Time for my annual recap of all the books I read, TV / movies I watched, and theater I saw on-stage this year! And for the first time I’m adding the podcasts I listened to.
This is the fifth year I’ve put together a recap like this (here are links for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016). It started because of an article I wrote for The Writer magazine four years ago titled “Filling the Tanks” about how travel is the perfect time to read and catch up on all the media you may not have time for in your day-to-day life, and that such consumption of books and TV may reward your creative endeavors down the line in surprising ways.
I read 20 books this year, which is 10 fewer than I read in 2016. Hopefully I’ll kick my reading habit back into high gear for 2018. I would also like to get back to reading plays, which I’ve read plenty of in previous years but did not get around to in 2017. There are currently three plays on my nightstand!
Below is a list of all the books I read this year, in the order I read them (note that most of these books were released prior to 2017). Here’s a quick shout-out to my favorites: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Shrill by Lindy West.
|You'll Grow Out of It (Jessi Klein) - 4 stars
This memoir / collection of essays by the head writer of Inside Amy Schumer is a funny, insightful, and feminist read. Klein is unflinchingly honest, even when circumstances don't always portray her in the best light (like when she gave her then-boyfriend / now-husband an ultimatum to propose, or that time she seriously considered paying $10,000 for a wedding dress because of societal pressure). She delves into topics from her childhood, therapy, The Bachelor, Bar Method, and porn. By exposing and examining these truths, she reveals herself to be someone we'd all want to be friends with. On the professional front, she writes about turning down a 13-week writing contract on the Letterman show out of fear that giving up her steady assistant gig at Comedy Central might leave her unemployed long-term. She writes frankly about infertility (so many acronyms!), pregnancy ("GET THE EPIDURAL"), and motherhood (pumping backstage after winning an Emmy). I found myself laughing out loud with great frequency while reading this book. It reminds me of fellow comedy writer Kristin Newman's What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, another book I loved. If you like strong women, humor, and no-bullshit writing, this book is for you.
|The Handmaiden's Tale (Margaret Atwood) - 4.5 stars
This book – which feels like a version of Orwell's 1984 told from a female perspective – is totally terrifying to read in today's political climate. I read it in January before Hulu's miniseries based on this novel debuted. In a nutshell: Offred used to be a free woman; she had a husband and a young daughter. But then everyone lost their freedom. Here are a few quotes that explain what happened:
"It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control. (...) That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. (...) Look out, said Moira over the phone. They've been building up to this. (...) Things continued in a state of animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The road blocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said new elections would be held but it would take some time to prepare for them. (...) There were marches, of course, a lot of women and some men. (...) Outside on the street, we were careful to exchange nothing more than the ordinary greetings. Nobody wanted to be reported for disloyalty. (...) Humanity is so adaptable, my mother would say. Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations."
How crazy, right? I can't believe this was written in 1985. Part of the premise is that due to a nuclear accident, women have trouble reproducing so handmaidens are assigned to upper class households to help wealthier, older couples reproduce. Women's rights have been taken away and it is even illegal for them to read. They have been reduced to baby-making machines. It's a fascinating, depressing scenario. Very much worth a read.
|Give and Take (Adam Grant) - 3.5 stars
This is a book about generosity. Grant examines the ways people give and take in their personal and professional lives, identifying that most people fall into one of three categories – you're either a giver, a taker, or a matcher (a matcher is someone who reciprocates when someone does something nice for them, but does not initiate giving and only reciprocates to the degree of the nice thing the other person did for them first). Personally, I fall somewhere between a matcher and a giver – I generally respond in kind to things around me, occasionally going out of my way to be generous from the start. This book was an eye-opener on the true benefits of leading with generosity – as Grant proves case after case, being a giver almost always leads to long-term success. But it's a long game: you might lose out on something short-term, but by consistently giving more than taking, you'll be seen in a new light by those around you (not to mention you'll feel inwardly rewarded) and ultimately that will bolster your success. Other things discussed that caught my attention: why we should all embrace "the five minute favor" which suggests you should always do someone a favor it if will take under five minutes – it's not taking up much of your time, and you'll bank karma credit, as well as creating a tie to that person which could pay off in unexpected ways in the future. One example is going through your digital rolodex to connect that person with someone you know who is in a similar line of work or pursuing similar goals – it takes you two minutes to connect them via email, and you've possibly changed both of their lives for the better, even if you didn't get anything out of it. The author differentiates between networking with weak ties (there is a value in giving to people you don't know very well – you never know if that connection might pay off down the line and there's no harm in helping them even if it never pays off) and also about reconnecting with dormant ties from your past to see if you can help them. I really enjoyed engaging with the ideas in this book.
|Fates and Furies (Lauren Groff) - 3.5 stars
A saga following the relationship of Lotto and Mathilde, who met in college and immediately married upon graduation. We learn about their courtship and individual backstories, then jump into the future as they struggle in their 40's. Professionally, they have done quite well for themselves, but on a personal level they are unsatisfied, both with themselves and each other. The first half of the book (Fates) largely follows Lotto's journey as a struggling actor and writer. The second half (Furies) details Mathilde's story as she's supported her partner for decade after decade, putting his successes ahead of hers. We relive some of the same incidents from the first half retold through Mathilde's eyes, seeing them in a fresh way as we realize how she's exerted her power in both their lives. The writing is compelling and Groff's prose is unique. But despite liking many of its individual story threads, I found myself unsatisfied with the total sum of this novel. I can't entirely place my finger on it, just that I finished reading Fates & Furies without much of a take-away, and I didn't love spending time with these two main characters. As a side note (and this did not influence my overall take on the novel), there were two flagrantly incorrect statements that I can't believe the author and her editors overlooked. The first has to do with soap operas: Lotto says of his acting job on a soap, "It's good money. And I can do plays in the summer when we don't film." Nope... soap operas have always taped year-round; there is never a summer hiatus. And they are taped, not filmed. Second: when Lotto becomes a successful playwright, he gets a phone call that one of his shows will be produced at Playwrights Horizons, which is one of the top off-Broadway theaters in NYC. Except in the next paragraph they reference it being opening night on Broadway (following a workshop that went well – not an off-Broadway run), implying that this Broadway debut is happening at Playwrights Horizons, which is definitely not a Broadway theater. A small mistake in the scheme of things, but I'm surprised it got through.
|The Sympathizer (Viet Thanh Nguyen) - 5 stars
In 2016 I saw an excellent off-Broadway play called Vietgone which really opened my eyes to the Vietnam war as told from the Vietnamese perspective, and now The Sympathizer further illuminates the heretofore unseen depths of that country's struggle during and in the decades following the war. The Sympathizer is a written confession by a captured communist double-agent detailing his elaborate scheme to go undercover working for South Vietnam's special forces when he was secretly a proponent for communism. He must recount his story in these pages as part of his re-education process, in the hopes that his captors will allow him to reenter society. We learn about his life leading up to the war, his resettlement in Los Angeles following the fall of Saigon, and the ways in which he attempts to support the communist viewpoint through his work on a movie that sounds suspiciously like Apocalypse Now. This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and it's one of the best I read this year.
|Truth and Beauty (Ann Patchett) - 4.5 stars
I dove into this delightful read during my Patagonia trip and finished it in a matter of days. This story explores the real-life friendship between author Ann Patchett and her dear friend Lucy Grealy. They became roommates during grad school in Iowa and immediately developed an intense bond. Lucy's face was deformed due to childhood cancer and yet she always thrived socially in spite of that; Ann was the shy one in their friendship and Lucy helped her to feel more confident in her own skin. Ann describes the ups and downs of their relationship over the decades following grad school – dozens of surgeries for Lucy, professional successes, romantic struggles. Ultimately, Lucy died following a battle with drug addiction, despite everything her friends and family did to help her. After finishing this book I found a different perspective on-line from Lucy's sister, who expressed that Ann's memoir infringed upon the grief of their family, as it is just one perspective of a complex women (albeit told by an internationally respected writer). I'm grateful to be more familiar with Ann's work as well as the legacy that Lucy left behind, which includes an enormously successful book called Autobiography of a Face, published in 1994.
|Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe) - 4.5 stars
I somehow did not read this book in high school, so I brought it on my trip to Patagonia earlier this year to rectify that. It came to my attention because Lin-Manuel Miranda named this book in his New York Times book review as his favorite to teach when he worked at a high school, and I realized it was a gaping hole in my literature knowledge. I anticipated that this would be a 'homework' read, and was pleasantly surprised that I immediately got sucked into the plot and finished the book in about three days. Achebe evokes a vivid African culture with rich and specific details. It reminds me of two South African novels I read (and loved) in high school: Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One and Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country. Ultimately, Things Fall Apart is a story about how Christianity barged onto the African continent and disrupted local culture.
|Tinkers (Paul Harding) - 2 stars
This book won a Pulitzer prize years ago and, truthfully, I don't understand why. It's written from the perspective of a man on his deathbed as he recalls details from his life and also his father's life – we go back in time with him as he explores these memories while on the precipice of death. I did not connect to what I think the author intended to be a moving journey. It's got the trappings of a good story: a mediation on themes of family and the brevity of life, which usually both engage me. But it was a chore to get through this book.
|The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead) - 5 stars
Another Pulitzer Prize winner, and one of the best books I read this past year. The Underground Railroad tells the story of a slave named Cora and her harrowing escape through the south in the 1800s. Author Colson Whitehead takes a clear-eyed look at the violent pressure under which slaves live and work on plantations – he spares no gory detail in depicting an escape attempt: if one was unlucky, he or she would be returned by slave catchers and then brutally murdered in front of their friends as an example of what happens to a lost slave. We follow Cora's story as she escapes her plantation on a traumatizing path to freedom which takes years and is plagued by uncertainty and violence. Slave hunters are always at her heels. Cora and the kind strangers who help her along the way are exposed to tremendous danger. When at one point she finds a community to live, she discovers the nice white people there are trying to sterilize the black population. Perhaps most fascinating to me was how author Whitehead translates the underground railroad into a literal below-ground tunnel that ferries its passengers between safe houses – it is the only made-up aspect of an account that is otherwise so firmly rooted in historic detail that for a moment I actually questioned if there was such a thing as an a literal underground railroad! Whitehead's interview with Terry Gross for NPR cleared that up – indeed, his literal underground railroad is an extended metaphor. If you read one book on this list, let it be this one.
|We Should All Be Feminists (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) - 4 stars
Adichie's most famous novel, Americana, is one of the best I have ever read, so I eagerly gobbled up this short 40-page manifesto. Adichie wrote it for her goddaughter's birth several years ago and it has become a popular read for women around the world – in 2015, Sweden distributed copies to every 16-year-old girl in the country. I can see why Adichie's uncompromising ideas about gender are enlightening people from all cultures. Do yourself a favor and carve out an hour of your day to read this manifesto.
|Shrill (Lindy West) - 4.5 stars
This debut novel by celebrated on-line writer Lindy West is a breath of fresh air. She writes about her journey towards self-acceptance and why she is a proponent of the fat acceptance movement, which encourages women to embrace who they are now even if they are not at their desired weight. The movement urges not to delay self-love just because you don't have the 'right' body type. Society places tremendous standards on women for how they look and present themselves to the world and Lindy writes beautifully about how to deconstruct those stereotypes and love yourself for who you are. Her trademark sarcasm and unique comedic voice make it pleasure to tear through these pages. Lindy writes quite vulnerably about her past experiences. I've enjoyed following her writing this past year as she's become a columnist for the New York Times.
|The Ramblers (Aidan Donnelley Rowley) - 3 stars
While The Ramblers held my interest, I was disappointed by the shallowness of the world presented therein. What it boils down to is that I spent a week following extremely privileged characters (rich Ivy League grads who live in Manhattan penthouses) as they dealt with the problems of the 1%. And while the drama of romance or dealing with parental issues did hold my engagement, ultimately I was hoping for a deeper read. Perhaps that is on me as I should have investigated further before committing to this book. In the era of Trump, novels of this nature are not cutting it for me. Stories need to have more substance to be worthy of my time.
|The Woman in Cabin 10 (Ruth Ware) - 3.5 stars
This book was billed as the suspense thriller of the year and I felt let down by it. Here's the premise: a budding journalist (who drinks a lot and is therefore a somewhat unreliable narrator) is chosen for a press trip aboard a brand new yacht that will travel along the coast of Norway with other privileged types. On her first night she encounters a stranger in one of the rooms – someone who is not on the ship roster and seems to have disappeared by the next day, despite the fact that the ship is at sea and there's nowhere for her to go. Our narrator starts digging and soon it's clear that her own life is in danger. I can easily picture this becoming a Hollywood blockbuster, and would happily pay $15 to see it on the big screen because the author invokes beautiful imagery of Norway. However The Woman in Cabin 10 lacks the depth of an Agatha Christie novel. It's striving to be of that caliber, but doesn't get there. The cast of characters on the boat are each given a motive for why they would want to commit this particular crime. That takes some of the fun out of it – I wanted to sort through the clues and piece together the ending, but everyone is intentionally made a suspect until the author reveals what really went down. This book didn't live up to the hype.
|Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson) - 5 stars
"We can’t heal if we don’t know what is making us sick." Before reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, I thought I had somewhat of an understanding of the ways people of color have been trampled by the law in the last century, but it turns out I had just a sliver of the whole story – a Harvard Law grad and MacArthur Genius, author Stevenson outlines dozens of court cases he's worked on since the '80s as part of his non-profit, the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. Cases where the death penalty has been excessively and unfairly applied to people of color. Cases where plain facts have been ignored by law enforcement and judges simply because it was easier to pin a crime on a person of color than dig for the truth. Cases where abused and neglected children have been tried as adults. Cases where the mentally ill have been harshly sentenced with complete disregard for their condition. These accounts of injustice will induce rage and indignation that such corruption has (and continues to be!) so blatantly applied to huge sections of our population. They will further open your eyes as to just how much communities of our black and brown brothers and sisters have suffered for generation after generation. Gaining a clearer understanding of this historical context is so important in fixing what's going on today in America.
|We are Never Meeting in Real Life (Samantha Irby) - 4.5 stars
This book of humorous essays made me laugh heartily and think deeply about race, class, and body image issues. Samantha Irby's singular brand of writing is unapologetic, sarcastic, honest, and incredibly funny. The opening chapter (her mock application for The Bachelor) had me in stitches. Her stories run the gamut from dating mishaps to working as a receptionist at an animal hospital in Chicago to eventually meeting her future partner – all delivered in her signature style. Samantha Irby also writes a blog called 'Bitches Gotta Eat' that I am glad to know about; her writing totally fits my sense of humor.
|The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) - 4 stars
This book this book has been on my reading list for a long time and it did not disappoint. A genetics professor named Don struggles in the dating world – he is autistic, and frustrated with the search for a partner. So Don puts together a dating application with a series of questions based on an algorithm to find himself the perfect wife. His standards are way too high so it's not going well, until then he meets grad student Rosie and finds an unexpected connection, despite the fact that she is the antithesis of the woman that he is looking for on paper. Rosie is slow to warm to Don's friendship but ultimately they come together as he helps her search for her biological father. My favorite thing about this book is how the author captures the voice of Don's autistic mind – the way he processes everything going on around him, the way he thinks through problems, and the way that he attempts to overcome what he understands of his shortcomings. It reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in how the author really gets inside the mind of a person who thinks differently than most people. There's a sequel but I'm told it's not as good as this first book so I'm probably going to skip it. But I'm glad to have lived in Don's world for the few days it took me to read The Rosie Project.
|Places: The Journey of My Days, My Lives (Thaao Penghlis) - 3 stars
Days of our Lives star Thaao Penghlis is a lifelong world traveler – he was born to Greek parents, raised in Australia, spent most of his adult life in the U.S., and has traveled extensively around the world. This book (aptly titled 'Places' in reference to the cue given to actors at the top of a scene and also a reference to his travels) largely covers the time he's spent in the Middle East, with lots of fun Hollywood stories peppered in throughout. There was the time he had an assistant job for a fashion designer and Jackie Kennedy stopped by. Thaao also dishes on all the times he's been hired and fired at DAYS. But I most enjoyed reading about his time in Israel and Egypt – he has a spiritual connection with that part of the world, and it brought back memories of my own trips there. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book if I didn't like both soap operas and traveling, but since both of those things are my cup of tea, Places was a fun read.
|Before the Fall (Noah Hawley) - 4 stars
A plane traveling from Martha's Vineyard to the mainland falls into the ocean midway through the flight. On board are two business moguls and their families, plus one acquaintance from the farmer's market named Scott who was invited to join them at the last minute. Turns out that was a stroke of luck – Scott and a four-year-old boy (the son of one of the business moguls) are the only survivors, and Scott swims with the boy on his back all night long until they reach the shore. That is just the set-up for Before the Fall – the meat of the story is told in flashbacks as we learn about the characters who were on board the aircraft, including several possible motives as to why that plane fell out of the sky. It's a decent thriller and held my interest, but it was borderline too close to #RichWhitePeopleProblems (after all it's about people who have access to a private plane), which as noted above is not making the cut in the Trump era. Speaking of which...
|The Nest (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney) - 2.5 stars
The ultimate #RichWhitePeopleProblems book on this list, and a reason why I'll be more discerning about the titles I chose to read in 2018. It's about four adult siblings who were promised a sizable trust fund when their youngest sister turns 40. But a few months before that milestone, their inheritance is put in jeopardy when the oldest sibling crashes his car while high on drugs and receiving sexual favors from a waitress – his hospital bills, rehab stint, and payoff money for the waitress practically drain the siblings' nest egg. So the rest of the book is about the siblings jostling for their fair share of money owed to them (money they did not earn!) while the oldest one shirks off all responsibility. It feels so unnecessary to read about these unlikeable characters when there are so many real issues going on in the world. I'm all for literary escapism, but make it worth my time.
|Obama: An Intimate Portrait (Pete Souza) - 4.5 stars
This book is 90% photos plus a few pages of text, but I'm including it because I spent hours pouring over every image and caption the other night, and was so moved by this visual portrayal of Obama's presidency. Photographer Pete Souza had tremendous access to his subject, and the reward is a collection of personal moments that the public did not always get to see – images of Obama walking the White House grounds with a group of young black men he mentored, Obama playfully interacting with the young children of his staff members, Obama jumping over the counter at a Shake Shack to pose with employees. I was struck by just how much our President opened his heart to those around him – how he moved through the world with a sense of curiosity and humility, traits that are sorely lacking in our current leader. This book beautifully documents Obama's eight years in office: everything from major political moments (such as the iconic Situation Room photo taken when Bin Laden was killed) to intimate moments with his family (like filling in as coach for his daughter's basketball team). It is a joy to bear witness to Obama's legacy in these images.
And here are the books I received for Christmas this year, which I hope to read in 2018: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, What is the What by Dave Eggers, The Circle by Dave Eggers, What She Ate by Laura Shapiro, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell, Stephen Sondheim by Meryle Secrest, and Joe Papp, The Public, and the Greatest Story Ever Told by Kenneth Turan & Joseph Papp. Other fun / coffee table books: Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World, Coffee: Liquid Education, and 111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss.
There are also a number of books on my list that I’ll buy digitally for my Kindle as needed throughout the year: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. Vance, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi, What is the Bible by Rob Bell, Hunger by Roxanne Gay, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, and Girl at War by Sara Novic.
Stranger Things (S1 & S2), Homeland (S6), Master of None (S2), Kimmy Schmidt (S3), Will & Grace (S9), Younger (S3), Teachers (S2), Jane the Virgin (S1), This is Us (S1), Nashville (S5), The Wonder List with Bill Weir (S3), The Great British Bake-Off (S1), She Loves Me (PBS), Falsettos (PBS), Present Laughter (PBS), Holiday Inn (PBS), Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, Maria Bamford: Old Baby, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, Oh Hello on Broadway (Netflix), Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
Hidden Figures, Rat Race, Moonlight, La La Land, Lion, Zootopia, Manchester by the Sea, Newsies, I Am Not Your Negro, 13th, Fences, Jackie, Get Out, The Nice Guys, Ghostbusters, Beauty and the Beast, Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Secret Life of Pets, Bowfinger, The Big Sick, Angels in America Part 1 (NTLive), Zodiac, Lady Bird, The Florida Project, Murder on the Orient Express, You’ve Got Mail, A Christmas Story, The Greatest Showman
I saw 78 theatrical events in 2017 (a whopping 24 more than I saw in 2016 — I attribute that to the extended periods I was in NYC for work, like in June when I saw 18 shows in five weeks). This is what I say every year, and it holds true: theater is a big priority for me and I’m on a lifelong quest to study the depths and expanse of this art form. Attending a variety of shows is an investment in my on-going education. Below is a list of all the plays and musicals I saw in 2017.
- Theater in New York City (54 total: 16 on Broadway, 38 off-Broadway) — The Band’s Visit / Dear Evan Hansen / The Babylon Line / Jitney / Everybody / How to Transcend a Happy Marriage / Sweat / Villa / The View Upstairs / Sunday in the Park with George / On the Exhale / Come From Away / The Hairy Ape / The Antipodes / Oslo / The Emperor Jones / Pacific Overtures / Indecent / Cost of Living / Miss Saigon / The Play That Goes Wrong / Ernest Shackleton Loves Me / The Little Foxes / The Government Inspector / Sunset Boulevard / A Doll’s House Part 2 / Six Degrees of Separation / Sojourner’s / Her Portmanteau / Animal / Ghost Light / Sweeney Todd / Baghdaddy / Spamilton / Say Something Bunny / Pipeline / Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 / Groundhog Day / To Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday / Too Heavy For Your Pocket / Tiny Beautiful Things / KPOP / Fucking A / In the Blood / Torch Song / Puffs / In and Of Itself / Prince of Broadway / Office Hour / Jesus Hopped the A Train / The Treasurer / People Places Things / Oedipus El Rey / School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play
- Regional Theater (24 total) — Amelie (Ahmanson) / The Lion (Geffen) / The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (Wallis) / White Guy on a Bus (The Road Theatre Company) / Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Geffen) / Zoot Suit (Taper) / Ah, Wilderness! (A Noise Within) / Good Grief (Kirk Douglas Theater) / Assassins (Yale Rep) / Mary Jane (Yale Rep) / Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed) / Deathless (Goodspeed) / The One ATM in Antarctica (Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference) / Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (Williamstown Theater Festival) / Company (Barrington Stage) / The Legend of Georgia McBride (Dorset Theater Festival) / An Octoroon (Shaw Festival) / The Gin Game (Cape May Stage) / Avenue Q (MIT) / An Enemy of the People (Yale Rep) / Bright Star (Ahmanson) / Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play (Sacred Fools) / Between Riverside and Crazy (LATW) / A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Garry Marshall Theater)
Here’s a visual recap of everything I saw in NYC this past year, by season — click through to read my thoughts about any given show (all of my theater reviews can be found here):
A new section for me this year, even though I’ve regularly listened to podcasts for years.
Year-round favorites: Dear Sugar, Maxamoo Theater & Performance, Invisibilia, Reply All, 99% Invisible, You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes, How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black, Ronna & Beverly, Stagecraft with Gordon Cox, The Producer’s Perspective
Limited run podcasts: S-Town, Dirty John, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Making Oprah
Thanks for reading! What were your favorites in 2017?
NOTE: I used Amazon Affiliate links for the book titles; should you purchase one, I’d receive a tiny commission. For the record I have yet to earn a dime doing this but I’m legally obligated to say they’re affiliate links.