Countdown to 2021: 2020 Theater

Last year I saw 89 shows, my highest in a while. This year I saw 87. 22 of those were in person, and 65 were streaming, after the shutdown. This is the first year ever that I’m counting streaming shows, of course, but that was my only option after March 12th. I’m glad I was able to see so much theater in person before the shutdown, and I’m glad I was able to see so much streaming theater afterward, theater that I had missed when it was in person or it was something from abroad or another city that I could not have seen.

Of the in-person shows, I saw most of them for free or paid a discount rate. I also performed in 1 of them: The Pops Rodgers and Hammerstein concert. 1 show (same as last year) was connected to an article I wrote, this one for American Theater Magazine. That show was in Atlanta. 3 were comedy (standup or variety) shows, 1 was an opera, and 1 was virtual reality. Of the streaming shows, I preferred full productions from the past to live Zoom readings, but I did watch some of those too. I watched 10 operas (including all three Philip Glass operas in his trilogy). 28 streaming shows that I watched were made during the pandemic, either a new work or something being done again live. I participated in 4 of the readings for the Thornton Wilder Society. I also listened to three pieces, which I’ve mentioned separately: two plays and a radio show.

I have highlighted my favorites, and after the favorites is the HUGE list of everything I saw. Then, I have listed some fun panels, exhibits, and events I also attended this year.

Top 10 Favorites (in no order, I swear):

To the Moon (The Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival) — in person
Maybe Happy Ending (Alliance Theatre) — in person
Dana H. (Vineyard Theatre) — in person
Buyer and Cellar (Broadway.com/BCEFA)
Sondheim 90th Birthday Concert: Take Me to the World (YouTube)
Significant Other (Broadway’s Best Shows/YouTube)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic Theatre/National Theatre Live)
Ahknaten (The Metropolitan Opera)
Les Blancs (National Theatre Live)
Emilia (Shakespeare’s Globe/Vaudeville Theatre)

Runners Up (Also in no order):
Hamilton (Disney+)
How to Survive the End of the World (YouTube)
Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Play-PerView/Playwrights Horizons)
The Keep Going Song (Actors Theatre of Louisville)
We’re Gonna Die (2nd Stage Theatre)
Salty Brine: These are the Contents of My Head (Joe’s Pub)
Satyagraha (The Metropolitan Opera)
Lips Together, Teeth Apart (LA Theaterworks)

The Big List:

In Person:
The Peterson’s In the Bleak Midwinter Variety Hour (Or Two) (Union Hall)
To the Moon (The Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival)
Maybe Happy Ending (Alliance Theatre)
Find Your Dream: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein Concert (Carnegie Hall)
Sing Street (New York Theatre Workshop)
The Thin Place (Playwrights Horizons)
Thrift Shop Comedy Show (1/29) (Bowery Electric)
Porgy and Bess (Metropolitan Opera)
Wicked (Broadway–TDF Autism Friendly Performance)
Darling Grenadine (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Emojiland (The Duke on 42nd Street)
We’re Gonna Die (2nd Stage Theatre)
Dracula (Classic Stage Company)
Thrift Shop Comedy Show (2/19) (Bowery Electric)
My Name is Lucy Barton (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Mack and Mabel (New York City Center Encores!)
The Confession of Lily Dare (Cherry Lane Theater)
Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons)
Dana H. (Vineyard Theatre)
Come From Away (Broadway)
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Transport Group/Abrons Arts Center)
The Fre (The Flea Theater)

Streaming:
Einstein on the Beach (Online Somewhere)
Gloria (BroadwayHD)
Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Broadway.com/BCEFA)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (The Shows Must Go On)
Salty Brine: These are the Contents of My Head (Joe’s Pub)
The Phantom of the Opera (The Shows Must Go On)
Buyer and Cellar (Broadway.com/BCEFA)
Love Never Dies (The Shows Must Go On)
A Doll’s House Part 2 (Florida Rep)
Fleabag (Amazon)
Sukari’s Play Reading (Zoom)
Sondheim 90th Birthday Concert: Take Me to the World (YouTube)
Jason Robert Brown SubCulture Concert (SubCulture)
The Skin of Our Teeth Zoom Reading (Thornton Wilder Society)
Sarah Aili Facebook Live Concerts (multiple Mondays)
By Jeeves (The Shows Must Go On)
We Shall Not Be Moved (Opera Philadelphia Digital Fest)
Significant Other (Broadway’s Best Shows/YouTube)
Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (PBS/Ravinia Festival)
The Scarlet Ibis (HERE at Home)
Howard Ashman Celebration (Rainbow Sun Productions)
Fun Home (Chicago Victory Garden’s Theatre)
Sea Wall (YouTube)
Love, Loss, and What I Wore (92nd Street Y)
New York Theatre Barn New Works Series (NYTB)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic Theatre/National Theatre Live)
Sky on Swings (Opera Philadelphia Digital Fest)
How to Survive the End of the World (YouTube)
Company (2006 Revival online)
New York Theatre Barn New Works Series (NYTB)
Ahknaten (The Metropolitan Opera)
Satyagraha (The Metropolitan Opera)
love fails (Beth Morison Projects)
Hamilton (Disney+)
Susannah (San Francisco Opera)
Les Blancs (National Theatre Live)
Bernadette Peters in Concert (YouTube/BCEFA)
The Matchmaker Zoom Reading (Thornton Wilder Society)
Amadeus (National Theatre Live)
John & Jen (Short North Stage)
Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Play-PerView/Playwrights Horizons)
She Loves Me (BroadwayHD)
May Day (New York Rep)
Songs from an Unmade Bed (YouTube/BCEFA)
Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley: Broadway & Beyond (54Below/Broadway on Demand)
Broadbend, Arkansas (Transport Group)
Live With Carnegie Hall: Audra McDonald (Carnegie Hall)
Billy Budd (Des Moines Metro Opera)
The Keep Going Song (Actors Theatre of Louisville)
The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,” A Record Album Interpretation (The Wooster Group)
Hamlet in Bed (Rattlestick Theatrre/PlayPerView)
Julius Caesar (St. Ann’s Warehouse/Donmar Warehouse)
The Manhattan Transfer: Remembering Mr. Hauser (Facebook)
Heroes of the Fourth Turning (second time, last half)
Pullman Car Hiawatha Zoom Reading (Thornton Wilder Society)
Healthcare Anger Variety Hour (Facebook)
Death of a Salesman (The Goodman Theater/Playbill)
The Tempest (St. Ann’s Warehouse/Donmar Warehouse)
Lou Reed/John Cale Songs for Drella: A Fiction (1990) (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
Lou Reed’s Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
Emilia (Shakespeare’s Globe/Vaudeville Theatre)
The Long Christmas Dinner Zoom Reading (Thornton Wilder Society)
Who’s Holiday (YouTube/BCEFA)
Meet Me in St. Louis (Irish Repertory Theatre)
A Killer Party (Vimeo)

Listened To
Lips Together, Teeth Apart (LA Theaterworks)
The Glass Menagerie (LA Theaterworks)
Laurie Anderson’s Party in the Bardo (WESU Middletown)

Miscellaneous Panels, Exhibits, and Events:
The New Orleans Insectarium, 1/19
New Orleans Street Art Tour, 1/19
Escape Room, 1/20
Cult Coeur Benefit 2/3
Alcestiad Panel Discussion with Performed Scenes at Fordham 3/6
American Opera Conference Online (May/June)
Barnard Reunion and Moth Storytelling Event Online (June)
ModPo Poetry Meetup, 6/24
Performance-in-Place: From the Personal Collection of Eileen Myles, 6/30
Kayaking, 9/18
ModPo Poetry Meetup, 9/22
Care and Crisis through Theatre Presented by the Whiting Foundation, 10/4
ModPo Poetry Meetup, 10/6
ModPo Pietry Meetup, 10/20
THE WALK! 20!, 11/8
After Party in the Bardo: A Conversation with Laurie Anderson, 11/12
Heather Christian Playwrights Horizons Class, 11/16
Until the End of Time: Brian Greene in Conversation with Janna Levin (Pioneer Works)

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