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The Year in Theater

The Unforgettables

Clockwise From Top Left

Patti LuPone, Gypsy
It really was Patti’s turn—the moment for this actress to assume this legendary role. She made it her own.

Raúl Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
An utterly controlled performance in Mamet’s bitter shot at Hollywood. They can’t deny him a Tony again, can they?

Brian d’Arcy James, Port Authority
Understated enough to miss—until you realized his transformative range.

Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!
Part expert impersonation, part eerie reincarnation, the triple threat (singer, dancer, musician) brought the house down as the Afrobeat pioneer.

Alvin Epstein, Endgame
An extraordinary, concise report from the abyss enriched an okay revival.

Zoe Kazan, The Seagull
Stealing the show yet again, she gave Chekhov’s morose Masha a drily witty and snappish makeover.

Cedric the Entertainer, American Buffalo
Playing it looser and sadder than most Mametians, the comic was a cool surprise in his legit-stage debut.

Winston Ntshona and John Kani, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead
At BAM, the final reprise of their three-decades-old show was eerily great, filled with humor and sensitivity.

Elizabeth Marvel, Top Girls and Fifty Words
The electrifying verbal gymnast lived up to her surname—twice in one season.

Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing
He made a comic meal out of a trifling sixties play.


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