I'm still officially on holiday vacay, but as ought-eight rolls to a close and the undead corpse of Dick Clark winds the key in the back of the Carson Daly-bot, here are a few more year-end lists that have surfaced in the last two weeks.
At the Trib, Chris Jones anoints his top ten and several honorable mentions, and names David Cromer the theatrical Chicagoan of the year. Nina Metz and Kerry Reid also weigh in with their top fringe picks.
On the national scene, the NYT's Charles Isherwood put Cromer's Off-Broadway Adding Machine (which originated in 2007 at Evanston's Next Theatre) on his list; perhaps more impressively, Isherwood's only non-New York pick was Cromer's Our Town at the Chopin (which, as has been widely reported by now, is transferring without its Chicago cast to New York's Barrow Street Theatre a couple of months from now). The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout name-dropped Shattered Globe's A Taste of Honey, Court's Carousel and Adding Machine in his best-of list, in which he also named Writers' Theatre the "best drama company of 2008" based on his viewings of their Lion in Winter and Picnic. (Not to ding Writers', which indeed does a lot of great stuff, but I'd have to agree with the Reader's Tony Adler that to make such a proclamation based on two shows of the 114 Teachout reviewed nationwide—far fewer than I saw this year in Chicago alone—is hubristic at the least.)
I should also note that PerformInk's Carrie Kaufman was once again nice enough to ask me to contribute a year-end essay; I'm in the pleasant company of Christopher Piatt, Kerry Reid, Venus Zarris, Jonathan Abarbanel and Larry Bommer.
Man. That's a lot of lists. The great thing they all prove about Chicago theater is that I find a lot with which to agree (and plenty with which to disagree) on each of them—but excepting the Time Out top ten that Christopher and I put together in tandem, I think each and every one of those best-of lists includes at least one play I didn't get a chance to see. There's just too much that's good in our theater scene. Hard to complain about that. Here's to an even better 2009.