• Tom McGrath
  • Southern Romeo serenades southern Juliet in Take Her to See the Maco Lights

We don’t keep records on this sort of thing, but based on my experience I’d say that Reader critics handed out an unusually large proportion of backwards Rs this week, recommending 11 out of 18 new productions. Either they’ve got spring/NATO fever or there are just a bunch of really good shows out there.

In a double review, Albert Williams expresses admiration for the American Theater Company rethinking of Rent and the Porchlight revival of Tick Tick . . . Boom!. Both musicals were written by Jonathan Larson, who famously died the day before the original production of Rent opened. Keith Griffith enjoyed the “whirlwind erudition” of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, at New Leaf Theatre, and the rough charm of Peter Pan’s Shadow Part Two: Everland, which is the latest entry in a new trilogy by Jeremy Menekseoglu. Jack Helbig liked the “beguiling simplicity and grace”—not to mention the “satisfying punch”—of Prologue Theatre’s Romeo-and-Juliet-down-south show, Take her to See the Maco Lights. Julia Thiel fell in love with My Asian Mom, a collection of short works from A-Squared Theatre. And even I liked something enough to recommend it: Gorilla Tango’s macabre musical goof on the 80s-era sitcom Full House, Attend the Tale of Danny Tanner.

But we’re not out of kudos yet.