rotate in the title role of <I>Billy Elliot
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish all rotate in the title role of Billy Elliot
Photo by David Scheinmann, Alistair Muir (Kowalik)

Broadway's Billy Elliot, The Seagull, South Pacific, Gypsy and Off-Broadway's Blasted are among the productions lauded as 2008 comes to its final curtain.

Playbill.com has culled a collection of year-end, "best of" and "top 10" lists focusing on works of the stage — which include Broadway, Off-Broadway and some productions beyond — from various publications.

Other shows to surface on a number of lists include In the Heights, Road Show and Hair.

Following is a list of 2008's top theatrical contenders (by publication):

AP's Michael Kuchwara:

  • Blasted (Soho Rep)
  • Billy Elliot
  • The Seagull
  • Road Show (Public Theater)
  • A Catered Affair
  • Speed-the-Plow
  • Farragut North (Atlantic Theater Company)
  • Port Authority (Atlantic Theater Company)
  • reasons to be pretty (MCC Theater)
  • Hughie and Krapp's Last Tape (Stratford Shakespeare Festival)

    Entertainment Weekly's Melissa Rose Bernardo:
    1. Billy Elliot
    2. South Pacific
    3. Black Watch (BAM)
    4. In the Heights
    5. Happy Days (BAM)
    6. Port Authority (Atlantic Theatre Company)
    7. The Understudy (Williamstown Theatre Festival)
    8. Next to Normal (Second Stage Theatre)
    9. Rafta, Rafta... (The New Group)
    10. What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling (Atlantic Theater Company)

    New York Newsday's Linda Winer:
    1. South Pacific
    2. The Seagull
    3. Billy Elliot
    4. Passing Strange
    5. In The Heights
    6. Hair
    7. All My Sons
    8. Blasted
    9. Black Watch
    10. Garden of Earthly Delights

    New Yorker's John Lahr:

  • The Seagull
  • Othello (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Macbeth
  • Endgame (BAM)
  • The Country Girl
  • South Pacific
  • Passion Play (Yale Repertory Theatre)
  • Pitmen Painters (National Theatre)
  • Gypsy
  • Discovery of America (Lincoln Center)

    NY1's Roma Torre: (in alphabetical order)

  • All My Sons
  • Billy Elliot
  • Gypsy
  • In The Heights
  • Passing Strange
  • South Pacific
  • Speed-The-Plow
    Sunday in the Park with George
  • The Seagull
  • [title of show]
  • New York Magazine's Dan Kois and Christopher Bonanos:

    1. Fela!
    2. South Pacific
    3. Gypsy
    4. The Seagull
    5. Top Girls
    6. Blasted
    7. Hair
    8. Hunting and Gathering
    9. Les Liaisons Dangereuses
    10. On the Town

    The New York Times' Ben Brantley:

  • Billy Elliot
  • Blasted
  • Boeing-Boeing
  • Dividing the Estate
  • Gypsy
  • Hair
  • Liza's at the Palace...!
  • The Seagull
  • South Pacific
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • The New York Times' Charles Isherwood:

  • Adding Machine
  • Chekhov Lizardbrain
  • Eccentricities of a Nightingale
  • Garden of Earthly Delights
  • Liza's at the Palace...!
  • On the Town
  • Our Town
  • Passing Strange
  • Streamers
  • What's that Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling
  • Time Magazine's Richard Zoglin:

    1. Billy Elliot
    2. Hair
    3. All My Sons
    4. The Visit
    5. Black Watch
    6. reasons to be pretty
    7. The Little Mermaid
    8. Blasted
    9. South Pacific
    10. Farragut North

    Time Out New York's David Cote:
    1. Billy Elliot
    2. Blasted
    3. The Sound and the Fury
    4. Top Girls
    5. Gypsy
    6. Adding Machine
    7. All My Sons
    8. Bride
    9. Body Awareness
    10. The Glass Cage

    Time Out New York's Adam Feldman:
    1. Gypsy
    2. Happy Days
    3. Waves
    4. All My Sons
    5. Adding Machine
    6. Bride
    7. Billy Elliot
    8. Crooked
    9. Hair
    10. If You See Something Say Something

    Time Out New York's Helen Shaw:
    1. All My Sons
    2. This Place Is a Desert
    3. Die Soldaten
    4. I'll Go On
    5. Don Juan
    6. Sunday in the Park with George
    7. The Marriage of Bette and Boo
    8. Trojan Women
    9. The Seagull(Classic Stage Company)
    10. Hey Girl