My Top Connecticut Theater Picks in 2017

Comedy of Errors.jpg

What shows captured my imagination, if not my heart, in 2017? I went to scores of plays and musicals last year and finding my favorites is always a challenge in this theater-rich state. With its geographical stretch, it’s impossible to see everything on all of Connecticut’s professional stages, but these lists are always a personal expression, anyway.

It was an especially great year for musical productions. (Four of the 10 were tuners.) There was some terrific ensemble work, too, in shows such as The Wolves, Next to Normal, Small Mouth Sounds and Mary Jane. And there were some brilliant performances, as always, some of which transcended their material, others that enhanced it. They included Elizabeth Stahlmann in Grounded at the Westport Country Playhouse; Ashlie Atkinson in Imogen Says Nothing at Yale Rep; Mia Dillon in Seder at Hartford Stage; Reg Rogers in An Enemy of the People at Yale Rep and Ben Edelman in The Chosen at Long Wharf Theatre.

But when it came time to pick just 10 “best” nights at the theater, this is the list I finally made, in order of production.

• A Comedy of Errors (Hartford Stage)

• The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Hartford Stage)

• MaryJane (Yale Repertory Theatre)

• 1776 (Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Summer Series)

• Miss Julie (Yale Summer Cabaret)

• Oklahoma! (Goodspeed Opera House)

• Small Mouth Sounds (Long Wharf Theatre)

• Rags (Goodspeed Opera House)

• Next to Normal (TheaterWorks)

• The Wolves (TheaterWorks)

Now, what were your favorite shows?