Click on the photos for Gothamist's top ten favorite theatrical productions of 2009. Last year, of course, we couldn't stop talking about Passing Strange, but this year's highly subjective list is notably devoid of musicals. (Unfortunately, we haven't seen Fela!) Two of these ten were unforgettable, site-specific odysseys—one on a bus through the Bronx, the other on a boat that went nowhere. Just two happened on Broadway—one with A-list stars, the other with brilliant yet relatively unknown downtown actors. (Both narrowly edged out the excellent revival of Waiting for Godot starring John Goodman, Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin.)
One was an astonishing, hilarious homage to the potential of Rube Goldberg, another a staple of high school drama clubs brought forcefully back from the dead. Two out of ten were idiosyncratic explorations of memory and storytelling, from New York's hottest theater company named after a western state. Another looked to the past to recreate a popular lecture circuit that flourished across America from 1874 to the Great Depression. And one was a genre-defying examination of how African Americans are perceived and portrayed in mass media, from an Asian American playwright hoping to create "slightly enhanced paranoia" in white audience members. She succeeded, and for her next project, that old white dude King Lear is in the cross hairs.