Best of Pittsburgh theater in 2018
Sharon Eberson and Christopher Rawson
Jan 7, 2019
Here are the top 10 Pittsburgh shows of 2018, drawn from the year’s local productions and tours, big theaters and small, straight plays and musicals, and an additional list of big events and a busier than usual year of comings and goings.
The plays are listed first, not in order of merit, but chronologically, with this exception: We start with the top three, listed chronologically.
“Hamlet,” Pittsburgh Public Theater (April). The most famous play of all time sets a high bar, but for his final directing stint of his long artistic directorship, Ted Pappas summoned all the company’s resources to clear it with ease, especially where it most counts, in the thrilling lead performance by Matthew Amendt. It was clear, compelling and heartfelt, including the many smaller speaking roles.
“Grey Gardens,” Front Porch Theatricals (August). In an eccentric tale of the Edie Bouvier Beales — the equally eccentric reclusive mother and daughter — librettist Doug Wright’s touching musical featured Daina Michelle Griffith as the mother in Act 1 and daughter in Act 2. It might have made this list just on the strength of director Robyne Parrish’s clever use of the ensemble to play the cats that infest the Edies’ ramshackle Hamptons estate.
“Chatterton,” Quantum Theatre/Festival of Firsts (September). Who but Karla Boos could adapt Peter Ackroyd’s imaginative version of the puzzling life of 18th-century author Thomas Chatterton, dead at 17, and his reverberations in succeeding centuries, and set the audience traipsing through the many rooms of Trinity Cathedral? As writer and director of this world premiere, she was assisted by Martin Giles and a crackerjack cast, and she served also as producer in her dual roles as artistic director of Quantum and curator of the festival.Read full article