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TTR Editor’s Note: Sorry for the delay in publishing the Triangle Theater Review’s top 10 shows for 2005. I have been sick; and I don’t know what’s worse, my persistent chest cold or the Over-the-Counter medicines to control the symptoms. In any case, the Triangle Theater Review will publish its Sixth Annual Triangle Theater Awards, along with our annual “Best of the Best” feature comparing the 10 best lists of all the local news media, in Part 2 (Jan. 10th) of our Jan. 5th issue, provided that massive doses of the latest-and-greatest discoveries of this nation’s pharmaceutical companies can keep me upright and at my computer for the requisite time. — R.W.M.
What follows is a listing of the Triangle Theater Review’s choices of the 10 best theatrical productions to play the Triangle in calendar 2005, plus links to the reviews of each show as published on the Classical Voice of North Carolina web site. Please note that, unlike most other local top 10 lists, our list includes touring productions and some shows that only brightened Triangle stages for one or two days.
The 10 best shows of 2005 were (in alphabetical order):
‘Art’ (Theatre in the Park, Sept. 16-25) was the second occasion in a short time frame that Yasmina Reza’s play has appeared in the Triangle; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s PlayMakers Repertory Company hosted the show’s regional premiere. But what was a draw to theatergoers this time was a chance to see the show as performed by a trio that is not simply playing old friends; Ira David Wood III (Marc), Eric Carl (Serge), and David Henderson (Yvan) are old friends. The play is from the outset a riotous comedy. It is also fleet — a mere 90 minutes without intermission — and downright brutal in its examination of the genre of Modern Art. But the brutality of this play does not limit itself to said genre; it is also brutally honest when it comes to this trio’s examination of their own relationships, including those outside this small circle who make an impact on this one. Watching these three actors work is like watching our own old friends — complete to the consternation we feel when it seems that the trio is going to rupture and discard 15 years worth of friendship over a ridiculous white-on-white painting for which Serge pays $200,000. For complete TTR review by Alan R. Hall, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/Art.html.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (North Carolina Theatre, April 30-May 8) starred Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy and Tony Award® nominee Alan Campbell. This visually sumptuous $500,000 production, with soaring sets and dazzling costumes from the Music Theatre of Wichita, looks like a million bucks; and it sounded like a million bucks, too, thanks to the spirited accompaniment of NCT resident musical director/conductor McCrae Hardy and a highly talented orchestra. Lauren Kennedy, with her big Broadway voice, made the winsome, bookish Belle a soaring heroine for the ages. Her real-life husband, Alan Campbell, is a fine tenor himself and was an absolute delight as a handsome but spoiled, self-centered, spiteful Prince transformed into a ferocious Beast. Ron Lee Savin was amusing as Belle’s father, Maurice, an eccentric inventor. Rob Lorey was a stitch as Lumiere, the saucy candlestick; Tim Maculan was very, very funny as Cogsworth the clock; and Gregg Goodbrod nearly stole the show with his smirking, swaggering, supremely self-satisfied impersonation of Gaston the mighty hunter and lover and a legend in his own mind. The extraordinary style and wit that director Matt Lenz employed in this piece, and the vivacity that choreographer Michele Lynch and assistant choreographer Casey Hushion injected into the show’s production numbers, made this regional-theater production a show to cherish and one of NCT’s finest outings to date. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/BB.html.
The Front Page (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Oct. 5-30) got a fresh, new look when three-time Tony Award® winning director Gene Saks inserted curmudgeonly Chicago Herald Examiner managing editor Walter Burns (Mike Genovese) into the action from the opening curtain. Grant Goodman was terrific — a regular ball of fire — as cynical ace reporter Hildy Johnson, and Mike Genovese is an absolute delight as the irascible and thoroughly unscrupulous Walter Burns, whose sulfurous stares and blasphemous harangues cow everyone but Hildy. When Hildy tries to resign to get married — to the lovely and socially prominent Peggy Grant (Lori Prince) — and move to New York City to work in her uncle’s advertising business, Walter summons all the forces of darkness at his command to torpedo this inconvenient marriage before it costs him his star reporter. John Feltch gave a pip of a performance as the mush-mouthed small-time hoodlum Diamond Louis; Julie Fishell was highly amusing in her duel roles as Mrs. Schlosser, the fed-up wife of a missing reporter, and Mrs. Grant, Hildy’s increasingly alarmed future mother-in-law; and Kenneth P. Strong was hilarious as “Woodenshoes” Eichorn, a feeble-minded flatfoot with a complicated theory about how crime can be squelched in the cradle. But Ronn Carroll nearly stole the show with his antic impersonation of ultra-prissy reporter and legendary hypochondriac Roy “Listerine” Bensinger of the Tribune. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/FPage.html.
Hairspray (Broadway Series South, Nov. 29-Dec. 4) is the multiple-Tony Award®-winning 2002 Broadway musical about Tracy Turnblad (Christine M. Danelson), a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart. With Danelson giving a warm and winning performance as Tracy, Aaron Tveit provided an utterly charming characterization of hip-swiveling teenage heartthrob and “Corny Collins Show” headliner Link Larkin; and J. P. Dougherty and Jim J. Bullock provoked wave after wave of laughter with their flamboyant impersonations of Tracy’s parents: sometimes surly, sometimes sweet Edna and ever-genial Wilbur Turnblad. Caissie Levy and Jane Blass were hilarious as Tracy’s painfully shy best friend Penny Pingleton and her overbearing mother Prudy; and Susan Henley was a hoot as racially prejudiced dance-show producer Velma Von Tussle, who is utterly ruthless in her behind-the-scene machinations to get her ditzy blonde daughter Amber (wonderfully played by Tara Macri) crowned as Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962. Director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who brilliantly staged the still-running Broadway version of Hairspray, repeated their theatrical magic for the National Tour, which also featured outstanding efforts by the Broadway design team of David Rockwell (sets), North Carolina native William Ivey Long (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lighting), and Steve C. Kennedy (sound). Musical director/conductor Jim Vukovich (synthesizer) and his peppy pit band performed Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s Tony-winning score with pizzazz; and Karen Burthwright, Amanda DeFreitas, and Anastacia McCleskey provided oomph as The Dynamites. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/Hairspray.html.
Happy Days (Duke Performances, Sept. 22-Oct. 7) combined the talents of two of the Triangle’s finest actors and one of the area’s leading directors in the inaugural production of the Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. Marcia Edmundson and Tom Marriott, two very familiar faces to Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill theatergoers, did some of their finest work here — as the indomitable and irrepressibly optimistic Winnie and her weak and virtually mute husband Willie. Actor/director Jay O’Berski, who is famous for portraying wild-and-crazy characters in a variety of offbeat comedies, gave Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days a smart and savvy staging that helped confirm the 1961 play’s reputation as a masterpiece of the Theater of the Absurd. No matter how miserable her personal circumstances, Winnie sees every day as a “happy day”; and Marcia Edmundson did a brilliant job of recreating Winnie’s Pollyannaish perspective of life. Her crisp and irrepressibly cheery characterization of Winnie is a tour de force, and Tom Marriott’s virtually silent but highly amusing and ultimately poignant comic cameo as Willie provided a perfect foil for Edmundson’s crowd-pleasing performance. Director Jay O’Berski did an outstanding job here of staging a sassy Happy Days for the 21st century on David Berberian’s earthy set, which resembles nothing so much as a compost heap with a woman planted in it. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/HappyDays.html.
Importance of Bein’ Earnest (Actors Comedy Lab, Aug. 6-7) was superlative staged reading of playwright Nancy Rich’s Southern-fried adaptation of Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde’s “Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” Rich put a new polish on this comic gem originally set in London, circa 1895, by transposing the characters and events to the some of the posher addresses of Charleston, SC, circa 1926. The playwright and her husband, director Rod Rich, proved conclusively that Nancy Rich’s clever condensation of this perennial crowd favorite deserves a full-scale production, sometime in the near future. Indeed, if Nancy and Rod Rich can reassemble the same cast, they have a sure-fire hit. Scott Nagel and David McClutchey were delightfully droll as John Worthing, J.P., and Algernon Moncrieff, two handsome but somewhat snooty and deceitful young men about town. Gigi De Lizza and Katie Anderson were simply marvelous as the Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax, the well-to-do but shallow society girl for whom Jack tumbles head over heels, and Miss Cecily Cardew, Jack’s innocent but incurably romantic 18-year-old ward with whom Algie falls in love at first sight. Tony Hefner gave three pithy performances — as the impecunious Moncrieff’s ever-resourceful butler Merriman, the comparably well-heeled Worthing’s ever-discreet manservant Lane, and the celibate but romantically vulnerable The Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. Bunny Safron was a scream as the formidable Lady Bracknell; but Jan Doub Morgan stole the show with her gloriously goofy characterization of the absent-minded governess Miss Prism. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/082005/TIOBE.html.
On the March to the Sea (Theater Previews at Duke, Feb. 22-March 6) was a thoroughly satisfying staged reading of an invigorating Civil War play written by Gore Vidal and directed by Warner Shook. The play concerns the seizing by Union troops of a Georgia mansion during Sherman’s infamous 1864 campaign, and a communal promise reneged upon for possibly ignoble reasons. In a large (and remarkably stellar) cast, Chris Noth and the great Harris Yulin conjure figures worthy of comparison with Willy Loman and Stanley Kowalski. These are bold, complicated, contradictory figures, fully and pitiably human, whose dimensions were as beautifully evoked by Noth and Yulin as the characters are brilliantly invoked by the playwright. Michael Learned did wonders with the relatively minor role of the Hinks’ social dragon of a neighbor, and the splendid Charles Durning exhibited a graceful civility in both triumph and defeat. Richard Easton was stunningly effective as the Vidal prototype Grayson, affably discursive one minute and barely suppressing a seething rage the next. Isabel Keating was a revelation as Mrs. Hinks. Not for her (or the author) the simpering, honor-corseted Southern belle; this is a role, and a performance, of searing dimensions. Vidal knows, as Euripides before him, that the greatest atrocity of war is what becomes of its vanquished women. For complete TTR review by Scott Ross, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/022005/March.html.
The Tale of Teeka (Les Deux Mondes at N.C. State University Center Stage, Oct. 13), written by Québec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, was more — much more — than just the saga of a lonely farm boy named Maurice and his adorable pet goose named Teeka. It was a rib-tickling and, ultimately, heart-rending coming-of-age story. Young Maurice (Yves Dagenais) desperately yearns to escape from his nightmarish childhood with abusive parents on an isolated farm. From the outset of their unlikely friendship, Maurice knows that Teeka will be dinner some Sunday and the goose’s downiest feathers will provide stuffing for a pillow or two. Norman Daoust, who plays the adult Maurice, serves as the show’s narrator and manipulates the hand puppet of Teeka and a wheeled version of the goose; and puppet maker and manipulator Patricia Leeper literally breathes the breath of life into the more elaborate and more lifelike versions of Teeka. With his thick French-Canadian accent, Daoust was sometimes difficult to understand; but director Daniel Meilleur orchestrated the action so that the essential meaning of each scene was always clear. Moreover, Daoust, Dagenais, and Leeper all gave compelling, richly detailed characterizations of these storybook characters in what is definitely not a story for small children. The ingenious set and costume design by Daniel Castonguay and the atmospheric lighting design by David d’Anjou also helped The Tale of Teeka take flight. It was unusual and unforgettable theatrical event For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/Teeka.html.
The Trojan Women (Theater Studies at Duke University, Nov. 10-20) was a shocker — as it was always meant to be. First performed in Athens in 415 B.C., in the midst of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), The Trojan Women implicitly attacked the Athenian political establishment for sacrificing democratic ideals on the altar of expediency. Director Ellen Hemphill transformed this collegiate production of The Trojan Women from a gut-wrenching anti-war tragedy into a macabre and menacing circus/cabaret, in which the title characters recite their tales of woe to an audience of soldiers indifferent to the anguish and suffering of the victims of their military conquests. Hemphill sets her radical new Bertolt Brecht-like reinterpretation of The Trojan Women in the center ring of a seedy circus tent, brilliantly evoked by set and costume designer Jan Chambers and ominously lit by lighting designer Ross Kolman. Nightmarish roustabouts — Greek soldiers in grease paint — torment the surviving members of the family of King Priam and his inner circle. Theirs is truly a fate worse than death; and when they describe their suffering in song or the spoken word, the play becomes a macabre anti-war cabaret. The imaginative and resourceful director, who routinely wows Triangle audiences with her Archipelago Theater productions, scored a triumph in here with a cast of student actors. Chambers, whose sinister set and wonderfully lurid costumes simply have to be seen to be believed, was also at the top of her game. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/TW.html.
Women’s Minyan (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance and Theatre Or, Oct. 15-30) was the American premiere of Israeli playwright Naomi Ragen’s bold expose of the dark side of an ultra-fundamentalist Jewish sect in Women’s Minyan (Minyan Nashim). Set in the Me’ah She’arim section of Jerusalem and inspired by real-life incidents, Women’s Minyan is the longest-running play in history of Israel. Director Joseph Megel superbly orchestrated the awesome dramatic power of this singular script. Jan Doub Morgan gave probably the finest performance of her career as Chana, once a model wife and mother but now a pariah to the whole community because it believes the Big Lie that she callously abandoned husband and family to set up housekeeping with another woman! In a final desperate effort to see her children, whom her mother Frume (Sylvia Z. Dante) and mother-in-law Goldie (Marilee Spell) have hidden from her in defiance of an order from the rabbinical court, Chana suggests that her mother, her sister Gitta-Leah (Barbara Lang), her mother-in-law, her sister-in-law Adina (Sarah Kocz), her daughters Bluma (Kendall Rileigh) and Shaine-Ruth (Meghan Witzke), her nosy neighbors Tovah and Eta (Amy Flynn and Sharlene Thomas), and her dear friend Zehava (Deborah Winstead) sit together righteously as a minyan (court) to hear her story and judge honestly whether she can see her children. Scenic designer Rob Hamilton provided a brilliantly imaginative set for this courtroom drama, and lighting designer Elizabeth Droessler expertly manipulated her instruments to heighten dramatic intensity. For complete TTR review, see: http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/WMinyan.html.
HONORABLE MENTION: As You Like It (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival), Back of the Throat (Manbites Dog Theater), Being the Exonerated (Blue Moon Theatre Company at The ArtsCenter), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Raleigh Ensemble Players), Big Picture Tour (Paula Poundstone at The Carolina Theatre), The Boys Next Door (Towne Players of Garner), Caesar and Cleopatra (PlayMakers Repertory Company), Camelot (North Carolina Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy), A Christmas Carol (Theatre in the Park), Cinderella (Raleigh Little Theatre), Contact (Broadway at Duke), Copenhagen (PRC), Crazy for You (Broadway Series South), Driving Miss Daisy (Towne Players), The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (Open Door Theatre), Eve Ensler’s The Good Body (BSS), An Evening of Bill Cosby (John Nittolo Productions, Inc.), An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin (Duke Performances), Hamlet (Tiny Ninja Theater at Manbites Dog), Harvey (TIP), An Inspector Calls (Peace College Theatre), Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Actors Comedy Lab), Killer Joe (REP), The Lion in Winter (TIP), Little Shop of Horrors (BSS), Long Day’s Journey into Night (Ghost & Spice Productions), The Man Who (Manbites Dog), Miss Saigon (BSS), A Moon for the Misbegotten (Deep Dish Theater Company), Moon Over Buffalo (RLT), Movin’ Out (BSS), A New War (Burning Coal), Nixon’s Nixon (Manbites Dog), Out of the Dark: The Oral Histories of Appalachian Coal Miners (Wordshed Productions), Permanent Collection (Deep Dish), The Play About the Baby (Ghost & Spice), Proof (Hot Summer Nights), The SantaLand Diaries (Common Ground Theatre), Skull in Connemara (Wordshed and Ghost & Spice), Southern Fried Chicks (The Carolina Theatre), The Story (RLT), String of Pearls (PRC), Titus Andronicus (Bare Theatre Company), Un Becoming: A Play About Hysterectomy (Still Water Theatre), Venus (REP), White People (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance), Witness (The Justice Theater Project), The Woman in the Attic (Archipelago Theatre at Duke Performances), and Yellowman (PRC).
Second Opinion: Jan. 1st Raleigh, NC News & Observer top 10 by Orla Swift: http://www.newsobserver.com/308/story/383893.html [inactive 1/08]; Dec. 28th Chapel Hill, NC Front Row Center Top 10 by Alan R. Hall: http://hometown.aol.com/theonlyarhall/reviews.html; Dec. 21st and 28th Durham, NC Independent Weekly awards and top 10 by Byron Woods: http://indyweek.com/durham/current/woods.html.
Last year was a banner year for PlayMakers Repertory Company of Chapel Hill, NC. In January 2005, the Triangle Theater Review saluted PRC as the best Triangle theatrical company of 2004, based on the naming of three of its five 2004 productions (King Lear, Luminosity, and Not About Heroes) to one or more top 10 list compiled by the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill news media.
This year, PlayMakers fared even better. An astounding four of its five 2005 presentations — Copenhagen (directed by Drew Barr), The Front Page (directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Gene Saks), and String of Pearls and Yellowman (both directed by Tony-winning actress Trezana Beverley) — appear on one or more Triangle top 10 list, earning best-Triangle-theater-company honors for PlayMakers once again.
Moreover, PRC’s Oct. 5-30 production of The Front Page, directed Gene Saks, can also lay claim to the title of the best Triangle theatrical production of 2005, based on it’s appearance on three of the four 10 best lists published by local theater critics. Mike Genovese was an absolute delight as the irascible and thoroughly unscrupulous Chicago Herald Examiner managing editor Walter Burns, whose sulfurous stares and blasphemous harangues cowed everyone except cynical ace reporter Hildy Johnson (played with panache by Grant Goodman).
This year, there are four “Top 10” lists of 2005 Triangle theatrical productions. Alan R. Hall of Front Row Center of Chapel Hill, NC and Byron Woods of The Independent Weekly of Durham, NC published their best-of-2005 lists on Dec 28th (Hall selected a top 10 and Woods chose a top 8); Orla Swift of the Raleigh, NC News & Observer published her 10 best list on Jan. 1st; and the Triangle Theater Review of Raleigh, NC published its 10 best selections on Jan 5th. (Note: Alan Hall writes reviews for Triangle Theater Review, but he selected his own independent top 10 for 2005.)
Five local shows tied for second place on the Triangle Theater Review’s Best-of-the-Best list, when they each appeared on two 10 best lists apiece. They are Angels in America I: Millennium Approaches (Theater Studies at Duke University), Happy Days (Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern at Duke Performances), The Man Who (Manbites Dog Theater), The Trojan Women (Theater Studies at Duke University), and Women’s Minyan (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance and Theatre Or).
Twenty-five other home-grown productions tied for seventh place, when they appeared on a single top 10 list.
Runner-up honors for best Triangle theatrical company go to StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance of Chapel Hill. All three of StreetSigns’ 2005 productions — The Miser, White People, and Women’s Minyan (co-produced with Theatre Or of Durham) — appeared on one or more 10 best list.
Four Triangle presenters had two shows selected as the best of 2005 by more than one critic. They are: Actors Comedy Lab of Raleigh (Importance of Bein’ Earnest and Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol), Duke Performances of Durham (the Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern’s production of Happy Days and Archipelago Theatre’s presentation of Woman in the Attic), Peace College Theatre of Raleigh (An Inspector Calls and Suddenly Last Summer), and Theater Studies at Duke University of Durham (Angels in America I: Millennium Approaches and The Trojan Women).
All in all, there are 31 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill shows listed on one or more Triangle top 10 ranking. Listed below in order of selection, with tied shows listed in alphabetical order by title, are the Best of the Best Shows of 2005:
1. The Front Page (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Oct. 5-30): Chosen by The Independent Weekly, The News & Observer, and the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/FPage.html.
2 (tie). Angels in America I: Millennium Approaches (Theater Studies at Duke University, April 13-17): Chosen by The Independent Weekly and The News & Observer.
2 (tie). Happy Days (Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern at Duke Performances, Sept. 22-Oct. 7): Chosen by The News & Observer and the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/HappyDays.html.
2 (tie). The Man Who (Manbites Dog Theater, March 2-26): Chosen by The Independent Weekly and The News & Observer. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/032005/ManWho.html.
2 (tie). The Trojan Women (Theater Studies at Duke University, Nov. 10-20): Chosen by The News & Observer and the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/TW.html.
2 (tie). Women’s Minyan (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance and Theatre Or, Oct. 15-30): Chosen by Front Row Center and the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/WMinyan.html.
7 (tie). ‘Art’ (Theatre in the Park, Sept. 16-25): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/Art.html.
7 (tie). Copenhagen (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Jan. 19-Feb. 13): Chosen by The Independent Weekly. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/012005/Copenhagen.html.
7 (tie). Ctrl+Alt+Delete (Live Wire Theatre Company and Blue Monday Productions, Oct. 28-Nov. 12): Chosen by The Independent Weekly. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/CAD.html.
7 (tie). Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (North Carolina Theatre, April 30-May 8): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/BB.html.
7 (tie). Hairspray (Broadway Series South, Nov. 29-Dec. 4): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/Hairspray.html.
7 (tie). Importance of Bein’ Earnest (Actors Comedy Lab, Aug. 6-7): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/082005/TIOBE.html.
7 (tie). An Inspector Calls (Peace College Theatre, Nov. 9-19): Chosen by The News & Observer. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/Inspector.html.
7 (tie). Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Actors Comedy Lab, Dec. 2-18): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/122005/JMarley.html.
7 (tie). The Last Silver Zephyer (Bill Svanoe, Blake Bradford, and Joan Darling, April 22-May 1): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/LSZ.html.
7 (tie). Lipstick Traces (Burning Coal Theatre Company, April 7-24): Chosen by The News & Observer. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/LTraces.html.
7 (tie). A Long Day’s Journey into Night (Ghost & Spice Productions, Sept. 8-25): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/LDJ.html.
7 (tie). The Miser (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, Sept. 3-18): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/Miser.html.
7 (tie). On the March to the Sea (Theater Previews at Duke, Feb. 22-March 6): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/022005/March.html.
7 (tie). Out of the Dark: The Oral Histories of Appalachian Coal Miners (Wordshed Productions, April 29-May 1): Chosen by The Independent Weekly. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/OOTD.html.
7 (tie). Permanent Collection (Deep Dish Theater Company, Aug. 25-Sept. 17): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/082005/PC.html.
7 (tie). Spitfire Grill (Raleigh Little Theatre, Aug. 12-28): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/082005/SfGrill.html.
7 (tie). String of Pearls (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Nov. 16-Dec. 11): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/112005/Pearls.html.
7 (tie). Suddenly Last Summer (Peace College Theatre, Sept. 22-Oct. 1): Chosen by The Independent Weekly. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/092005/SLS.html.
7 (tie). The Tale of Teeka (Les Deux Mondes at N.C. State University Center Stage, Oct. 13): Chosen by the Triangle Theater Review. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/102005/Teeka.html.
7 (tie). Titus Andronicus (Bare Theatre Company, July 27-31): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/072005/Titus.html.
7 (tie). To Kill a Mockingbird (N.C. Kids Theatre, Feb. 24-28): Chosen by The News & Observer.
7 (tie). White People (StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, April 14-May 1): Chosen by The News & Observer. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/042005/WP.html.
7 (tie). The Wise Ones (N.C. Central University Department of Theater, June 3-4): Chosen by The News & Observer.
7 (tie). Woman in the Attic (Archipelago Theatre at Duke Performances, May 5-29): Chosen by Front Row Center. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/052005/WomanInAttic.html.
7 (tie). Yellowman (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Feb. 23-March 20): Chosen by The Independent Weekly. For TTR review, see http://www.cvnc.org/reviews/2005/022005/Yellow.html.
Sources: Jan. 1st Raleigh, NC News & Observer top 10 by Orla Swift: http://www.newsobserver.com/308/story/383893.html [inactive 1/08]; Dec. 28th Chapel Hill, NC Front Row Center top 10 by Alan R. Hall: http://hometown.aol.com/theonlyarhall/reviews.html; Dec. 21st and 28th Durham, NC Independent Weekly awards and top 10 by Byron Woods: http://indyweek.com/durham/2005-12-21/woods.html and http://indyweek.com/durham/2005-12-28/woods.html. (For the Triangle Theater Review top 10, published Jan. 5th, see above.)