I don't see enough of any one art form to feel okay about compiling a year-end "Best of" list, so instead I'll just be highlighting a few things I saw and loved in 2012.
The best experience I had in a theater this year (other than Bret Fetzer's middle-of-the-night Annex wedding) occurred at On the Boards. The show: Kidd Pivot's The Tempest Replica, a dance/theater mashup best described by the OtB website:
The theatrical greatness of Shakespeare meets the virtuosity and stage wizardry of Crystal Pite as she and her company return to OtB, their Seattle home-away-from-home. The Tempest Replica marries theater and dance in a game of revenge and forgiveness, reality and imagination, all based on motifs from The Tempest....Pite infuses the stage with skilled movement, original music, text, and rich visual design.
The precision and virtuosity on display in the stagecraft and movement was astounding, and I've never seen dancers give better performances (or actors dance better—but I'm pretty sure it's the former). Watching the show felt like watching something bracingly new. It was a great experience, and one that got even better after I read the New York Times review of The Tempest Replica's NYC run.
Those of us who love Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” may well be enraged by the mauling it receives at the hands of the choreographer Crystal Pite and her company Kidd Pivot in “The Tempest Replica,” playing through Sunday at the Joyce. The ovation it received on Wednesday night shows that an audience exists for this kind of thing. Shakespeare will survive, of course. What’s infuriating here is that “Replica” is poor as storytelling, flawed as mime, horrid as dance.
Shakespeare jerks never have any fun. Thanks for the great memories, OtB.