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Best of 2013: Theater

Great physical acting shines in ‘The Birthday Party.’
Photo: Bill Hughes
Jacob Coakley

1. The Birthday Party (Cockroach Theatre) Funny and malevolent staging from director Erik Amblad combined with top-notch performances from the entire cast. You may have wondered what was happening in the play, but there was no doubt about its quality.

2. Stones in His Pockets (British National Theatre of America) Bravura performances from Miles Coleman and Jeff Tribbitt rang sweetly, triumphantly and authentically true when Troy Heard staged this in the back of an Irish pub.

3. Legally Blonde (P.S. Productions) I was shocked by how much I liked this production of the world’s pinkest musical, but it was so much fun and so well done I still find myself revisiting it.

4. Next to Normal (Huntsman Entertainment & Off Strip Productions) Performances by Briona Daugherty, Cory Benway and Kirstin Maki performances captured a family in turmoil and found the electrifying heart to this musical.

5. Normal Heart (Poor Richard’s Players) A strong cast and excellent staging kept this play grounded, heartbreaking and galvanizing despite some over-the-top acting moments.


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  • An unnamed woman struggles to balance drone piloting and home life in the one-woman show.

  • It’s not all bad. Cast members deliver vividly.

  • While the laughs are big in this little production, the story it tells proves that dress up is so much more serious than play.

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