Of all the theatrical happenings in 2010, these moments remain near and dear to our Broadway-obsessed hearts:
Favorite Audience: First Preview of American Idiot
Riding a wave of positive buzz from its California tryout, American Idiot‘s first preview on Broadway lived up to the hype, and it wasn’t because of anything that happened on stage. The crowd was an overexcited mix of the most devoted Green Day and Broadway fans—a potent (and noisy) combination. Applause delayed the curtain (Green Day was in the crowd.) and stopped the show between songs. People were drunk, snapping photos, screaming throughout. Bewildered ushers tried, and failed, to get everyone to shut up, behave, and turn off their damn cell phones. It was something that Broadway doesn’t see very often: A party. And we’re sure that the show’s creators wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Favorite Farewell: The OBC of Hair
Andrew Kober cried in the middle of the show. There were like, 10 standing ovations. What could have been one of the saddest nights of the year ended up being one of its most transcendent. The beloved original cast of Hair peaced out in February before heading to London, and their last performance was a sentimental gushfest. It was also really great theater.
Favorite Show I Loved That Everyone Else Hated: Enron
It closed almost instantly, but Lucy Prebble’s play about the downfall of an American corporation left a big impression. With a towering performance from Norbert Leo Butz as CEO Jeff Skilling, eerie music, multimedia tricks, dinosaurs, and a lightsaber fight, it felt like bold, original theater. Plus, there was that legit crazy moment where where fictional VP Claudia Roe, played with bitchy verve by Marin Mazzie, wiped Skilling’s semen off her leg. It was the best WTF Broadway moment of the year, and was just one of the things that made Enron stand out amidst all the other dullsville dramas from 2010.
Finest Moment: The Lap-Dance
Oh, the lap dance. Never in my life have I been so completely overwhelmed inside a theater. Never in my life will I forget the moment hottie Ben Walker—okay, Andrew Jackson—pressed his crotch against me and straight-up dry humped my chest. After that I’d vote him President any day. Logical, I know. But then… that’s what made the lap-dance so genius. It encapsulates the point Timbers and Friedman were trying to make with Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson in the first place—American Presidential Politics is more about what turns us on than what makes a good world leader.
Favorite Discovery: Vince Gatton
I went into The Temperamentals last spring with low expectations, motivated mostly by a desire to see Gavin Creel at the evening’s post-show talkback. I left the theater smarter—having learned all about the supremely important Henry Hay and the Mattachine Society—and totally captivated by the stupidly talented, handsome Vince Gatton. He only cemented my love with his performance in The Turn of the Screw and his witty Q&A. I’m a fan for life.
Favorite Thing that Wasn’t a Musical: GATZ
This probably should not have worked, even for me. 8+ hours of my life in a dark room at the end of a terrible week, listening to some dude read aloud a book I’ve already read? But work it did. I loved every single second of GATZ, from the first silent moments in that dingy office, to the moment Gary Wilmes suddenly embodied Tom Buchanan, the ecstatic paper tossing in Myrtle’s apartment, and the final perfectly-spoken words that fell from Scott Shepherd’s mouth. Perhaps the best part isn’t just that I loved the show. It’s that it reminded me of why I love books, and reading, and theater, and the city of New York too. That’s what I call return on investment.