(Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 12/10; via Pam Green.)

The older you get, the quicker Top 10 time seems to arrive. The past year in theater seemed more than usually breathless, but the rewards were many, sometimes seemingly constant. An exciting new play one month, a revitalized Broadway musical the next, and always what astonishes me most: the breadth and depth of the acting talent to be seen on New York stages. All my choices, and many shows that didn’t make the final cut, left me immensely gratified by the dedication and sometimes necessary fearlessness of New York’s theater actors.

‘Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3’ The first third of Suzan-Lori Parks’s ambitious work, ultimately to consist of nine plays spanning more than a century and a half, was the most audacious and exciting stage production of the year. Directed by Jo Bonney with a fine feel for its gloriously motley texture — incantaory lyricism in one passage, fine-grained naturalism elsewhere, and even a talking dog — “Father” follows the fortunes of a slave who fights in the Civil War on the side of his master, a Confederate colonel. This was the rare production in which text, design, acting and direction were all in consummate accord. I can’t wait to see more.


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