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A 2020 Four Best List

With New York City theater in limbo for the foreseeable future, now seems the time to acknowledge the outstanding presentations of this COVID-19 era.

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Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

“By early 2021, we hope to have a better idea of what lies ahead for the theater, our members, and their platforms” wrote the board of the Drama Desk to its members regarding the suspension of this year’s dues.

Raquel Cion in “Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie.”

The Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker-starring Broadway revival of Plaza Suite has been rescheduled from March 2020 to March 2021. London’s Hello Dolly! starring Imelda Staunton has been put off until 2022. Taking into account the unpredictability of COVAID-19’s ramifications, these projections can be viewed as optimistic rather than definite. The return of audiences to live theater and other performing arts exhbitions remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

From January 1 to March 12 of this year, when New York City theaters were closed, I reviewed 17 shows and saw another 15. Will and other similar sites still be active in December when I normally publish my annual 10 best list? Realizing this uncertainy, I therefore offer my selections of the most outstanding productions during this truncated timeframe. With the 2020 Tony Awards having been postponed indefinitely and the 2020 Drama Desk Awards belatedly taking place tomorrow, now seems the time to accept that the 2019/2020 season and the year 2020 is over for consideration.

Powerhouse vocalist Raquel Cion is a cancer survivor and a life-long David Bowie admirer. In her enthralling Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie, Ms. Cion delivered a grand mélange of tribute concert and autobiography.

Acclaimed performance artist Joel Jeske’s uproarious The Artist Will Be With You in a Moment, was a clever, thoughtful and humorous respite from this troubled world.

Presented by Concrete Temple Theatre at Dixon Place, PackRat was 60 minutes of dazzling puppetry, wowing an audience of children and adults during its enchanting animals’ odyssey.

For author Lucas Hnath’s highly theatrical solo-play Dana H., actor Deirdre O’Connell has rightfully received several competitive and honorary awards. That is especially notable as the expressive Ms. O’Connell’s mesmerizing performance involved her lip-synching to a recording of Mr. Hnath’s mother recounting an ordeal.

Links to reviews:

Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie

The Artist Will Be With You in a Moment


Dana H.

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (804 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for

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