As 2011 comes to a close, we're thrilled and honored to see Huntington productions staged here and elsewhere recognized:
#5: Richard III
"Obie-winning director Mary Zimmerman returned to Voltaire's 1759 novella to devise a new book for the Leonard Bernstein satiric operetta based on Candide. The result was a witty and imaginative production with shape as well as irony that fielded, in Lauren Molina, a daffily narcissistic Cunégonde glittering and being gay in a bathtub."
Zainab Jah, Carla Duren, and Pascale
Armand in Ruined. Photo: Kevin Berne
"Even if it did not ride piggyback on the mighty shoulders of Bertolt Brecht, Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer winner, Ruined, would stand tall. Inspired by Mother Courage and set amid civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the play vividly depicts the way in which women's bodies serve as battlefields in war. Liesl Tommy's production for the Huntington Theatre Company was exotic, chaotic, and controlled, with an earthy, steely turn by Tonye Patano as equal-opportunity profiteer Mama Nadi."
#4: Propeller's The Comedy of Errors / Richard III
"Propeller...fielded a farcical Comedy of Errors set south of the border, and a jauntily ghoulish Richard III engulfed in all the grim accouterments of a Victorian hospital. The same 14 actors manned these disparate productions, which were characterized by a thespian rigor that defied their outlandishness."
|Geoff Packard and Lauren Molina in Candide. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
"An extraordinary piece of theater – beautifully conceived and executed by MacArthur “genius” Mary Zimmerman, who resurrected this rarely produced rumination on life, composed by Leonard Bernstein. The dazzling ensemble was led by the pitch-perfect pair of Geoff Packard and Lauren Molina. The whole show looked and sounded sumptuous. And, best of all, it hit not only the funny bone, but also the heart."
"'Fun' isn’t exactly the word you’d use to describe this production of Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer-Prize winner. Instead you could gage the success of the show by that knot in your stomach, as the play takes you deep inside the Congo to the bloody civil war that’s been marked by rape and torture. The production was a reminder of that healthy – and perhaps too-rare – intersection of theater and politics."
"No other play took me through as many emotions as Lynn Nottage’s Ruined did, nor as drastically. The highs were celebratory and swinging (the live band helped with that); and the lows were harrowing and disturbing. Set in the Congo, the plays focuses on Mama Nadi’s place, a brothel for soldiers and miners. When Mama’s friend brings for her service Sophie, a girl who turns out to be “ruined” (a euphemism for being raped by soldiers’ weapons), Mama is forced to confront the many harsh realities of life in war-torn, male-dominated Africa. Nottage’s play won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Drama. It deserved it, and director Liesl Tommy and her incredible cast do the play – and the women of the Congo – as much justice as anybody possibly could. Bravo."
Geoffrey Decas O'Donnell, Jordan Seavey, and Boo Killebrew. Photo: Max Ruby
Honorable Mention: CollaborationTown's The Momentum
"Part of the Emerging America Festival in May, this short three-person piece was hilarious and then, suddenly, extremely moving. It begins as a parody of a confidence seminar with the three leads (Boo Killebrew, Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell and Jordan Seavey) telling the audience how “The Momentum” changed their lives. Then, as it moves, these caricatures slowly become characters and reveal, in three beautifully moving monologues, the sadness of their lives and the difficulties of getting over them."
Boston Metro — Nick Dussault
"All was definitely for the best at the Huntington when Voltaire's scathing 18th century satire was packing the house. One of the finest, funniest, most engaging productions this town has seen in years."
Richard Clothier and Thomas Padden in Richard III. Photo: Manuel Harlan
#7: Propeller's The Comedy of Errors / Richard III
"The all-male Propeller Theatre Company came closer to capturing the true essence of Shakespeare thna any of the highbrow haughty productions that have been boring people to sleep for centuries."
Our productions playing both on and Off Broadway are landing on "Best Of 2011" lists, too!
Stick Fly (at the Cort Theatre)
We're immensely proud of our 2011 productions. What were your favorites?
We hope that our audiences find all we offer in 2012 to be transporting, inspiring, and entertaining, as well. Happy new year.