Amid the hurry and flurry of the holiday season just past, Bay Area media outlets were busy crowning the year’s best creative achievements. We’re proud to say that our productions made most critics’ top-ten lists for 2011.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, critic Robert Hurwitt named Jonathan Moscone‘s production of Candida, by George Bernard Shaw, among the year’s ten best, calling it “buoyantly nuanced, exquisitely designed, and unexpectedly suspenseful.” Hurwitt also gave this year’s Bay Area acting MVP nod to Rod Gnapp, who played Baptista in our The Taming of the Shrew this season. On his theater blog The Idiolect, independent critic Sam Hurwitt, a.k.a. Hurwitt the Younger, included Amanda Dehnert‘s brand-new play, The Verona Project, as one of his favorite 2011 productions, “entirely new and electric, with a touch of magical realism, witty dialogue, fiendishly clever storytelling devices, and some awfully catchy pop-rock songs”; one of his two MVPs was Verona‘s Julia, actress Arwen Anderson. Critic Chad Jones gave Shana Cooper‘s production of The Taming of the Shrew a prominent place on his Theater Dogs top ten, admitting that it was a tough call between that and our Candida but ultimately falling for how “leads Erica Sullivan and Slate Holmgren brought not only humor to this thorny comedy but also a depth of emotion I hadn’t ever experienced with this play.” And Cooper’s Shrew “packed a punch” according to KCBS‘ list of the Bay Area’s best arts and culture in 2011.
Accolades must also be given to Cal Shakes Artistic Director Moscone, whose production of Clybourne Park at A.C.T. made it onto every single list mentioned above!