Best of 2008

And now for the Best of 2008:

Best Amateur Theatrical Production: Into the Woods at the Waterloo Community Playhouse and Gypsy at Theater Cedar Rapids. But, you already knew that.

Best Professional Theatrical Production: Touring production of Sweeney Todd (the John Doyle staging). The way that was staged is just absolutely brilliant. I should gush about that sometime.

Best Live Performance That Wasn’t Theater: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza. It was kinda like a circus, but without animals. Under a big top with jugglers, trapeeze artists, tight rope walkers, clowns that aren’t scary. Also, it had great music.

Best Film: Milk

Book Read (fiction): Hero by Perry Moore. Really was the best novel I read and it was published in 2007. But I would recommend it to people and I found it to be a great coming-of-age story with an interesting plot and characters with real problems and depth.

Book (non-fiction): Night of the Gun by David Carr. He didn’t invent his memoir and it was a rather interesting book to read. It had some flaws, but overall it was good. Also, that came out in August.

Song Heard: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy as performed by Patti LuPone.

Internet Video: Does Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog count? If not, the “Nine People’s Favorite Thing” video was excellent.

TV Show: Mad Men.

Quote: “So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.” -David Mamet on Jeremy Piven leaving Speed-the-Plow

Musical Discovered: [title of show], although I have the music from In the Heights stuck in my head right now.

Band Discovered: Tie: ThouShaltNot and The Dresden Dolls (thank you, Jacklin)

Album Listened to: Tie: 2005 Revival of Sweeney Todd and 2008 Revival of Gypsy. I’m not saying that because of the common thread of Patti LuPone and Stephen Sondheim.

Surprise: Demi Lovato. Despite her being tied down to Disney, her music is actually pretty good. She wrote a song about getting back together, not about breaking up and how much I fucking hate you (granted, she can’t even sing “kiss me, like you mean it” in the Disney Channel music video of “Get Back”). The best song on her album is written completely by her (“Trainwreck”).

Entree in Iowa: That wasn’t prepared by my mother? Meaty Mushroom Burger at Hamburger Mary’s in Cedar Rapids. It happens to be good regardless of if you get a beef patty or a veggie patty.

Entree Outside of Iowa: Goat Cheese Ravioli at the Green Zebra in Chicago. Best damn thing ever.

Dessert: Creme Brulee at Brio in Rockford, Illinois. Someone actually got it right.

Moment: I really can’t pick one. I had some really great moments in my life this year.

Here’s to a great year in 2009. I have no resolutions.

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