2. The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Actor's Express). The year's most emotionally charged production -- led by Tess Malis' Kincaid in a tour de force performance as a wronged wife -- turned Edward Albee's taboo-breaking material into the stuff of genuine tragedy.
3. Waiting for Godot (7 Stages). This definitive staging of Samuel Beckett's classic text boasted enough sharp comic timing and keen understanding to offer a universal message of hope in the face of despair.
4. Be Aggressive (Synchronicity Performance Group). Two-four-six-eight, who do we appreciate? Synchronicity Performance Group and playwright Annie Weisman, who used a black comedy about ambitious high school cheerleaders to expose the unspoken crises in contemporary families.
5. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Alliance Theatre). The year's other superb Albee show lived up to the timeless play's vision of marital bickering as blood sport. Visiting actors Tracy Letts and Margo Skinner confirmed George and Martha as the first couple of modern American theater.
6. Killer Joe (Actor's Express). As a playwright, Woolf's Tracy Letts penned the year's most hilariously disturbing show, an X-rated, redneck romp about murder and mind games in a Texas trailer park. Outrageously entertaining, but not for the faint of heart.
7. Top Dog/Underdog (Alliance Hertz Stage). On alternate nights, actors Joe Wilson Jr. and Kes Khemnu switched roles as rival brothers. But that was only one of the amazing feats in Suzan Lori-Parks' rich, complex Pulitzer Prize-winner. Good dog!
8. Avanti, Da Vinci! The Secret Adventures of Leonardo da Vinci (Center for Puppetry Arts). Jason Hines and Jon Ludwig imagined Leonardo da Vinci as a costumed crime-fighter named "Renaissance Man" in this visually stunning production that made comedic cliffhangers out of art and science history.
9. Life Goes On: A Silent Play in Black and White (Theater Emory). Actor/playwright John Ammerman's flawless homage to the cinematic styles of the silent era blossomed into a bittersweet meditation on the relationship between the living and the dead.
10. Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (A Rave-Fable) (7 Stages). Agony took a hit of Ecstasy in the year's most idiosyncratic world premiere, a strangely intoxicating cocktail of Greek tragedy, rave culture and Latin American politics.
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