I have a love-hate relationship with “best of the year” lists. I think Americans (and probably many other people) are obsessed to the point of disease over making comparisons.
The added problem with a “best of the year” theatre list is that, unlike with a list of books or movies, you usually can not go and experience the “best” shows for yourself. Not those exact productions anyway. So it’s not as if people can consult the list when they seek recommendations.
Also, a problem with one person making a “best theatre of the year” list is that it is physically impossible for one person to have seen every live theatre show produced in the Indianapolis area in 2010. There were just too many of them.
On the other hand, one person’s list of favorites at the end of a year can be an enjoyable reminder for other people of shared past pleasures and/or a gentle creative prompt for doing their own remembering.
It can be a way of noticing and appreciating, of thanking God for the color purple or whatever.
In any case, I just enjoy making and reading lists in general.
So…I have created a new list: “Hope’s Top Three – Plus Three – Live, Indianapolis-Area Theatre Shows of 2010.”
(I’ll work on the title, maybe, for 2011.)
The top three shows on my list are shows that made me say “WOW!” when I saw them and which still jump out in my mind as core-shakers without my having to look over my directory of what I saw in 2010. They are the three that continue to resonate with me most strongly, both artistically and personally, here at the end of the year. If I had a time machine and could only see three shows in 2010, these are the three I would pick.
But thank goodness I was not limited to just three shows in 2010! I am grateful to have seen many enjoyable shows this year. In fact, I was fortunate enough to see a total of 119 (no, wait, I saw one more last night) 120 shows at more than 35 theatres in Indiana in 2010. I missed a lot of shows, unfortunately, especially community theatre shows, but still…120 is 120.
(I also saw two excellent shows at two different professional theatres in Washington, D.C. but I am not considering them for my “best of Indy” list.)
So…I would also like to recognize three more shows that jumped out at me as especially satisfying artistically when I looked over my 2010 directory this morning.