Damaged by yet another homogenized film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s work, few think of The King and I as a piece deeply focused on incipient feminism, international politics and the challenge of leadership. But the national tour at the Arsht Center of the Lincoln Center revival underscores how prescient this was when it was written in 1951.
But our recent visit to Broadway took in shows running nearly a full season or even longer – and they seem as vibrant as the reviews said they were on the day they opened: The King and I, An American In Paris and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Here’s a look back at 2014 including a very subjective subjunctive reductive list of outstanding shows, performances and developments guaranteed to make someone unhappy they were not on the list. Take comfort in that there was so much good work that this is the crème de la crème de menthe.
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Tagged 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Abby Perkins, Abigail Berkowitz, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Mile, Alexander Zenoz, Amy Miller Brennan Anne Chamberlain, Andy Barbosa, Angie Radosh, Antonio Amadeo, Arca Images, Arsht Center, Arts Garage, Assassins, Back of the Throat, Bad Jews, Blythe Gruda, Bruno Vida, Carrie, Centralia, Chaz Mena, Chess, Chris Crawford, Christina Groom, Church, Clark Gable Slept Here, Clay Cartland, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Dana Castellano, David Arisco, Edges, Elizabeth Dimon, Ellis Tillman, Eric Alsford, Ethan Henry, Faiza Cherie, GableStage, Gidion's Knot, H2OMBRE, Hedda Gabler, Hurricane, Island City Stage, Jerry Gulledge, Jerry Waxman, John Archie, Julie Kleiner, Karen Stephens, Katherine Amadeo, Keith Garsson, Laura Ruchala, Lela Elam, M Ensemble, Mad Cat Theatre, Makeba Pace, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Margaret Ledford, Mariand Torres, Mark Sanders, Michael McKeever, Mike Eidson, Miracle on South Division Street, Mothers And Sons, Murder Ballad, My Old Lady, Natalia Coego, New Theatre, Nicholas Richberg, Nicole Piro, Nilo Cruz, outre theatre company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Parade, Patrice DeGraff Arenas, Patrick Fitzwater, Paul Reekie, Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts, Peter and the Starcatcher, Plaza Theatre, Primal Forces Productions, Ricky J. Martinez, Robert Johnston, Ron Hutchins, Serafín Falcón, Shane Tanner, Slow Burn Theatre Company, Summer Shorts, Sunset Baby, Terry M. Cain, The King and I, The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Mountaintop, The Trouble With Doug, The Wick Theatre, Thinking Cap Theatre, Tim Altmeyer, Tom Wahl, University of Miami, What's New Pussycat, William Hayes, Yoshinori Tanokura, Zoetic Stage
Theater Shelf, a recurring feature, reviews recently-released books, CDs and DVDs of interest to theater lovers. Some are popular titles like a new Original Cast Recording, others are works you’ll be intrigued by, but didn’t even know about.
Not taking a thing away from Sondheim or anyone else who followed them, but the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s glorious production of The King and I reminds you that when it’s done right, nobody can touch Rodgers and Hammerstein for well-crafted musical theater marked by heartfelt lyrics and soaring melody.