Best Production (2001)

Anton in Show Business at Stages Repertory Theatre

The 2000-2001 Houston theater season (which ended up being as exciting as a glass of lukewarm water) started out with a great gush of roaring energy. Jane Martin's explosively funny Anton in Show Business reigned supreme from Stages Repertory Theatre over the entire season. The screamingly funny show focused on the difficulties of modern-day theater life and was perhaps more prescient of the coming theatrical year than was intended when it argued that "the American theater is in a shitload of trouble." Of course Martin, who is generally believed to be Jon Jory, ex-producing director of Actors Theater of Louisville, knows all about the state of American theater. Every sort of theatrical poseur shows up in this script, including pompous foreign directors, foolish narcissistic actors all dressed in black, and rich swaggering funders who know diddly-squat about art. Each and every character casts a beacon of giddy light over the season to come, and together they created the sort of fiery magic that no other production could match.

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