|Photo by Henry Leutwyler|
KENNETH JONES, Playbill.com Managing Editor
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Broadway). When I saw the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Edward Albee's classic (in an engagement at Arena Stage), I was knocked out by Amy Morton and Tracy Letts as George and Martha. Under Pam MacKinnon's direction, the famous marrieds were not grand, elevated, theatrical creatures, but real, relatable, earthbound people who still managed to convey the play's larger ideas about social decay. Still a wild ride after 50 years.
Annie (Broadway). In 1979, I saw the first national tour of the Tony-winning musical when I was a kid. It had all the bells and whistles ("NYC" with animated billboards!), it smartly told a story with songs (and not pop songs) and it offered something greatly needed then and now — optimism. James Lapine directs.
An Enemy of the People (Broadway). I love a roiling social drama, whether it's "Silkwoood" or The Laramie Project or The Crucible. They all have their roots, arguably, in Henrik Ibsen — particularly with his 1880s classic about a doctor who exposes pollution in the town's lucrative tourist attraction. Tony winner Doug Hughes directs Tony winner Boyd Gaines as the title whistle-blower.
The Great God Pan (Off-Broadway). Amy Herzog's plays 4,000 Miles, After the Revolution and Belleville touch on the bonds of family and friends in unsentimental terms. Her portrait of a young journalist shaken by a past trauma sounds like an intriguing ride. Carolyn Cantor directs at Playwrights Horizons.
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