I rode the Red Line home a couple of weeks ago with my friend and colleague Ben Kenigsberg, one of TOC's film critics. We had both stayed late on a Friday night working on our 2009 best-of lists. Ben mentioned that he'd spent quite a bit of time over the previous week or two re-watching his potential picks. Man, I thought, What a luxury. There are so many plays I saw this year that I wanted to see a second time but couldn't—Chicago's a town of limited runs, and too many storefront shows in particular only perform Friday through Sunday and in the same "slots" in the season.
I made note tonight in a Twitter/Facebook message that my final count of plays seen in 2009 was 146 (I first said 145 but revised up when I realized I'd missed one); Dianna Driscoll inquired on Facebook about how many of those I saw for pleasure versus the number I reviewed. The question's a bit more complicated than that—I saw some shows for TOC purposes that I didn't review and also didn't enjoy—but figuring out how many shows I saw but not for review purposes still strikes me as somewhat interesting. The chronological list of 42 shows is after the jump. (For the record, I only managed to make return visits to five shows this year: About Face's Stupid Kids, Strawdog's Red Noses, the Annoyance's Sodomites!!!, Caffeine's Under Milk Wood and Million Dollar Quartet, which I first saw in 2008.)