The Playgoer: The List of All Lists

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Friday, January 14, 2011

The List of All Lists

The folks at StageGrade have saved you the trouble of consulting every New York critic's 2010 ten best list and created a mathematically challenging chimera:

We combed critics' Top 10 lists (sources listed below) and assigned points according to whether they ranked shows or not: i.e., a show in the No. 1 slot on a properly ranked Top 10 list received the maximum points, while shows on unranked lists all received equal median points.

Without further ado, the consensus on the best shows in New York in 2010:

Interestingly, quick click-throughs on these titles will reveal that these weren't necessarily the highest-graded [i.e. best reviewed] shows of the year.

Unfortunately, only Merchant, Angels, and La Cage are still running.


RLewis said...

Lots of Broadway there when I thought that the mission of the site was to level the playing field, so that Off and Off Off could compete, but maybe that was just critic-O-meter, or maybe the Bway shows were just better. I was pulling for Alice in Slasherland.

isaac butler said...


The mission of the site does involve leveling the playing field within our power to do so. We can't control what people write, how many people write about a show, or what sticks in the critics minds.

RLewis said...

Just want to add that I don't think that the problem is with Stagegrade, but more that when critic-O-meter was around there were a lot more bloggers writing a lot more reviews of independent theater productions. It seem to me that factoring those reviews in brought more grades, and attention, to shows that don't get the usual NYT, TONY, VV, NYDN, NYP, etc. reviews.

Now that the theatrosphere has waned, we're back to the same old, reviewing the same old, and this seems to be reflected in a more traditional Top 10. These may not be the best 10 shows of the year, but they are the best 10 shows that the mainstream media was aware of.

It's unfortunate that theater blogging ain't what it used to be, but I guess that's to be expected. Personally, I don't know how so many bloggers were able to keep it up for as long as they did. My hat is off to folks who still do, like Playgoer, Culturebot, Superfluities, Kul, etc.