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Boston’s Best Theater Productions From 2013

December 23, 2013 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

This past 2013, like most years in Boston, was filled with good theater. Of course, the best of these shows will always be subjective, but the standouts are obvious. From local theater to national Broadway hits, theatergoers had multiple greats from which to choose this year. Among them were presentations that were glamorous, touching, funny, classic and musical. People from all over the Bay State area came to enjoy them and, in many cases, did not walk away disappointed.
(Photo from: The Glass Menagerie Broadway/Facebook)

(Photo from: The Glass Menagerie Broadway/Facebook)

“The Glass Menagerie”
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-8300

“The Glass Menagerie” is an absolutely memorable piece from Tennessee Williams about the love and destructive potential of family. The cast that took this story of fragile people trying to push into the future or hold onto the past is great overall. However, the leading man, who has had quite a bit of mainstream success as of late, was Zachary Quinto. His Tom was praised by critics and audiences in Boston who had the rare treat of seeing this talented actor in the intimate environment that theater offers.

Photo Credit: Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre

Photo Credit: Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre

“Jersey Boys”
Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre
106 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 482-9393

“Jersey Boys” is a much-beloved musical that brings the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons back to life in the context of the band’s rise and fall in the music business. This national hit came to Boston in 2013 and worked the same magic it did around the country. With songs like “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” this musical brought back the music of the Brill Building era with that polished sound and everybody’s favorite boyfriend look. Whether for the music or the story, the performances were a hit.

Photo Credit: Boston Opera House

Photo Credit: Boston Opera House

Boston Opera House
539 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 259-3400

The Wicked Witch of the West was never the hero of a story until author Gregory Maguire got his hands on her and turned her into Elphaba. His tale of tragedy and strength was taken to the stage and has been a huge success ever since. In 2013, this sensation hit the Boston Opera House and captivated audiences just as much as it had in the past decade. This redefining of literature’s most infamous witch will likely be around for years to come for those who missed it in 2013.

Related: Production of ‘Wicked’ Kicks Off at Boston Opera House

Photo Credit: Paramount Theatre

Photo Credit: Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre
559 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 824-8400

Franz Kafka gave his readers quite a story with his “Metamorphosis.” It is easy to be disgusted, empathetic and thoughtful after reading this classic short story. The play version that hit the Paramount Theatre in early 2013 was no less enthralling as the original story. In fact, it added more elements as the audience watched the leading man use acrobatics to pull off the main character’s bug-like movements around the split-level set. Coupled with a wonderful score, this play was a worthy take on an unimpeachable tale.

Photo Credit: The Huntington Theatre Company

Photo Credit: The Huntington Theatre Company

“The Jungle Book”
The Huntington Theatre Company
264 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 266-7900

This version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” was an entertaining adaptation that included songs from the well-known Disney take on the tale. This family production had all of the fun and adventure of growing up in the jungle. This was the world premiere of Mary Zimmerman’s take on this classic and it did well with audiences. In fact, it did so well that its run at Huntington Theatre had to be extended.

Related: Boston’s Best Small Theatre Companies

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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