Best of 2011: Gail Burns’ Top 5 Musical Theater Productions

Tommy (Randy Harrison, top center) is a sensation in the BTF production at the Colonial Theatre. (photo: Jaime Davidson)

Tommy (Randy Harrison, top center) is a sensation in the BTF production at the Colonial Theatre. (photo: Jaime Davidson)

“The Who’s Tommy”
Berkshire Theatre Group at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
A seldom-seen show with a young, big-name star lured the hard-to-reach 15-25-year-old audience to the Colonial Theatre. Randy Harrison, in the title role, and James Barry were stand-outs, as was the edgy, minimalist set by Gary M. English. Sadly, this production ran only ten days. (Read her review)

“Guys and Dolls”
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield
Fun, fun, fun! A perfect cast performing one of the best American musical comedies of the 20th century. (Read her review)

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
The Ghent Playhouse, Ghent
Astoundingly, the perfect cast dropped in to director Judy Staber’s hands for this charming production. Mark Schane-Lydon was a delightful and thoroughly canine Snoopy.

“The Drowsy Chaperone”
The Theater Barn, New Lebanon
The Barn pulled out all the stops to squeeze this great big homage to musical theatre onto their small stage with boffo results. (Read her review)

“Merrily We Roll Along”
The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, Cambridge
TCHH proved once again that there is nothing substantially wrong with Sondheim’s celebrated 1981 “failure,” and an awful lot right. I always love driving through the cornfields of Washington County, NY, to see intriguing theatre and opera (more about that later) in this 1878 wooden opera house. (Read her review)

By Gail M. Burns of

For more info and Gail’s other Best of 2011 Theater selections…


Fred Rudofsky’s Top 10 Theater Concerts
Paste Magazine’s Top 20 New Bands
J. Eric Smith’s Top Album
Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Albums
Brian Patneaude’s Top 5 CDs
American Film Institute’s Top 10 Movies
Stanley Johnson’s Top 10 Concerts
Richard Brody’s Top Books
Sebastien Barre’s Best of the Year
New York Magazine’s Top 10 TV Shows
Fred Rudofsky’s Top 10 Bar/Club Gigs
Steve Nover’s Top 10 CDs
Greg Haymes’ Top Music Video
Paste Magazine’s Top 10 Albums
The New York Times’ Top 10 Books
Mike Hotter’s Top 10 Albums
Kirsten Ferguson’s Top 10 Live Cover Songs
The A.V. Club’s Top 10 Comedy Albums
Ed Conway’s Top 10 Concerts
The Los Angeles Times’ Top 10 Pop Albums
J Hunter’s Top 10 Live Shows
Mr. Eck’s Top 10 Albums
Richard Brody’s Top 10 Concerts
Mike Hotter’s Top 5 Songs
Fred Rudofsky’s Top 20 Albums
Greg Haymes’ Top 15 Theater Productions
Tim Livingston’s Top 5 Music DVDs
David Brickman’s Top 11 Art Exhibitions
J Hunter’s Top 10 Jazz CDs
Andrzej Pilarczyk’s Top 12 Concerts
Matt Mac Haffie’s Top 10 Albums
Shawn Stone’s Top 10 Movies
Timothy Reidy’s Top 10 Performances
Greg Haymes’ Top 13 Most-Listened-To Albums
Kirsten Ferguson’s Top 25 Songs

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