Looking back at theater in 2015

Each year at this time I list the Equity professional shows in our region that earned 5 or 4.5 stars based on the opinion of this reviewer and the shows I have seen. I have listed them in alphabetical order because they all earned the top ratings. The quotes are from my reviews and columns. Community theaters and traveling tours are not included. These shows were all produced at our area’s theaters.
Bad Jews – Long Wharf Theatre

“Playwright Joshua Harmon asks Long Wharf audiences to witness a heated confrontation between cousins.  One is a devoted religious Jew and the other is a more “cultural” Jew who doesn’t believe in the Jewish religion.”

Broken Glass – Westport Country Playhouse, Westport

In Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass… the groom shatters the ceremonial wedding glass, and the shattering of that glass escalates to the deafening sound of what can only be the sound of shattering worlds.”

Christmas Carol – Hartford Stage

(Subtitled: “A Ghost Story of Christmas.”) I saw this production at the very last performance. I was so glad that I made it. This was the 18th anniversary of Michael Wilson’s adaptation. It was a five-star production, even though I could only write it about in my column.

Indecent – Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven

Paula Vogel’s “play with music is inspired by the controversial play The God of Vengence and traces its history as well as the artists who risked their careers

and lives to perform it.”

Measure for Measure – Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven

“Considered one of Shakespeare’s problem plays because of the tricky moral dilemma it presents, the Fiasco Theater’s production of Measure for Measure now at Long Wharf has resolved the Bard’s problem with equal amounts of simplicity and fun.”

Private Lives – Hartford Stage

“Playwright Noel Coward has always been flamboyant with style and class to spare. His romantic comedy epitomizes that class in the Hartford Stage production.”

The Liar –  Westport Country Playhouse, Westport

“In order to be a really good liar, one must have two special attributes. First a liar must have the ability to lie flagrantly and convincingly, and secondly one must have an excellent memory. The Westport Country Playhouse currently has David Ives’ ‘translaptation’ (translation with a heavy dose of adaptation) of Pierre Corneille’s 1643 comedy, The Liar.  Here’s a play where lying is at its most preposterous.”

The Wildest - Subtitled: Hip, Cool and Swingin – Seven Angels Theatre, Waterbury

“This tribute to the musical sounds of Louis Prima and Keely Smith is a blast so hot that it could melt …snow.”

Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association.  She welcomes comments. Contact: jgrochman@gmail.com