Theater fans saw one of the best shows of 2018 early in the year when the timeless Broadway classic, "Les Miserables," came to Proctors in February.
"This is without a doubt one of the best shows I have seen at Proctors in years," wrote Gazette critic Matthew G. Moross. "So whether it's your fifth or 50th time, this production will not disappoint. And if you are a "Les Miz" newbie -- just go already. It is so much better than "Grease." Trust me. Highly recommended!"
Moross and fellow Gazette reviewer Paul Lamar saw plenty of productions they enjoyed in 2018, some of them old favorites such as "Les Miz" and "West Side Story," while others, like "The Humans," were much more contemporary stories. Here are some of their highlights from 2018.
"The Humans" brought film and television stars Richard Thomas and Pamela Reed to the Proctors stage in March to perform in Stephen Karam's 2016 Tony Award winner about a struggling married couple spending their Thanksgiving at their daughter's apartment in Manhattan. Moross called it a "stunning look" at a modern family.
In Johnstown, a Colonial Theatre production of "Spring Awakening" in April was well worth the trip for Lamar, who called the show "thrilling from top to bottom."
"Mine," Laura Marks' 2013 story about a mother's struggle after giving birth to her first child, was brilliant and even a bit "creepy" according to Moross, who called it "theater a bit on the scary side."
In the Barrington Stage Company production of "West Side Story" in August, Lamar watched another Broadway chestnut that refuses to grow old. Giving director Julianne Boyd much of the credit, Lamar wrote that this production honors "the centennials of both Robbins and Bernstein with a huge cast that is up to the challenges."
If you missed "In the Heights" at Schenectady Light Opera Company in September, then you missed "a fabulous night in the theater," wrote Moross. The work of "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, "In the Heights" was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical.
Just last month, Lamar wrote that Albany Civic Theater's production of Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins' 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist, "Gloria," was "first-rate," a play "that makes us look in the mirror in many ways, and that's a good thing."
Honorable mention: Here are a few more shows that didn't quite make the elite list, but were still thoroughly enjoyable productions to our reviewers: "Other Desert Cities" at the Schenectady Civic Playhouse, "Every Brilliant Thing" at Curtain Call, "Damn Yankees" at Park Playhouse, and "Blithe Spirit," "The Royale," and "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley," all at Capital Repertory Theatre.