Chaotic Patti LuPone, Kimberly Akimbo, and More: Our Favorite Theatre Moments of 2022 | Playbill

Holiday Coverage Chaotic Patti LuPone, Kimberly Akimbo, and More: Our Favorite Theatre Moments of 2022

Playbill's editorial team looks back at theatre's first full year past the shutdown.

Victoria Clark in Kimberly Akimbo
Victoria Clark in Kimberly Akimbo Joan Marcus

Another year is coming to a close, but an especially momentous one for theatre fans: 2022 was our first full year of theatre following the pandemic shutdown of 2020 and 2021. While there were certainly ups and downs, there were lots of highlights, and post-pandemic theatre fans were more cognizant than ever of how lucky we are to have them.

Here's the Playbill editorial team's favorite theatre moments of 2022.

Patti Lupone Matthew Murphy

Diep Tran, Editor in Chief: Patti keeps it chaotic in Company.
Patti LuPone did a lot this year. But my favorite moment of hers was during the dream ballet in Company, where she played an older, party-girl version of Katrina Lenk's Bobbie. She stumbled across the stage in a red spangled dress with only one shoe on, and sat down on a toilet. It's truly Patti like you've never seen her before! May we all have that same commitment to craft, to Sondheim, to Chris Harper who pays our salaries, as we age.

Talaura Harms, Features Editor: Wig Out!
After seeing Kimberly Akimbo Off-Broadway, I was prepared to love the transfer just as much. I was not prepared for Bonnie Milligan's new wig for Aunt Debra. That thing is a work of damn art.

Logan Culwell-Block, Managing News Editor: An Off-Broadway highlight.
My favorite theatre moment of the year came right at the end with Bruce NorrisDownstate at Playwrights Horizons. Digging right into gray areas and a host of uncomfortable truths, the work is the kind of play that feeds my brain and soul for months. Norris isn't afraid to truly challenge his audiences, and there's nothing more exciting than that for my theatre-going dollar. Downstate is a play that will stay with me for a long time.

Andrew Gans, Senior News Editor: A Tony winner communes with her inner teenager.
Victoria Clark brings tremendous honesty to every role she plays. That the Light in the Piazza Tony winner can so truthfully and movingly portray a high school teenager in Kimberly Akimbo demonstrates not only her own humanity, but also the breadth of her talent. She is well-matched by co-star Justin Cooley, who brings a wide-eyed innocence and joy to the role of Seth, also imbuing the tuba player with a moving kindness. They are my favorite onstage couple of the season and Kimberly Akimbo my favorite new musical. Also, a shout out to the thrilling belting of Solea Pfeiffer and Lena Hall in the Entertainment Community Fund’s Chess benefit concert.

Michael Potts in The Piano Lesson
Michael Potts in The Piano Lesson. Julieta Cervantes

Leah Putnam, Staff WriterThe Piano Lesson gets musical.
Seeing John David Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Potts, and Ray Fisher sing a capella in the first act of The Piano Lesson was one of many moments I still think about from that show. The energy and emotion they bring is exactly what the play needs at that moment.

Margaret Hall, Staff Writer: Phantom gets back to its roots.
David Caddick, the original music director and conductor of The Phantom of the Opera, returned to the podium unexpectedly for a performance this fall, which I was lucky enough to be present for. There is nothing like hearing a lushly orchestrated score ring through a Broadway theatre with the clarity of a conductor as experienced as Caddick.

Meg Masseron, Night and Weekend Reporter: Some love for Beanie Feldstein.
Beanie Feldstein's performance in Funny Girl was the most a specific performer in a role has ever stolen my heart. For those who also loved her as Fanny, they fell in love at first sight with her bubbly charm, clever wit, and most of all, her ability to throw ego out the window and just be unabashedly funny. She was magnetic onstage.

Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol
Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol Courtesy A Christmas Carol Live

Michael Wiltbank, Photo Editor: A Broadway solo tour de force.
Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol was something very special. Also, that set was INCREDIBLE!

Heather Gershonowitz, Staff Photographer: Broadway gets political.
POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White, Vanessa Williams—Why aren't they President?!

Dylan Parent, Editorial Assistant: A Broadway legend brings the drama offstage.
Tony Award-winner Bernadette Peters put some protestors in their place for making Sutton Foster cry at this year's Broadway Barks. Queen.

Andrew McKie, Social Media Coordinator: Ben Platt's bladder control.
My favorite moment this year was hearing Jason Robert Brown’s musicality onstage, along with my favorite icon Ben Platt, during Parade at New York City center. And during the intermission for Parade, Ben did not leave the stage. His bladder control!

Jeffrey Vizcaíno, Social Media Director: A Tony winner goes to the wood.
Heather Headley in Into the Woods at New York City Center. Enough said.

 
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