The Advocate

January 17, 2005

Top 10 Performances of 2004


1) Caroline, or Change and Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy by Tony Kushner. America’s resident theater genius and leftist town crier returns with a brave, unsparing Broadway musical (written with composer Jeanine Tesori) and a few hot-ticket benefit performances of his one-act fantasy featuring Laura Bush, some dead Iraqi children, and an angel.


2) Well by Lisa Kron. The founding member

of Five Lesbian Brothers scores with another

one-woman show, this time dedicated to her

off-kilter mother.


3) Laugh Whore by Mario Cantone. One-man show-off Cantone—late of Sex and the City and Assassins—delivers the vim and venom missing from gay-lite Broadway.


4) The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer and The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel. New York revivals of Kramer’s call to arms and Vogel’s touching allegory remind us that the AIDS crisis has not abated.


5) Assassins by Stephen Sondheim. The out bard finally gets a worthy Broadway production

of his quirkiest work.


6) Five Flights by Adam Bock. With the year’s best gay male kiss, locker-room antics, and a family fight over an aviary, it was the most original show of off Broadway’s ’04 season.


7) Like a Dog on Linoleum by Leslie Jordan. Will & Grace’s funniest recurring queen takes center stage in Los Angeles for a biting, hilarious autobiographical monologue.


8) James Baldwin: Down From the Mountaintop by Calvin Levels. A great actor channels a great writer in a national tour, with readings, anecdotes, and contemporary political commentary.


9) Hollywood Hell House. An antigay fundamentalist “haunted house” becomes

self-parody with an all-star cast.


10) The Mis-Match Game. This recurring Los Angeles happening reimagines the ’70s TV game show Match Game with full-camp press and excellent sub-lebrity impersonations.


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