2010 in Review: Best in theater

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A chronological look at our 10 favorite theater productions of the year

"Pride and Prejudice," Available Light Theatre, January

Daniel Elihu Kramer crammed a lot into his original adaptation and deconstruction of Austen's classic novel.

"Glengarry Glen Ross," Theatre Daedalus , March

The young company's solid production of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play made clever use of the Wild Goose Creative space.

"Pierce to the Soul," CATCO, April

Alan Bomar Jones brought Columbus original Elijah Pierce to vivid life in Chiquita Mullins Lee's absorbing one-person show.

"Attempts on Her Life," Available Light Theatre, May

Without rival, "Attempts" challenged and fascinated like no other play of 2010, fashioning a cubist portrait of an enigmatic woman and managing to remain funny in the bargain.

Honors: Best Play, Best Direction: Matt Slaybaugh

"The 2 5th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," Otterbein Summer Theatre, July

Join William Finn's clever lyrics and unexpected melodies, Rachel Sheinkin's hilarious book and Otterbein's crack cast going all out, and it spells "best musical."

Honors: Best Musical

"Much Ado About Nothing," Actors Theatre, July

Lively and articulate performances marked the highlight of the Schiller Park summer Shakespeare season.

"Shipwrecked," Whistling in the Dark Theatre Company, August

Four actors with a makeshift set, a few props and homemade sound effects, all in a tiny space, prove what exciting theater can be made on a shoestring.

"Stop Sign Language," Available Light Theatre, September

A condensed history of human communication disguised as autobiography, "Stop Sign" tells of Eleni Papaleonardos' dyslexia with ingenuity and humor.

Honors: Best New Work, Best Female Performance: Eleni Papaleonardos

Best Design: Christian Faur and Carrie Cox

Rude Mechs, "The Method Gun," Wexner Center, October

A loving tribute to those who teach us how to be who we are, "The Method Gun" exploded at the end into an added tribute to the many elements that come together to make theater what it is.

Honors: Best Touring Production

"The Life and Death of Richard the Third," Available Light Theatre, November

As Shakespeare's villainous monarch, Ian Short simply riveted the attention, acting within the act, every moment, every muscle.

Honors: Best Male Performance: Ian Short