Top 5 Shows of 2011 –’s reviewer’s choice, Sydney

Tick Tick Boom, 2011
Melle Stewart, Tyran Parke and Justin Smith in Tick, Tick... Boom!

Top 5 Shows from Cassie Tongue
(Sydney Co-ordinator)

My top five are slightly themed: top five musicals counting down from number 5 to number 1!

5. Hairspray (DCE/Roadshow Live) While an early closing notice in Sydney suggested you could in fact stop the beat, this show was bursting with energy and frenetic choreography and colour, and reveled in being exactly what it was: a fun night at the theatre.

4. The Threepenny Opera (Sydney Theatre Company/Malthouse Melbourne) While I questioned the necessity of setting the production in Underbelly-style Australia, I have not been able to stop thinking of the deliciously grotesque marriage of humor and menace in this show. Paul Capsis is a true star.

3. A New Brain (Squabbalogic) William Finn’s largely autobiographical play about a brush with death, time, and music. Directed with a clever hand by Craig Stewart, the production was expertly paced; the humor and tragedy never felt forced. A stellar cast; this show was a celebration of life.

2. [title of show] (Squabbalogic) A reprise season of the unexpected 2010 hit, Squabbalogic cemented their place as a premier source of boutique musical theatre with this slick, hilarious, and slyly poignant production. They rocked hard with only four chairs.

1. Tick, Tick… Boom! (Newline Productions) Jay James-Moody directed this tiny, powerful show with urgency, joy, and aplomb. With a strictly limited run it was a moment in time; blink and you’ll miss it, just like all the little things in life that give it the most meaning. Tyran Parke continues to belong centre stage.

Other shows which have ranked on the reviewer radar for 2011 are:

1. Songs for Nobodies (Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney)
2. Richard III 
3. Uncle Vanya 
4. Burlesque
5. No Way to Treat a Lady 

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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