In a year that has ended so dramatically off-stage, and during which so many people talked dismissively about “political theater” — but they didn’t mean anything actually happening in a work of art — it’s good to celebrate the memorable moments that happened nightly on New York stages.
These were moments that were memorable as a visual spectacle or a verbal tickle or an emotional punch, moments that meant something because of off-stage events, or meant nothing but stayed with you nevertheless. Some moments were memorable because they were lovely; some because they were ugly. There were enough memorable moments this year in so many shows (even some one might not otherwise have cared for) that the gallery below is just a sample — as was the one last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. I’m forced to focus largely on the moments with human actors — leaving out the unforgettable moments involving a live goat, a rabbit, and most of the puppets (I do mention one.)
Click on any photograph below to see it enlarged and to read the extensive caption that explains each moment, which are more or less in the chronological order of the shows’ opening. Some of the moments on stage were so special that the production didn’t provide photographs of them; in such cases, I use a different photograph from that show.