As this year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on some truly extraordinary theater, ranging from splashy musicals to moving dramas and locally written plays.
• Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Hendersonville Community Theatre: In this intimate production about a group of women who relate significant memories in life to their wardrobes, Beth Norris rose to the forefront of the well-directed ensemble to give one of the year’s best performances.
• Mamma Mia! by Flat Rock Playhouse: This fun, ABBA-influenced musical was a runaway smash and set a milestone for Flat Rock Playhouse.
• Other Desert Cities by N.C. Stage Company: The searing portrait of a well-to-do but dysfunctional family who risked having their secrets exposed by their daughter’s new novel was easily one of the most memorable productions of the year.
• Stripped at The Magnetic Theatre: The production about a group of nudists caged up and interrogated for their free-spirited behavior in a public park was a raw and compelling standout at the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
• Ghost the Musical by HART Theatre: This emotionally effective musical from the hit 1990 film (in which the spirit of a murdered man sought the help of a con artist-turned-medium) overcame a few missteps due to a passionate performance by Miles Rice and a dedicated entourage.
• Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood by Montford Park Players: The locally penned rendition of the classic action-romance proved to be a crowd pleaser, drawing large audiences to the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater.