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The best and worst of 2009: Theater

A VIVID BLANCHE: Cate Blanchett in
A VIVID BLANCHE: Cate Blanchett in "Streetcar." (Richard A. Lipski/the Washington Post)
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By Peter Marks
Sunday, December 20, 2009

Best

1. "A Streetcar Named Desire," Kennedy Center.

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Cate Blanchett's astonishing performance set a modern standard for a seminal American role.

2. "First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb," Signature Theatre.

The world premiere of a satiny revue directed by Eric Schaeffer that gave fresh relevance to a major pair of Broadway tunesmiths.

3. "King Lear," Shakespeare Theatre.

Transplanting the tragic king (Stacy Keach) to a disintegrating communist realm triggered a searing consideration of both a towering play and contemporary tribal violence.

4. "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," Forum Theatre.

Little company. Bold undertaking. Superior acting and direction.

5. "Eclipsed," Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

Danai Gurira's original play about plucky women forced to live as concubines in an African rebel camp shed absorbing light on a subject rarely addressed on American stages.

6. "Jersey Boys," National Theatre.

The Tony-winning jukebox musical rocked the capital's underused Broadway-caliber house.


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