This season, there have been shows I’ve loved so much I want to marry them, some that are a good time (fuckable), and those that probably shouldn’t have opened in the first place (kill). Any show that opened in the 2012-2013 season is eligible, and because this is more like the Drama Desks than the Tonys, off-Broadway shows are included as well. Remember, this is just about the shows, not the actors in them. (That’s a different game, which I will be happy to play any time. Seriously. Hit me up at @PataphysicalSci). Now let’s get to it, and feel free to include your own choices in the comments.
Fuck: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang
Marry: The Whale by Samuel D. Hunter
Kill: Lucky Guy by Nora Ephron
I could marry Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike because I want to see it again and again just for Kristine Nielsen’s phone call scene. But ultimately, I have to fuck it because it’s a fun time that made me laugh, made me feel something, and left me satisfied. (I’m taking this too literally, aren’t I?) The Performers gets an honorable mention because it was some of the most fun I had this season, but it wasn’t as strong a play, so it didn’t make the cut. But The Whale was my favorite play of the year (Annie Baker’s The Flick came in close second here). The ending just destroyed me. I just love the shit out of that play and I will ’til death do us part. It was a disappointing season for new plays and Lucky Guy wasn’t the worst of them (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?). It also seems disrespectful to choose it in light of Nora Ephron’s recent death, but I don’t mean any disrespect to her. It’s just that it’s a mediocre play making more money than better plays just because it stars Tom Hanks.
Fuck: All in the Timing by David Ives
Marry: Golden Boy by Clifford Odets
Kill: The Big Knife by Clifford Odets
John Rando’s production of All In The Timing made the evening of one-acts, so often seen in colleges and the like, feel fresh and hilarious. Bartlett Sher’s production of Golden Boy was stunning and one of the best on Broadway this year. And that’s probably why the other Odets revival, The Big Knife, directed by Doug Hughes, paled so much in comparison. I love Bobby Cannavale as much as the next girl, but this production was all over the place and kind of a snooze.
Fuck: Macbeth by William Shakespeare and starring Alan Cumming
Marry: All The Rage by and starring Martin Moran
Kill: The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín starring Fiona Shaw
Seeing Alan Cumming play all the parts in Macbeth is a thrill, but it’s a one-night stand type of thing, not something you want to relive over and over (though his character in the play does). I’m not the biggest fan of one-person shows in general, but Martin Moran excels at the form. He is so personable and natural and I could listen to him talk all day. I felt bad killing any one-person show because it feels like killing whoever is starring in it. I should say that I didn’t see The Testament of Mary, so this pick is not a specific commentary on the play itself and doesn’t negate Fiona Shaw’s awesomeness, but its premature closing sort of felt like the universe made the choice for me.
Fuck: Kinky Boots (music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein)
Marry: The Other Josh Cohen (book, music, and lyrics by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen)
Kill: Scandalous (music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford)
Kinky Boots was kind of rough going at first and I thought maybe I’d regret it in the morning, but somehow at the end I found myself on my feet, clapping and singing along. I guess I’m a sucker for the be-yourself message. I like a show that leaves me feeling good about myself. Plus, those shoes. It’s too bad more people didn’t get the chance to see The Other Josh Cohen because it was just a delight. I would also like to marry Dogfight, but since I can only pick one in accordance with law, I went with The Other Josh Cohen because it hasn’t gotten as much attention and I want to be best friends with David Rossmer and Steve Rosen. Again, I may be cheating by killing a show that’s already dead, but a show called Scandalous should not have been this boring.
Fuck: Pippin (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Roger O. Hirson)
Marry: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (book, music, and lyrics by Rupert Holmes)
Kill: Jekyll & Hyde (book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, music by Frank Wildhorn)
Diane Paulus’s production of Pippin is so sexy, nothing else had a chance. But The Mystery of Edwin Drood feeds my inner literary nerd, Charles Dickens-loving heart. And Jekyll & Hyde was such a disappointment that I can’t even talk about it, so I won’t. Because it’s dead.