Best of 2004: Theater
By Brendan Lemon
1) La Cage aux Folles
Jerry's Girls'the composer-lyricist Jerry Herman, the director Jerry Zaks, and the choreographer Jerry Mitchell'took this 1983 musical about gay trouble-in-paradise and made it bolder, brighter: better!
(Currently at Broadway's Marquis Theater)
Lisa Kron is a founding member of Five Lesbian Brothers, but in this one-woman show she really asserted her individuality. An evening all about her mother'her scary, wacky, wonderful mother.
3) Laugh Whore
Another one-person show, this time from Mario Cantone, to whom nothing is sacred. One high-point among many: impersonations of celebrity vaginas.
(Currently at Broadway's Cort Theater)
4) The Normal Heart
An off-Broadway revival of Larry Kramer's corruscating 1985 play showed that this drama about AIDS and political indifference had lost none of its heat.
5) The Paris Letter
Jon Robin Baitz's new play about repressed homosexuality is too long'its imperfections will probably be fixed by the time the drama makes it to New York in 2005'but full of powerful moments and wonderful acting from Ron Rifkin and Neil Patrick Harris. (At the Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles through January 2)