Best of Boston

BEST Theater

2014 BEST Theater

Huntington Theatre Company

Boston

Boston theater is humming on high thanks to its two biggest companies, both of which send shows to Broadway and garner Tony nominations and awards. But while the American Repertory Theater had another star-studded year of notable spectacles, we preferred… read more»

2013 BEST Theater, Children's
photo by Alex Lau

Boston Children’s Theatre

Boston

The BCT could play it safe. Instead, it offers outside-the-box productions, like Reflections of a Rock Lobster, about a gay teen’s fight to bring his date to the prom, and Honk!, a lively musical based on The Ugly Duckling. And… read more»

2012 BEST Theater, Children's

Boston Children’s Theatre

Boston

The BCT ran classics like The Velveteen Rabbit this season, but we give the theater company a standing ovation for producing the world premiere of executive artistic director Burgess Clark’s Reflections of a Rock Lobster. The play follows the true… read more»

2012 BEST Theater
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ArtsEmerson

With its three venues—the Cutler Majestic, the Paramount Mainstage, and the Jackie Liebergott Black Box—ArtsEmerson certainly dominates the Theater District, but its artistic reach goes far beyond the city. This year, executive director Rob Orchard landed the following: Henrik Ibsen’s… read more»

2011 BEST Theater

American Repertory Theatre

Cambridge

The A.R.T. has added major buzz to its stages, from Amanda Palmer’s work in Cabaret to a punk musical about Prometheus. Artistic director Diane Paulus has displayed the clout to bring in star turns by John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman,… read more»

2011 BEST Theater, Production

Petrushka at ArtsEmerson

Boston

Master puppeteer Basil Twist’s adaptation of Stravinsky’s ballet about a tragic love triangle among a clown, a ballerina, and a Moor managed to convey humanity and grace in the movement of Japanese-style marionettes. One compact hour long, it begged for… read more»

2007 BEST Theater, Alternative

Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway

Somerville

A mediocre alternative theater is content to stage Brecht rip-offs and plumb the depths of existential mime. A great alternative theater like Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway hosts political fundraisers, film panel discussions, local comedy, cabaret, storytellers, and rock bands. Topping the… read more»

2007 BEST Theater, Traditional

Boston Opera House

Boston

Attending a show here is not unlike sitting inside a gigantic inverted wedding cake. Three years after a painstaking $30 million restoration, the Opera House shines once again as the city’s most opulent venue. As for the performances—whether flashy Broadway… read more»

2006 BEST Theater, Berkshires
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Williamstown Theatre Festival

Williamstown

Long lauded as one of the country’s best summer stages, the Williamstown Theatre Festival attracts rapt audiences and first-class talent; past performers include Gwyneth Paltrow and David Hyde Pierce. Since assuming the role of artistic director last year, Tony Award-winning… read more»

2005 BEST Theater, Mainstream

The Opera House

Boston

Since it reopened with The Lion King last year, the restored Opera House hasn’t drawn the most inspiring of productions. But it does look great. The 2,600-seat theater is a jewel from the dying days of vaudeville, and it gleams… read more»