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19. As You Like It
Shakespeare's comedy in the woods was perfectly suited to the Delacorte; where did the set end and Central Park begin? Plus, it featured Lily Rabe, who makes Shakespeare sound like it was written for her that morning.
18. Brooklyn Village
In "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," Whitman famously wrote directly to generations hence about "the similitudes of the past, and those of the future." This brilliantly conceived Brooklyn Philharmonic program was a direct response back, drawing a throughline from Beethoven to contemporary local composers, stopping along the way at 18th-century religious singing and Aaron Copland. It was like a time capsule flung back through the fourth dimension to hit Walt Whitman on the head—as if to declare, "this is us, Mr. Whitman. Do you really still recognize us?"
17. 4000 Miles
Gabriel Ebert gave a haunting performance as a young man torn apart by grief in Amy Herzog's long-running drama at Lincoln Center.
16. Mies Julie
In this adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie, Bongile Mantsai and Hilda Cronje gave the kind of uninhibitedly physical performances more often found in radical modern dance. They really put themselves on the line, and the often mummified Strindberg classic came to life.