some favorite theatrical moments of 2018.

elsewhere (on the facebooks), I posted my top 20 shows of 2018. But I ended up seeing 101 shows in total, so I wanted to share some memorable moments from some of the shows that, while not being in my personal “top 20,” still stuck with me in a powerful way that reminded me of what theatre is capable of.

-”We’re in the Money” in 42ND STREET (Drury Lane Theatre). A complete reinterpretation of what this number, and what this show, can be.

-Ben Franklin and his son, WIlliam, pathetically wrestling each other and cementing a flawed relationship in FRANKLINLAND (Jackalope Theatre Company).

-Veronica Garza pulling out an accordion and passionately playing musical nonsense in 9 TO 5 (Firebrand Theatre).

-Beth Hyland daring to even write a play about Chicago’s “favorite” awards ceremony in RED BOWL AT THE JEFFS (The Sound).

-Gregory Fenner, climbing up a staircase during the pre-taped pre-show speech of HANG MAN (The Gift Theatre), placing a noose around his neck, “Thank you, and enjoy the show,” THUD. Blackout. And all that followed.

-Hamlet (Daniel Kyri) and his father (Robert Cornelius) in the final moments of HAMLET (The Gift Theatre). A figurative (and literal) escape from the play that solidified Director Monty Cole making this play his own.

-The final moments of THE HARVEST (Griffin Theatre). A congregation coming together in terrifying unison for what Josh (Raphael Diaz) can only interpret as the sign from above he’s been waiting for.

-Every single terrifying puppet in THE WALLS OF HARROW HOUSE (Rough House Theatre).

-SPIRITS TO ENFORCE (The Passage Theatre): “My gondola is broken. I will rebuild the gondola.”

-Lawrence Grimm’s first spoken line in SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (A Red Orchid Theatre), completely shattering our perception of the play up to that point.

-Neala Barron’s performance in 110 IN THE SHADE (BoHo Theatre). A soul laid bare onstage.

-Any and all mentions of Tumbldn High in RIGHTLYND (Victory Gardens Theater). For those who know EXIT STRATEGY, the sheer terror of what’s to come next in Ike Holter’s theatrical saga.